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Published April 28th 2022
If you are reading this article, then you love Indian cuisine as much as I do! When you go to an Indian restaurant, you know that they have been slow cooking their meat all day long and their pots of sauces are brimming with fresh spices and flavour. It all smells and tastes so good, that you think that you would never be able to replicate any of it at home....or can you?
Although I have never tried to match the flavours of our local Indian restaurant, I have a few recipes which my family loves, for Indian cuisine night at home. They may not be as mouth-watering as an Indian restaurant, but they are a good substitute if you want to cook for yourself. Do you have a favourite Indian recipe that you make at home? If so, I would love to hear it! Please leave a comment at the top of this article, and it will be shown underneath, for us all to read. These recipes are my family's favourites - what are yours?
1 Tablespoon margarine or butter, 4 boneless chicken thighs (fat removed and chopped into small chunks), 1 Tablespoon whole cumin seeds, 2 garlic cloves (finely diced), 2 Tablespoons crushed ginger (from jar), 1 Tablespoon ground coriander seed, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon mild chilli powder (use 1/2 tsp if you want it hotter), 1/3 cup tomato paste, 1.5 cups tomato puree, 80g Natural Greek Yoghurt, 1 cup lite thickened cream, 2 Tablespoons raw sugar
In a large pot, melt the butter on medium heat and add the chicken thigh chunks. Stir until cooked through and then remove the chicken, but leave as much as the butter in the pot as possible. Reduce the heat to low and then add the cumin seeds and stir for a minute until fragrant. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for another minute, then add the remaining spices and stir for another minute. Add the tomato paste and heat for 1 -2 minutes, to form the butter chicken paste. Place the chicken thigh chunks back into the pot and add the tomato puree, Greek yoghurt, lite cooking cream and sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes until chicken is cooked and the sauce thickens a little. Allow to sit in the pot with the lid on for 10 minutes, to let the flavours combine. Serve over rice. See here for details.
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add capsicum, garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Remove one cup of the vegetables and set aside. To the remaining amount, add the cumin, coriander, chilli powder, cinnamon, cardamom seeds and turmeric and stir for 1 minute. Add the basmati rice and stir for 1 minute. Add vegetable stock, chickpeas, sultanas and the cup of vegetables that you took out before. Put the lid on and bring to the boil and simmer on very low for 5 minutes. Stir, then cook for another 5 minutes, ensuring that it doesn't stick to the bottom. Take a spoon of the rice and taste test, to check that it is soft and ready - if not, add a small amount of hot water and put the lid back on for a few more minutes. When the liquid has almost evaporated, stir through frozen peas and green prawns and cook for another 4 - 5 minutes until prawns are cooked. See here for details.
1/4 cup warm water, 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1 packet of active dry yeast, 3/4 cup of warm milk, 3/4 cup natural Greek yoghurt, 4 cups good quality plain flour. Garlic butter: 3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, 4 garlic cloves (finely diced), 4 Tablespoons coriander (chopped)
To prepare the dough - Firstly, in a glass pyrex jug or cup, combine the yeast, sugar and water and leave for 10 minutes. When ready, stir in the warm milk and Greek yoghurt until well combined. In a large bowl, add the flour and create a well in the centre and then pour the yeast mixture into the well. Stir until a dough is formed and then then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, until smooth. Place it in a large, lightly-oiled metal bowl and cover with a damp cloth for 1 hour for it to rise and double in size. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead and flatten the dough into a large, rectangular, flat shape. Score lines down the dough to divide into 12 equal pieces and then cut down the lines. Roll each piece into a ball.
To cook the naans - Heat a large, heavy fry pan and add a tablespoon of butter or margarine. Roll out a ball of dough into a circle about 15cm wide and approximately 5mm thick. Place into the fry pan, one at a time, and cook for 2 minutes as large bubbles form on the surface. Flip it over and cook the other side for another 1 - 2 minutes, until golden. Remove from the heat. Melt the garlic and butter in a microwave-safe dish and then brush onto hot naan. Sprinkle with coriander to taste. Repeat for all the naans.
This recipe makes 12 naans. For any leftover balls of dough that you don't use, wrap them in cling film and place in the fridge for the next day. Take out 1 hour prior to using to allow the dough to come to room temperature.
What are your favourite Indian recipes to make at home?
Every good Indian dish needs a garlic naan on the side!