Easy Indian Butter Chicken Plus @WorldMarket Best Exotic Marigold Sweepstakes #:LoveBlooms #Sponsored
***Disclosure: As a World Market Brand Ambassador, I receive promotional items and information to facilitate my posts. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Lately, we have been on a bit of a global food kick. For one, having the same old dishes over and over again can become completely mundane and boring. Sometimes it's fun to shake things up a bit, and give those taste buds a reason to sing with delight in a way that cannot be achieved with our old stand-by recipes. I mean, chicken and dumplings is good....It's delicious. But there's nothing new or exotic about it. I don't get truly excited to eat chicken and dumplings.
Experimenting with global flavors can be intimidating, at first. Other countries use a variety of spices and cooking techniques that aren't widely used by home cooks here in the United States. Cardamom? Garam Masala? Coconut Milk? Luckily, while these ingredients sound a bit obscure here in the states, they are easy to cook with, and the results are delicious. Plus, you can find some culinary inspiration right at your local movie theater!
Recently, I learned about the great new film, "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", which hit theaters on March 6, 2015. This film is based in gorgeous India, and is sure to provide not only culinary inspiration, but perhaps some romantic inspiration, too.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel), and it's making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina (Tina Desai). Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy - posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig).
Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Maggie Smith), the keeper of everyone's secrets. As the demands of a traditional Indian wedding threaten to engulf them all, an unexpected way forward presents itself.
So basically, this movie captures the joys of love, of life, and of reinventing one's self, even in the golden years. After all, it's never too late to find love. With an all-star cast featuring the likes of Maggie Smith, Richard Gere, and Tamsin Grieg, this film is sure to become a fast favorite. Check out the official trailer below:
Doesn't this film sound fabulous? I am a huge fan of Indian culture, and of course, of Indian Food. The bright colors and exotic flavors are almost intoxicating, and a definite change from the American norm.
Oh, and cooking amazing, Indian-inspired meals is easier than you might think. In fact, you can have a mouthwatering, restaurant quality, Indian feast on the table in less than an hour. Don't believe me? It can be done, and it's actually pretty darn painless!
I would love to show you how to prepare a traditional Indian dish that is not only full of rich, colorful flavors, it is kid-friendly, too. (Not ALL Indian food is packed with blistering heat!) Makhani Chicken, also known as Indian Butter Chicken, is a simple dish that is sure to have your family licking their plates and asking for seconds.
I decided to treat my family to some Indian Butter Chicken recently, so I headed to our local World Market to grab those wonderful spices that cannot be found in many traditional supermarkets. I absolutely love the fact that World Market offers flavors from around the world, allowing me to take a trip around the world, without ever leaving the comfort of my own kitchen!
For this recipe, there are several World Market ingredients used. From Tandoori and Garam Masala to Coconut Milk to Ginger Paste and shallots, this recipe is truly brimming with exotic, Indian flavors. Like I saId before, Indian Butter Chicken is not overwhelmingly spicy, so while it seems like there's a TON of spices used in rather large quantities, trust me here. You want to follow the recipe exactly. (I will include my recipe in its entirety in this post.)
Let's do a simple walk-through of this easy Indian recipe. I have adapted the traditional recipe to make it easier for home cooks, while preserving the authentic flavors that fans of Indian cuisine know and love. And possibly drool over. Or is that just me?
First, you're going to want to cut about a pound of boneless skinless chicken breast into bite size pieces. Season this chicken to taste with some sea salt and freshly ground pepper. (I like the Pepper Supreme from World Market.)
Heat a small amount of Olive or Grapeseed oil in a large skillet or wok, and then add your chicken. Sautee the chicken on medium-high heat until it is cooked through. This took me about 5-7 minutes in my trusty wok.
Once your chicken is cooked through, remove it from heat and set aside. Now it's time to make the decadent, savory sauce. This sauce is so tasty that my teenager was grabbing spoonfuls of it out of the pot while it simmered.
This sauce is very easy to make, even though it's full of rich, complex flavors. The secret is in the cooking method. In this dish, like in many Indian dishes, you want to "toast" the spices before making them into a sauce.
First, you're going to want to add about a teaspoon of olive or grapeseed oil to your saucepan. Next, add the shallots, butter, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, onion powder, Garam Masala, Tandoori Masala, Chili Powder, Bay Leaf, Cardamom pods if you are using them, and a dash of Cayenne pepper. (Yes, I promise this is not going to be overly spicy!)
Once these spices have simmered and gotten to know each other more intimately, it's time to make the sauce. Add your tomato puree to the pan, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes. Now you want to add a 13.5 oz can of Coconut Milk. Let this mixture come to a boil, stirring frequently.
Next, add your tomato-based sauce to the already cooked chicken. Turn your burner to medium heat, and stir well to make sure all of your chicken is coated in deliciousness. And remember to remove the Bay Leaf now!
But wait! We're not done yet! Here's where the magic starts. Once your mixture is well-combined and simmering away, it's time to add some fresh, plain yogurt and a small dash of heavy cream. These, along with the coconut milk, help to tame the heat of these traditional Indian spices. You can technically add the yogurt and cream when composing the sauce, but I like to add these right to the chicken mixture shortly before serving. This helps to keep them from curdling.
Let your chicken simmer for a bit, allowing the liquid to reduce. You can speed this process up by adding a simple slurry of cornstarch and water, if you're pressed for time. The end result should have a nice, thick, almost stew-like consistency.
Okay, so now that our Indian Butter Chicken is just about ready, it's time to make some sides. Thankfully, World Market had exactly what I needed to complement my chicken! I picked up some Naan Bread, as well as some Tandoori Rice and Spinach Dal. These sides are basically ready to eat. All you need to do is heat them up in the microwave!
To serve, I placed my Indian Butter Chicken on a bed of Tandoori Rice. I served some nice, toasted Naan bread and Spinach Dal on the side. Authentic, quick, and a definite family-pleaser. I have to admit, 2 out of 3 children wouldn't touch the spinach. That's okay, though. When I was little, Spinach Dal would have freaked me out, too. That just means there was more for me to inhale. Nom nom nom.
Indian Butter Chicken. Simple, flavorful, and a wonderful meal that the entire family will enjoy. One of the things I love most about this dish is how rich and complex the flavors are. This is not your ordinary chicken, by any stretch of the imagination. And, since it can be made in under an hour, it's a fantastic meal idea for busy weeknights! Seriously, though....Doesn't this look amazing?!
I am all about sharing, so here's my recipe. Try it! I think you will be as impressed by this international dish as we were! Cooking should be fun, and exploring the world through food is definitely an activity that will please the spirit and the belly. Plus, since this sauce is so delicious, plates will more than likely be licked clean, eliminating the need to pre-wash your dishes.
Brandy's Indian Butter Chicken :
Enter the World Market Best Exotic Marigold Sweepstakes :
If all this talk about Indian cuisine has your mouth watering and your heart longing for a vacation somewhere exotic, I have the perfect sweepstakes to share with you!
To help celebrate the release of "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", World Market will be sending one lucky winner and their guest to beautiful India! The grand prize winner will also receive free movies for a WHOLE YEAR, and a $1,000 World Market Gift Card!
Plus, Three (3) First Prize Winners will each receive a $500 World Market Gift Card!
How cool is that?!
To enter the World Market Best Exotic Marigold Sweepstakes, click HERE or on the image above.
And remember, "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is in theaters NOW!
**This sweepstakes is open to US residents, 18+ and ends on March 27, 2015. **
Have you ever tried Indian food? What was your favorite dish?
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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