Chicken Tikka Makhani – Butter Chicken

June 17, 2008

This is by far the most popular dish in Indian restaurants.  Its origins are in Delhi and Punjabi Dhabas where the left over tandoori chicken pieces were added to a creamy tomato, butter curry and served the next day. It was so tasty taht it actually became a dish in its own right and is now enjoyed all over the world. This dish is as rich and decadant as chocolate.

Serves 3-4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
3cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
2 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp mild chilli powder (optional)
1 tbsp. tandoori spice blend
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. ghee

2 tbsp. ghee
1 onion chopped
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 cup crushed tomato
8 oz. heavy cream

Put the chicken, ginger, garlic, chilli powder, tandoori spice blend, lime juice and 1 tbsp of oil in a bowl. Stir, and set aside. marinate for 4 hours.

Heat a large shallow pan. Tip in the chicken and marinade and fry for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a pan and fry the onion until transclucent. Add the turmeric and tomato paste and stir fry for 1 minute. Lower the heat, pour in crushed tomato and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Add the chicken and simmer until the meat is succulent. Season and stir in the heavy cream.

Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with flat bread.


Chicken Curry – Simple and Easy to make

June 17, 2008

Serves 3-4

3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter), or oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stick cinnamon
2 cardamom pods
4 cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 inch piece root ginger, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
¾ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp tomato paste
2 skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 chopped tomato
1 tsp. plain yogurt or sour cream
a handful of cilantro leaves, chopped

Heat the ghee in a large heavy pan, add the chopped onion and fry till onion is transclucent.

Turn the heat to medium low, add the cinammon, cardamom, cloves and fennel seeds, stir for 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Then add the turmeric, ground coriander and chilli powder and fry gently for a minute. Add the tomato purée and stir in enough hot water to make a sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Season with salt.

Heat a little oil in a large heavy frying pan and stir-fry the chicken pieces until they turn white.

Add the chicken and chopped tomato, sour cream/yogurt to the sauce and simmer gently until the meat is soft and succulent.

Sprinkle with the coriander and serve with plain rice and yogurt.

Aromatic Chicken with Raisins and Cashews

June 17, 2008

Serves 3-4

3 tbsp. sunflower oil
6 skinless chicken thighs, on the bone
1 onion, chopped 
2 bay leaves
4 tbsp. Ajika Regal Rice Blend
1 cup yogurt
6 stems of fresh cilantro leaves chopped
1 tbsp. curry powder 

– Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan. Add the chicken and saute for about 7-10 mins until golden all over, then remove from the pan and keep aside.
– In the same oil fry the onion until transclucent- add more oil if needed.
– Add bay leaves and the Regal rice blend to the onion and fry for about 5 mins.
– Reduce het to low and return the chicken to the pan.
–  Mix in the yogurt, cilantro, curry powder together. Add this to the chicken and stir. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 30 mins, or until the meat falls easily off the bone.

Serve with flat bread.

Easy Chicken Korma (Curry) Recipe

June 17, 2008

Korma is a type of mild, creamy sauce thickened with ground nuts and seasoned with raisins.

1 lb. chicken cubed
2 tbs. cooking oil 
1 large or 2 small onions (8 oz.) chopped 
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
2-3 tbs. tomato puree or 4 sun-dried tomato or 2 tomatoes chopped
3 tbsp. Ajika Korma Mix
Salt to taste 
3 tbsp. yogurt

A handful of fresh cilantro leaves 

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed wok or pan. 
Add onions and garlic and fry until brown. 
Add korma spices and stir for a few seconds to allow flavours to come out. 
Add tomatoes and chicken and cook on medium-high flame, stirring frequently until it is well coated and sealed. 
Cover and cook on low-medium flame until tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. 
Turn off heat. 
Fold in yogurt. Cover and leave. 
Garnish with cilantro.

Goan Fish Curry

June 17, 2008

1 Pomfret or other white fish, cleaned and cut into steaks
1 coconut, grated
1/2 tsp cummin seeds
4 cloves garlic
a marble sized ball of tamarind mixed in 1 cup of water or 1 raw mango, cubed (optional), or lime juice to taste

4 green chillies, slit lengthways
2 onions sliced
1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
6 dry kashmiri chillies
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp. Ajika Spicy Curry Blend  
juice of one lime
salt to taste

Sprinkle lemon juice and salt onto fish and marinade for an hour or so. Grind the coconut, kashmiri chillies, cummin seeds and garlic together.

Mix the onion, ginger and green chillis and mash with the turmeric. Add the chopped mango. Add the ground masala and 1 cup of water. Put this mix in a pan and on the stove. Simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Add fish and Ajika Spicy Curry Blend and cook slowly until the fish is done. Serve with plain red rice boiled.

© Kavita Mehta
photo credit Kavita and Vinay Mehta


Spicy Sweet and Sour Tamarind Coconut Shrimp

June 17, 2008

4 servings.

12 uncooked large shrimp (Using scissors, cut shell of each shrimp all the way to tail end, exposing vein. Remove vein. Loosen shrimp shells but do not remove.)

1 tbsp. oil

1/3 cup chopped shallots
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small onion, cut into thin wedges
2 green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 green chile, cut into thin rings

1 tsp. tamarind paste
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons fish spices
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro

In another pan heat 1 tbsp oil and add shallots, onion, garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add shrimp and sauté 1 minute. Add rest of the ingredients and sauté until shrimp are opaque in center and sauce coats shrimp thickly, about 3 minutes longer. Mix in green onions and green chile. Transfer to platter. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Spicy Shrimp Curry

June 17, 2008


1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons oil
2 cloves
pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon minced gingerroot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tbsp. of Spicy Masala Curry Spice Blend
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 bell pepper sliced thin
1-1/2 cups canned tomatoes, crushed
1 pound large shrimp , peeled and divined
2 green chilies, chopped (optional as this will make the dish hotter)
sprigs fresh coriander, chopped 

Fry the onion and bell pepper in the oil until transclucent. Add the cinnamon, cloves. Cook for 1 minute more, then add ginger and garlic. Add the chili, spicy masala blend and salt. Cook for 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes, and bring to a boil or vigorous simmer. Turn heat low and let the tomato cook till the suace is thick.
Add the shrimp , cover and simmer for 10 minutes – till shrimp are done. Serve the curry sprinkled with the chopped chilies and coriander leaves.

Shrimp Curry in Coconut Milk

June 17, 2008

1 large onion, minced
1 inch-long piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup butter, ghee or vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 to 2 fresh green chiles minced
1 cup hot water
1  can unsweetened coconut milk – 14 oz.
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 lb large shrimp in shell  – about 20
minced cilantro leaves for garnish

Heat oil in a pan and saute onion until onion is a nice golden brown color. Add ginger, green chilies. Stir in curry powder and turmeric and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Stir in water, coconut milk, and lime juice, salt, sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
While sauce simmers, peel shrimp (devein), wash. Add shrimp to curry sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through and change color, about 3 minutes. Srve garnished with cilantro. 

© Kavita Mehta
photo credit Kavita and Vinay Mehta

Vegetarian Tikka Makhani – Butter Chicken

June 17, 2008


2½ cups paneer (cottage cheese), cut into cubes
¼ cup frozen green peas 
1 tsp. sugar
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ cup milk
¼ cup cream 
To be ground to a paste
1 cup onions, chopped
1′ piece ginger
6 to 7 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. cashewnuts
Other ingredients
1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 cups crushed peeled tomato
1 teaspoon cumin seed (jeera) powder
1 tablespoon ghee

2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves   
¼ cup onions, diced
salt to taste
1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the ground paste and cook till it is light brown in colour.
2. Add the chilli powder and tomato purée and cook for a few minutes.
3. Add the cumin seed powder,  ½ cup of water and cook for some time till the oil separates from the masala. Keep aside.
4. In another pan, melt the butter, add the fenugreek leaves and onions and cook till the onions are lightly browned.
5. Add this to the tomato gravy, along with the peas, sugar, milk, cream, paneer, garam masala and salt and allow it to come to a boil.

Paneer Corn Curry

June 17, 2008

Serves 3-4

1 cup panir, cut into 1-inch cubes (cottage cheese)
1 cup frozen corn, boiled
1/2 cup onion puree
1 bay leaf ie tej patta
1 cinnamon stick (25 mm.)
2 cloves
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 tomato, pureed
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1a pinch of fenugreek leaves
2 tablespoons oil
broken cashew
1 tablespoon poppy seed
2 garlic clove
1/2 inch piece gingerroot 
3 tablespoons warm milk

1. Soak the cashewnuts and poppy seeds in warm milk for 25 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and ginger and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
3. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions, bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves and sauté till the onions fry up golden brown.
4. Add the chilli powder, ground paste and tomatoes and fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Add the yogurt, cream, sugar, garam masala, fenugreek leaves and salt and simmer till the gravy thickens and the oil separates from the masala.
6. Add some water to thin down the gravy if required. Add the paneer and corn and mix well.
7. Serve hot garnished with cilantro.