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Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken is among the best known Indian foods all over the world. Its gravy can be made as hot or mild as you like so it suits most palates. Also commonly known as Murg Makhani, Butter Chicken tastes great with Kaali Daal (black lentils), Naans and a green salad.


  • 1 kg boneless chicken skin removed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to suit your taste)
  • 6 cloves
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • 1" stick of cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8-10 almonds
  • Seeds from 3-4 pods of cardamom
  • 1 cup fresh yoghurt (must not be sour)
  • 3 tbsps vegetable/canola/sunflower cooking oil
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 tsps garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 can (400g or 14 oz) of tomato paste
  • 1/2 litre chicken stock
  • 2 tbsps kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 3 tbsps unmelted, soft butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Mix the chicken, lime juice, salt and red chilli powder in a large, non-metallic bowl. Cover and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
Heat a flat pan or griddle on medium heat and gently roast (stirring frequently) the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, bay leaves and almonds till they darken slightly. Cool and add the cardamom seeds. Now grind into a coarse powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder.
Mix the yoghurt, above whole spice powder (from previous step), coriander, cumin and turmeric powders together and add them to the chicken. Allow to marinate for another hour.
Heat the oil in a deep pan on medium heat. When hot, add the onions. Fry till a pale golden brown in color and then add the ginger and garlic pastes. Fry for a minute.
Add only the chicken from the chicken-spice mix and fry till sealed (chicken will turn opaque and the flesh will go from pink to whitish in color).
Now add the tomato paste, chicken stock, kasuri methi and remaining part of the yogurt-spice mix to the chicken.
Cook till the chicken is tender and the gravy is reduced to half its original volume.
Melt the butter in another small pan and then pour it over the chicken.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Naan and Kaali Daal.
For an authentic and traditional cooked-over-the-coals flavour: When the Butter Chicken is cooked, make a small bowl shape with aluminum foil and place it on top of the curry (*floating* on it). Heat a briquette of charcoal on an open flame till red hot and gently put the charcoal in to the aluminum foil bowl. Cover the dish immediately. Remove the cover just before serving, discard the foil bowl and charcoal and serve. The curry will be infused with a smokey flavor

Fruit Pie with Strawberries

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Once I started making the fruit pie, it has become my family favourite dessert. Any kind of seasonal fruits can be used for the filling. This cool, rich dessert uses fresh strawberries with vanilla filling taste great & perfect for parties too.

Ingredients :

For the sponge :
  1. All purpose flour - 1 1/4 cups
  2. Baking powder - 2 1/2 tsp
  3. Sugar - 100 gms
  4. Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  5. Eggs - 4 medium sized
  6. Cooking oil - 3 tbsp
  7. Vinegar - 2 tbsp
For the Vanilla cream :
  1. Vanilla flavoured custard powder - 80 gms
  2. Milk - 250 ml
  3. Sugar - 20 gms
For the filling :
  1. Strawberries - 1 kg
  2. A little sugar if necessary
For the glaze :
  1. 1 Sachet red cake glaze
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
  3. 250 ml water

Method :

For the sponge :

1. Grease the pie tin & line with baking parchment. Preheat the oven about 180 C.

2. Sieve together the flour and baking powder. Add all the rest of the ingredients one after the other and whisk until you have a smooth, even mixture. Bake for about 15 mins.

For the vanilla cream :

3. Make a custard with the custard powder using milk & sugar, following the instructions on the packet. Leave to cool. And pour over the base.

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For the toppings :

4. Wash the strawberries & cut them in halves. Sprinkle the strawberries with sugar, leave to stand briefly and then arrange on the base.

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For the glaze :

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5. Make the glaze with glaze powder, sugar and water, following the instructions on the packet. Then spoon over the strawberries. Leave the glaze to set and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Enjoy baking :)

Source: Cooking With Swapna

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