Slow Cooker Butter Chicken – Vegetarian Substitute Tofu

 

If you’ve never tried Indian food, this is a good place to start.  Butter chicken is one of my favorite dishes.  It is so decadent and really very bad for you, but so so delicious.  There’s ways you can cut back on the fat and calories, but it just won’t taste as good!

My crock pot broke 😦 so I wasn’t able to make this with step by step pictures as per usual.  If you don’t have a crock pot you can make this on the stove and just simmer for a while.  The flavor really matures over time, but it will still taste good either way you do it.
This isn’t entirely from scratch, but it is the easiest way to do it at home.

Here’s what you need:

4-6 boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil

Stir fry these ingredients on medium heat until the chicken has some color and the onion is translucent. Then pour entire contents of pan into crock pot.

Then add:

15 cardamom pods (we just eat these, but if you don’t just put them in some cheesecloth)
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp curry paste (like Patak’s hot curry paste)
1 tsp red chili powder (optional)
2 tsp tandoori masala
1 tsp garam masala
8 oz (?) of heavy cream or milk (you can use coconut milk, but that makes it Thai!)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 5.5 fl oz can of tomato paste
Salt/Pepper to taste

Throw all of that into your crock pot and mix gently.  Set it to high for 4-6hours or medium for 6-8 hours.
Serve it with some rice or naan.  I have a good recipe for home made naan without a tandoor!  Ours tastes just like the restaurant kind!  I’ll give you that recipe soon.

 

A couple of notes from the chef 🙂

If you have Indian spices at home use those to customize this dish.  If you like more of certain flavors.  The ingredients I listed make this dish less complicated and more user friendly.  If you aren’t used to cooking with Indian spices, it can be intimidating until you learn them and figure out what each one adds to the dish.  You should be able to find the things I listed here in the international aisle.

Also feel free to increase the amounts of curry powder or curry paste.  2 tsp is really very little, usually I am putting spices in by the tablespoons.

Another thing that really adds to the flavor is using bone in chicken and getting it cut so that the marrow is exposed.  The marrow darkens the gravy and just adds a nice flavor to it.

For vegetarians just add in tofu where there’s chicken!  Simple!  You should probably saute the onion and garlic before you add in the tofu because tofu doesn’t take long to brown.

If you have any questions, feel free to write me.  If you end up making it please tell me about your experience!

 

 

Advertisements

Not Egg-zactly Your Average Scramble…

This morning my husband and I made our version of scrambled eggs.  I’m going to share this top secret recipe with you in hopes that you’ll love this flavor explosion just as much as we do.  I apologize in advance for the lack of measurement information.  You see we pretty much eyeball everything and don’t measure anything.  A general rule with the indian spices is to keep them even.  We call them the trifecta – cumin-coriander powder, red chilli powder, and turmeric.  So anyway here we go!

You will need (in no apparent order):

Eggs – As many as you would like

Salt – For taste

Cumin-Coriander powder

Red Chilli Powder

Turmeric

Chillies (green or red)

Onion

Tomato

Cilantro

Garlic

Milk

Cumin Seeds

Olive Oil

Chop up the fresh ingredients (onion, tomato, garlic, chilies, cilantro) and have them ready.  You will keep the tomato and cilantro till the end.

Crack the eggs and add a little milk for fluffiness.  Whisk away!

Heat up a little olive oil and add the cumin seeds.  Once they start crackling they’re ready.
Add in the garlic and onion and saute until the onion is translucent and starting to brown a bit.
 
Now the fun part!!  Add in the powdered seasoning to the eggs.  If you’re making 6 eggs like we did, add about a teaspoon of chili powder and turmeric and a bit more of the cumin-coriander powder.  Add in a bit of salt and whisk.  Once the spices are incorporated add  the eggs to the skillet.
Slowly rake the spatula through it every so often so that it will move away the cooked part and let more liquid on the skillet.  So basically-scramble it.
Remember that tomato and cilantro?
Throw it on top!  We also like to add cheese.  I add salsa and my husband likes to add Chipotle Tabasco.  Dress it whatever way you like!  We had some mashed potatoes from the night before so we just had that….
If you don’t eat a lot of Indian food, this will blow your mind.  It’s just a matter of balancing spices.  That trifecta I was talking about is what makes curry.  There’s no “curry” seasoning.  It’s a mixture of things, mainly the trifecta.  Here’s a breakdown of the spices:
Center: Cumin seeds
Top left: salt
top right: mustard seeds
right: pepper
bottom right: red chili powder
bottom left: turmeric
left: cumin-coriander powder
I also use cinnamon sticks, cloves, and curry leaves, but they’re in bigger jars and the leaves are in the fridge.  You’ll find that most dishes from Western India start in pretty much the same way, but somehow in the end…it’s always different!
You can find these types of containers at Indian stores.   Fill it with what you use the most of.  It’s very handy to keep out, the container isn’t ugly and you don’t have to dig for your key ingredients.  I love mine!
I plan on posting an Indian recipe- curry of some kind, daal, etc.  What would you like to see?  I’m open to suggestions.  Enjoy!