I haven’t been cooking much after I got pregnant – the hectic schedule of university studies and being a new mummy left me too tired at the end of the day to even cook … so Pierre has been the kitchen chef for the past 2 years. I promised him that once my exams are over, I will take over the wok and cook whatever he desires and fancy. So here we are.🙂
Yesterday we had some guests over for dinner and I asked Pierre what he would like for dinner … Being an Indian food lover, he immediately took out the Indian cook book that I got him 2 Christmas ago and picked out this :
Balti Butter Chicken
(taken from Indian – Shehzad Husain & Rafi Fernandez)
Serves : 4 – 6
- 150 ml or 2/3 cups Natural (plain) yogurt
- 50 g or ½ cups Ground almonds
- 1½ tsp Chilli powder
- ¼ tsp Crushed bay leaves (Laurier)
- ¼ tsp Ground cloves
- ¼ tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp Garam masala
- 4 Green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp Ginger pulp
- 1 tsp Garlic pulp
- 400 g or 2 cups Canned tomatoes
- 1¼ tsp salt
- 1 kg or 6½ cups Chicken, skinned, bonned & cubed
- 75 g or 6 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Corn oil
- 2 medium Onions – sliced
- 2 tbsp Fresh coriander – chopped (cilantro)
- 4 tbsp Single (light) cream
- Coriander sprigs
- Put the yogurt, ground almonds, all the dry spices, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and salt into a bowl and mix them together.
- Put the chicken into a large bowl, pour the yogurt mixture over it and mix.
- Melt together the butter and oil in a medium karachi or wok.
- Add the onions and fry for about 3 minutes.
- Add chicken mixture and stir-fry for 7-10 minutes.
- Stir in about half of the coriander (cilantro) and mix well.
- Add the cream and stir in well.
- Bring to boil and then remove from heat.
- Serve garnished with the remaining chopped coriander (cilantro).
Surprisingly, it turned out rather delicious. It has an interesting mix of creamy aromatic spice flavour with a tint of piquant for the kick. The coriander enhance gently the flavour. My guests loved it as well, judging by the second – and third – helping till the pot was empty. Pierre likes it very much, noting that it leaves a tint of spiciness at the end of each mouthful without the lingering burning sensation of a spicy curry.
Initially I had my doubts over the final result because of my slight adaptation of the recipe – I used fresh tomatoes and bay leaves. And I blended the yogurt mixture by mistake instead of mixing it because the recipe stated “blend together thoroughly”.
For an even richer and creamier flavour, substitute natural (plain) yogurt with Greek-style yogurt.