Indian food has travelled the world, becoming a favourite in practically every country on Earth. And the reason it’s so popular is simple – it’s delicious!
We’ve picked three of our favourite Indian recipes for you to try at home, each bringing a different taste and complexity.
Starting with a simple butter chicken dish and getting progressively harder, these meals will treat friends and family to a taste of India, and give you a reputation as one of the best cooks around! Enjoy!
Ashia’s Butter Chicken
Popular here in New Zealand as a pie, butter chicken was invented by accident in the 1950s by three Chefs in Delhi. This mild curry is perfect for those who don’t like their food too spicy, and is surprisingly simple to cook.
- 800g chicken - diced
- 1 cup plain yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 dessertspoon chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons Olivado Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
- 3-4 cloves crushed garlic
- Small piece grated ginger
- Juice of half of a lemon
- Fresh coriander to garnish
- Rice to serve
Butter Chicken Sauce Ingredients:
- 75g butter
- 2-3 cardamom
- Piece of cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves crushed garlic
- Grated ginger, small piece
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoons manuka honey
- 1-2 green chillis chopped (optional)
- 3 large tomatoes, pureed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup cream
Mix everything together and rub over the chicken pieces. Marinate for an hour or, even better, overnight if you can. When ready to cook, spread out on an oven tray and bake for 30-40 minutes at 200 degrees, or until cooked.
Butter Chicken Sauce Method:
Melt butter in a pan, adding the ginger, garlic and green chillis. Add the blitzed tomatoes and puree, cover and cook on low for 10 -15 min.
Then add salt, garam masala and the honey, stirring well. Add the cooked chicken, a little boiling water, cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
Lastly add cream and chopped coriander, serve with rice or bread.
Quick and easy South Indian chicken curry
Indian cuisine has a large amount of regional variation, with many variations on the basic chicken curry recipe. In Southern India, coconut is used, creating a unique flavour, easy to replicate anywhere in the world!
- 4 tbsp Olivado Extra Virgin Avocado oil, divided measure
- 2 small Onions, finely chopped
- 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4cm knob ginger, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- 20 curry leaves, plus a few extra for garnish.
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 700g chicken thighs, deboned and skin removed, chopped into 2cm cubes
- ¼ tsp fenugreek, ground with Mortar & Pestle
- Juice of ½ lemon
Start by blending the onions and tomatoes, then bash the ginger, garlic and chillies to a paste in a mortar & pestle.
Toast coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant, then also grind them in the mortar & pestle.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add ½ the oil. When hot add tomato onion mixture and fry for 5 minutes. Then add the ginger, garlic, chilli mixture and fry for another 2 mins. Add coriander/cumin mixture, turmeric and curry leaves fry for another 2 mins.
Time to add the coconut milk and chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through (about 7 mins), then add the lemon and fenugreek, then season with salt to taste.
Meanwhile, using a small frying pan, add the remaining oil. When hot, add the remaining curry leaves and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute to crisp. Drain onto a paper towel.
Garnish with fried curry leaves and enjoy!
Ok, we’ll be honest, this one does take a bit of work.
Dosa is a type of pancake, similar to a crepe. Made from fermented batter, it has its origins in Southern India, but has become a common dish all over the country. To make it right, this recipe needs to be prepared the day before, but trust us, it’s worth the effort!
- 1 cup regular rice
- 1 cup parboiled rice/ukda chawal
- ½ cup urad dal (black gram)
- ¼ cup poha/flattened rice
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
- salt to taste
- water as required
Ingredients for the Masala - Potato filling:
- 4-5 potatoes/aloo
- 10-12 cashewnuts/kaju (optional)
- 10-12 curry leaves/kadi patta
- 1 tbsp chana dal/bengal gram
- 3 onions sliced or chopped
- ½ tsp mustard seeds/rai
- 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
- 1 or 2 chopped green chillies/hari mirch
- 1 or 1.5 tsp chopped ginger or grated ginger
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/dhania
- ½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
- a pinch of asafoetida/hing
- 3 tsp oil or ghee
First off, rinse the rice and urad dal separately. Then soak the parboiled rice, regular rice and poha in a bowl or pan. In another bowl soak the urad dal-methi in plenty of water.
Grind the urad dal with methi to a fine and fluffy batter, then grind the rice and poha to a smooth batter.
Mix both the rice and urad dal batter with salt, before covering and letting the batter ferment for 8-9 hours.
Preparing the potato filling
Soak the chana dal in hot water for 30 minutes. After this time, drain the chana dal and keep aside.
Heat oil or ghee. Fry cashew nuts and keep aside.
Splutter the mustard seeds, then add cumin seeds and drained chana dal. Fry the chana dal well, and then add the onions and curry leaves. Fry the onions till they become soft, then add the green chilies and ginger. Time to add the turmeric powder and asafoetida. Mix well.
Now add the boiled chopped potatoes, followed by the fried cashew nuts and salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring well. Add the chopped coriander leaves, stir and keep aside.
Preparing the Masala Dosa
Heat a flat pan or a flat non-stick pan. Smear some oil if using an iron pan or griddle. Don't smear oil on a non-stick pan, as then you won't be able to spread the dosa batter.
Spread the dosa batter in a circular way on the pan, before adding dd some oil on top. Flip and cook the other side. Flip again.
Spread the potato sabzi filling on one side of the dosa, then cover with the other half and let the dosa cook for 15-30 seconds.
Serve masala dosa hot with coconut chutney and sambar.
If you are unable to spread the batter on the pan, then add some water to the dosa batter- this will help you in spreading the batter evenly on the pan.
To get golden brown dosa, the pan should be hot. But the flip side is that if the pan is too hot, then you cannot spread the dosa batter nicely. Either sprinkle water on the pan and then wipe it. This brings down the temperature of the pan. Do this method on an iron pan. Do NOT do this on a non-stick pan, as it might affect the non-stick coating.
If using a non-stick pan, then as soon as one dosa is done, reduce the flame. Spread the dosa batter on the cooler pan, now increase the flame and let the dosa cook.
Preparing the dosa batter
Firstly, clean and wash both the parboiled rice and regular rice and also urad dal. Soak both the parboiled, regular rice and the urad dal separately for 4-5 hours. Soak the urad dal and fenugreek seeds together, and soak the rice and poha together.
When it comes time to drain the urad dal, don’t throw away the water. In a wet grinder, add the urad dal, then add 1 or 2 tbsp of the drained water and grind the urad dal. Keep on adding a few tbsps of water in between grinding. The batter should be light and fluffy when completely ground.
Pour the urad dal batter in a deep pan or bowl. Next, drain the rice and poha, and add these into the wet grinder.
Use the urad dal strained water to grind the rice and poha too. Keep on adding a few tbsp of water while grinding. The rice should be completely ground. When you feel the batter with your fingertips, the batter should not feel grainy, but rather smooth and paste like. Don’t add too much water in the beginning, but instead keep on adding a little water in between. Remember that batter should not be thick or thin.
Now add the rice batter to the urad dal batter and mix well, followed by some salt and some water if necessary and mix well. This is the basic idli – dosa batter.
Mix the batter well and then cover the bowl or container with a lid and keep the batter in a warm place. It should be left undisturbed for 8- 9 hours. Don’t use an air-tight lid. After fermentation, the dosa batter rises and doubles up.
Keep up to date with our delicious recipes
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