Butter Chicken ... Fall in Love With Real Food
Are you stuck in a boring dinnertime rut?
Bland dinners used to be a real problem. When I would diet, I would stick to the same stress-free recipes....a chicken breast, some veggies, and a salad. Easy, simple, boring.
Inevitably, I would miss the excitement of food....and next thing I knew, I was back to my old eating habits.
The truth is...I love food. What I had to do was embrace this part of me, but change my perception of what decadent food really was.
There are over 100 common spices and herbs available, yet most of us only eat factory produced "natural" and artificial flavours.
That's why I'm so excited to share with you the Tiffin Box's Butter Chicken recipe. This recipe started my love affair with cooking real food! It taught me how to create sweet dishes with very little sugar. That's when I started thinking of sugar as a spice.
70% of all spices in the world are produced in India! Many of them are in this recipe. In fact, buying all the ingredients is a bit of a scavenger hunt. Taste the sauce as it builds. You'll see how each spice and ingredient creates amazing depth and layers of flavour.
The recipe is perfect as is, so I'm only going to post a link to it here, but because I like simple things....I'll share a few tips I've learned along the way:
Tiffin Box's Butter Chicken
(click here for the full recipe)
The night before:
The marinade calls for special spice blends. Michelle from The Tiffin Box explains how to make homemade Garam and Tandoori Masala, but I cheat and buy pre-made.
It also calls for garlic and ginger paste. I noticed many of these "pastes" had a lot of extra junk and preservatives in them. I finally found organic simple ginger paste at my local gourmet store. Otherwise, I just finely grate some ginger and garlic. Adding a bit of salt as you chop helps turn it into a paste.
Butter Chicken Day:
Trust me! Pretend you're on a cooking show and do all the prep work ahead of time. This is key to being able to follow the recipe without burning anything or feeling like a bumbling fool.
(P.S. If your memory is as good as mine, you might want to write yourself a note to remember to toss the tea bag.)
I prepare 4 bowls:
1. Spice Mix:
- 2 tablespoons tandoori masala spice mix
- 1 tablespoon garam masala spice mix
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (I actually omit the cayenne...too hot for me...hubby adds it after)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of fenugreek leaves.
2. Four grated garlic cloves and a grated two inch piece of ginger (always buy organic ginger). Ginger comes in a stalk like a hand. What you want is a two inch long piece of the "fingers". These are usually about an inch wide. Peel the skin off and grate or finely chop in a food processor.
3. Three finely diced medium onions.
4. Instead of cashew paste I simple pulverize a handful of cashews in my little food processor.
Cook the marinated chicken. Strain the juices out and set aside for later.
Get the rest of your ingredients measured out. At this point relax and just follow the recipe.
Serve with rice and/or Naan bread!
So get out of your comfort zone and start experimenting with spices. This has been the key to my success so far.The result is not only a decadent meal but hopefully a new-found sense of adventure and love for real food!