Friday, 22 March 2013

Dinner time with guests

Ever since I have been on my own (ie without the wonderful luxury of a maid) inviting guests over for dinner has taken a plunge. Yes! I am not ashamed to say that I shy away from house work, especially washing up after a big get-to-gether. It's seriously no fun; staying up late, washing, wiping, sweeping and arranging my Chinawear.
However the dreaded day did creep up. My husband wanted to host dinner for a very close colleague. Going out for dinner was not a right option because we would have to rush back home by 9pm-kids bedtime. Why not send to a babysitter? You may wonder. My youngest, 14 months, is still being breastfed and she goes where I go.
Ok, back to dinner. I made sure I had well equipped myself and prepared everything in advance (like you would see in those Dinner Wars on TLC).
To cut to the chase, it turned out to be a very pleasant and wonderful dinner experience. The menu was gastronomical for me because I had never made any of these dishes before. Thank god for my friends Kavita and Rajinder, who assisted and guided me via the phone. Real-time cooking was fun!

'Real' Butter Chicken

I was most proud of my Butter Chicken, it was everything and more you would expect when you dine in Bombay Palace.
This is how my guest described it.

The recipe: 

Butter chicken marinate :

500gm boneless chicken
1 lemon juice
1 cup yogurt
1 1/2 tbs tandori masala
2 tsp ginger & garlic
Salt & chili powder to taste.
1 1/2 tbs tandoori masala
Vegetarian (mock meat) Butter Chicken

Butter chicken gravy:

3 tbs butter
2 cardamoms
1 cinnamon stick
1 can diced tomatoes (which you need to chop/blend)
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp garam masala
250 ml thick cream
extra butter or coriander or raw onions to garnish
Marinate the chicken cubes in lemon juice, salt, chili powder, yogurt, ginger, garlic and tandoori powder for at least half an hour. Overnight is best. Preheat the oven to the highest grill setting. Place the chicken on a baking tray closest to the grill and grill for at least 10 minutes on each side or until cooked. Allow the chicken to cook until it JUST starts to char.
To prepare the gravy, heat and melt the butter. Add to it the the cardamoms, cinnamon sticks. Stir fry for a minute before adding the tomatoes and tomato paste, Let this simmer on low to medium heat, half covered, for about 15-20 minutes. You will notice the gravy thicken and the oil will form a film on top. If the gravy is too thick, you can add a small amount of water. Add the rest of the ingredients as well as the grilled chicken and simmer for another 15 minutes. Garnish.
Serve with Jeera rice.

This recipe has been changed. Original recipe is from

I didn't just serve Butter Chicken, there was more and the next dish is a typical Punjabi Dish called Kachumba, I too only knew the existence of such dish when I was frantically searching for what to put on my menu. The credit goes to my friend who gave me this recipe and it is a keeper. I just love the freshness and the rawness it gives.


 To make this you will need, eggplant (grilled with little oil), tomatoes, onions, and capsicum. All these must be diced. Drizzle with lemon juice, salt & pepper. You cold also add a dash of olive oil to give it the shine and appetizing look.
My kids loved this. Its hard to get kids to eat fresh/raw food, which would be on another topic ie my quest on Raw Eating.

The starter:
Tandori lamb chops

Since the main course was chicken I decided to tweak the Chicken Tandori recipe a little. Simple just change the chicken to lamb. Thank god I had some left over lamb chops as this was a last minute decision. An idea I came upon while rumaging my freezer- akin to a black hole

Lamb Tandori marinate :

6 pieces of lamb chop
1 lemon juice
1 cup yogurt
1 1/2 tbs tandori masala
2 tsp ginger & garlic
Salt & chili powder to taste.
1 1/2 tbs tandoori masala

This post appeared in a local daily, The Star

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