Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Butter Chicken + Fresh Vegetable Salad

So, I love Butter Chicken. It has this weird hold on me... if I can distract myself long enough to forget about (we're talking weeks here), I'm fine. But if it enters my mind again I CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT AND I HAVE TO MAKE IT. I love Indian spices, and I love Indian sauces. I also really love rice, and the way it soaks up all those lovely spices and sauces. Ergo, Butter Chicken = Perfection. The recipe I used is from the book Simply Indian which I've mentioned a few times already. 
 I'm not going to give you the recipe this time because:
1) you really should buy that book if you like Indian food - the recipes are not complicated, they just have a lot of ingredients and most of them are spices easily acquired, and
2) there are a LOT of Butter Chicken recipes out there and everyone says that theirs is the best. If you are a bit of a fanatic like me, just try a few until you find your favorite! They come in varying levels of spice, ease, and authenticity.

However, I will tell you the reasons I like this one and then maybe you'll decide that this really IS the best!
1) It has raisins in it. Weird? Maybe at first... but you fry them in butter and they get all plump and juicy and they add the most delightful sweetness and chew to the sauce! MM! (It also calls for almonds but I prefer to skip those. Nuts get soft in sauce and it really is weird)
2) I love the spices it calls for. The chicken is marinated in Tandoori powder with garlic and ginger, and the sauce has cardamom and nutmeg in it! That is very unique in my opinion, and is what gives this recipe that air of mystery.
3) This recipes calls for 4 cups of milk that have been boiled down to 1 cup. This takes forever and is simply not worth the time so I've been using Evaporated Milk instead. I'm just proud of myself for making that connection, so that's the only reason I'm adding this.
This is a fantastic Fresh Vegetable salad from the same book. Perfect for cooling off once the spice adds up!

**This is the best part - my special garnish! It's not pictured below as I didn't have the ingredients this time, but, observe:
- Finely (I'm talking as small as possible) dice:
1/2 Tomato, just the meaty parts with the skin (can substitute a Red Pepper)
1/4 Red Onion
1/4 Cucumber, again just the meaty parts with the skin
2 Tbsp Parsley or Cilantro
- Mix and spoon a generous amount on top of your steaming bowl of bright orange butter chicken!

This is a little embarrassing but, 75% of the reason I bought these blue bowls was because Butter Chicken would look awesome in them!

If you, like me, need to test out recipes before you buy a cookbook, let me know and I can email you the recipe.

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