Saturday, March 8, 2014

Butter Chicken

Creamy , spicy and the most popular indian dish in North America. Best served with naan or rice. Authentic Butter chicken has a key ingredient in it that gives it the distinct flavour and that is kasuri methi. Without Kasuri methi (dried methi leaves ) butter chicken is not authentic ! Unfortunately there is no substitute for this. I have come across many recipes for butter chicken some use Kasturi methi others don't . Some use almonds while others use cashews . I have come up with my own version of it . I find that cashews give the butter chicken a creamier texture, you may use almonds as well if you prefer. But when it comes to the kasuri methi , it's a must . Give it a try !



1 kg of chicken breasts cut into pieces and dry with a paper towel
1 Tbs of lemon juice
1/2 cup of plain yoghurt
1 tsp of garam masala
1 Tbs of ginger garlic paste
1 tsp of red chilli powder
2 Tbs of oil or ghee

Add all ingredients to the chicken and marinade overnight or for at least 2 hours - Grill in the oven until cooked or you may also cook in a pan on the stove and put aside


4 Tbs of butter
2 Tbs of fresh ginger garlic paste
3 cardamoms
2 cinnamon sticks
2-3 cloves
1 tsp of methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
1 Tbs of kashmiri chilli powder or paprika (these are not spicy)
2 Tbs of chopped green chillies
1 Tbs of Kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves (lightly roast the leaves in a pan and crush them for the best aroma )
10-12 almonds or cashews soaked in water and ground into a paste
2 cups of tomatoes crushed
1 Tbs tomato puree
Salt to taste
1/2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs of heavy cream
1 tsp of garam masala


Heat butter in a pan on medium heat
Add cardamoms , cinnamon sticks , cloves and fry until fragrant
Add methi seeds , chopped green chillies and ginger garlic paste and mix well
Now add crushed tomatoes and tomato puree , salt and cook covered on low heat until the butter leaves the side of the pan
The pan should now have a thick paste
Add water (around 2 cups ) and mix well and continue to cook on low to medium heat
Add almond or cashew paste and stir well
Now add the grilled chicken pieces , kasuri methi leaves and sugar stir and cook for 15 mins
Mix well so that all chicken pieces are well coated with the gravy for 5 mins
Lower heat and add cream and garam masala
Add green chillies and chopped coriander leaves on top if desired

Optional - if you want to achieve the bright red colour of butter chicken served in restaurant you may add a drop of red food colouring in your gravy.

Serve hot with naan or rice


Merveilles is a favorite , this deep fried, crisp bread is served with hot sauce or coriander chutneys. You still find the vendors on the beaches or the street of the Capital district Port-Louis selling these marvellously light and crispy goodies .


2 Cups of all purpose flour
3 tbsp of oil or ghee
Salt to taste
Sufficient water to make a dough
Oil for frying


Sieve flour
Add salt , oil or ghee and sufficient water to make a dough
Dough should not be too hard nor too soft
Let it rest for 15 mins
Divide into smaller portions
Roll out as thinly as possible into a disc and prick the surface with a fork
The above step is very important so that the "merveilles" don't puff up while frying
Heat oil and fry the "merveilles" until crisp and golden in colour
Serve with coriander chutney or hot sauce

Coconut Lagan

A Mauritian delicacy, Coconut Lagan is a rich and decadent sweet. Can be eaten as a dessert or with tea in the afternoon. The sweet fragrance of cardamom and the rich aroma of semolina roasting in ghee make it irresistible .


1 1/4 cups of Freshly grated coconut or desiccated coconut if fresh is not available
2 1/4 cups of milk
1/4 cup of semolina
1 1/2 tablespoons of ghee or butter
3 eggs
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of Nestle thick cream (small can of 155 g)
1 tsp of cardamom powder
3 tablespoons of slivered almonds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a shallow baking dish
Add milk to coconut and let stand for 5 minutes (if fresh grated coconut is used make sure you press to get out all moisture first)
Braise semolina in ghee until light brown in colour and add the coconut milk mixture
Bring to a boil and cook until thick by stirring constantly and making sure it is free of moisture (this could take around 10 mins - Important to use a heavy bottom pan or a non stick one )
Allow this mixture to cool down
Now add the beaten eggs and the cardamom powder
Add the condensed milk and Mix well
Lastly add the cream and fold in the mixture without over beating
Sprinkle the slivered almonds on top and bake in the oven for 30 to 45 mins or until light brown on top
Allow to cool and cut into squares or diamond shapes

*If Nestle thick cream is not available you may substitute with the same quantity of khoya or ricotta cheese *