~ Chicken Makhani!!

Chicken makhani is a slightly sweet creamy dish of Chicken. The makhani gravy or sauce is usually made up of pureed tomatoes, ginger and garlic paste, red chili powder and cream. It is very similar to the sauce used for Butter Chicken (both of which have an additional ingredient of butter, as their name suggests), infact sometimes the names can be used inter-changeably.

In my recipe, the flavors of this dish are more in line with home style than restaurant style recipe as I have made it healthy by skipping the cream and using milk instead as well as skipping cashew nuts. If making for a party, or otherwise, feel free to use cream and cashew nuts if you are up for the additional calories! Over the years, I have consulted various websites and compiled a recipe which works best for me, so here goes:

 Ingredients:

  • Oil 4 tablespoons (to make it healthy, I use Olive Oil)
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breast cut into medium sized cubes
  • 4 Green Cardamoms
  • 6 Cloves
  • 2 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium size Green Chilies – chopped
  • 4 medium sized ripe red Tomatoes – pureed
  • 4 teaspoons canned Tomato Puree
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric (Haldi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coriander Powder (Dhaniya powder)
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasoori methi)
  • 3 teaspoons Honey
  • Skimmed milk 2 cups, for a creamier yet healthy version, use full cream milk
  • Fresh coriander leaves chopped for garnish

Method:

  1. Cut the chicken into medium sized cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, garlic and ginger, and sauté till fragrant.
  3. Add green chillies and continue to sauté.
  4. Add the tomato puree (both fresh puree and canned puree together) with little salt to the ginger-garlic masala and continue cooking till it reduces slightly.
  5. Add salt, red chili powder, garam masala powder, haldi, dhaniya powder along with kasoori methi, honey, milk and mix well.
  6. Now add the chicken pieces.
  7. Cook on high flame for 5 minutes and then simmer for about 20-25 minutes to let all the juices seep into the chicken. Cook until the chicken is fully cooked, but be careful not to overlook as that can dry out the chicken.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and your dish is ready to serve!

This dish is best served with Roti, Naan, Onion Kulcha or Parathas, as well as Simple Basmati Rice or Jeera (cumin) Rice. Enjoy and do let me know how you liked it 🙂 I would love to hear!!

For my vegetarian readers, here’s Paneer Makhani!!

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~ Baigan (Eggplant) Ka Bharta!!

When we were kids, we used to call 🍆 Baigan (Eggplant in Hindi) be-gun (meaning with no good things, in Hindi) but honestly this vegetable is far from that! Packed with iron amongst other nutrients, this vegetable should be on everyone’s table!

There aren’t too many ways to cooking this vegetable up, but there surely are some fun ways! While Baigan Aloo is a comfort food kinda thing, Baigan ka Bharta is more on the fancy side, and today I am sharing my take on the recipe for that.

This dish is easier when cooked on the gas stove, but can be cooked on an electric stove as well where you’ll have to roast the eggplant in the oven, directions to which are included below.

Ingredients:

2 Medium Baigans (eggplant)

– 1/2 cup frozen green peas, soaked in warm water for about 15 mins

– 1 big chopped onion 

– 1 medium chopped tomato

– 2 chopped green chillies

– 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder, Garam Masala Powder

– 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder 

– 1 tbsp Vegetable oil 

– Salt to taste 

– Lots of chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

Preparation (on the gas stove):

1. Brush baigan with oil and roast it on a gas burner over medium heat. Keep on turning the eggplant around and even upside down, until fully roasted.

2. Once done, hold it under cold running water or put in a bowl full of water. Let it cool down and then peel off the blackened skin. Once done, mash the flesh.

3. Heat oil in a pan. Add green chilli and onion and fry over medium heat until light golden brown.

4. Now add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt and stir. Add tomatoes and cook until they are tender.

5. Add green peas and mashed baigan (eggplant). Stir well. Fry the baigan bhartha for 5-7 minutes over medium heat.

6. Garnish the baigan bharta with green coriander leaves and serve hot, best with hot Rotis or Daal and Rice!

To prepare in Oven:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. 

2. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and apply a thin coat of oil on the eggplant.

3. Make thin slits in the eggplant using a knife. This helps it to cook faster. 

4. Once the oven is heated to 400F, place thetray with eggplant in the oven and let it cook (keep on rotating the eggplant every 15 minutes for even cooking) for about 1 hr or till properly cooked. Depending on the size of the eggplant, the time it takes could be a little less or a little more, so keep an eye!

5. Once done, broil the eggplant on high for about 10-12 mins turning the eggplant after 2-3 mins. This provides the charring uniformly.

6. Remove the tray out of the oven and allow time to cool. 

7. Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle peel the skin off and then either with your hands or spoon mash the eggplant. Keep this aside and follow steps 3-6 in the preparation on a gas stove above.

Enjoy!!!!

Do let me know how you liked it, until next time, keep eating yummy food!!