Our youngest bought his dad (G) an Indian cook book for Christmas. He’s not very adventurous when it comes to food but he does like Butter Chicken. I actually encouraged him to buy the book because I wanted it (but no one need know this!). After cooking a bunch of main stream food for New Years, I decided that we needed to bring out the book and go Indian. I love the aroma and use of spices and was ready to try something new. I enlisted our daughter (also an Indian food lover) to pick out something she thought looked good. She picked out three. We wanted something not too spicy so the youngest would eat it so that ruled out the Balti Chicken Madras. I wasn’t feeling the Sweet and Sour Balti Chicken so that left us with Balti Chicken Pasanda. G said he would try making Naan from scratch and we had a bag of basmati in the kitchen so once I was able to find chicken at the grocery store (believe it or not, 2 places were sold out) we were off and ready to go. It was one of the best and easiest recipes I have ever made. The biggest challenge now is deciding what to make next.
Balti Chicken Pasanda
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon black cumin seeds
4 cardamom pods
6 whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 cinnamon stick broken in half
1 tablespoon ground almonds
1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, diced
3 fresh green chillies, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
1. Mix yogurt, cumin seeds, cardamom, peppercorns, garam masala, cinnamon sticks, ground almonds,garlic, ginger, chili powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat. Marinate 2 hours.
2. Heat oil in a large wok or pan. Add onions and cook until tender and translucent.
3. Add the chicken mixture to the wok and stir in with onions. Cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked and sauce thickens (about 15 minutes).
4. Add the chillies, coriander and cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until heated through.
Serve with rice and naan. Serves 4