Sunday, December 20, 2009

Slow-Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

I was supposed to go to my company's holiday party on Saturday night but it was canceled due to a huge snow storm. When I found out the party was off, I was actually pretty excited because all I really wanted to do this weekend was stay in, cook lots of delicious things, and re-watch Season 5 of Lost. Check out all the snow we got here at the Italian restaurant:

In the past, I haven't had much luck with Indian food or with cooking anything in the slow-cooker. However, my luck changed for the better with this curry. This was easy to do, and so warm and comforting on a blustery, snowy weekend. I know that curry is not really the most photogenic food, but I promise if you like Indian food, you'll love this recipe. John, while scarfing this down, said, "I think Indian food has now replaced Mexican food as my second-favorite type of cusine" (Italian is first, if you hadn't figured that out). Despite all of the spices in this dish, it wasn't hot at all, but you could turn up the heat by using a hot curry paste (I used mild) or adding the optional cayenne pepper.

The ingredient list might seem a little intimidating if you've never cooked Indian food before. However, I was able to find everything at Wegman's (they have a well-stocked International Foods section). One thing to note is that cardamom is really expensive (Wikipedia says it's the third most expensive spice in the world, after saffron and vanilla). I found a giant bag of cardamom pods at a local Indian grocery store for a much better price than what Wegman's was selling it for. Um, if anyone knows what to do with a surplus of cardamom pods, please let me know.

We served this over white basmati rice, with some naan bread and samosas on the side (both found frozen at the Indian grocery... bonus!).

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
recipe adapted from Meal Planning 101

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
15 green cardamom pods (strung together with a needle and thread or wrapped in cheesecloth: see photo below)
2 tsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. curry paste
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional, if you like it hot)
2 tsp. tandoori paste
1 tsp. garam masala
1 can coconut milk
1 can tomato paste
1 cup plain yogurt

1. In a large skillet, brown onions, garlic, and chicken in oil over medium heat. Cook just until onions are soft and the chicken is no longer pink. Pour this into your slow cooker, then add the remaining ingredients (except for the yogurt).

2. Mix gently and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. About a half hour before serving, remove your cardomom pods and stir in the yogurt. Season with salt, if needed. Let it cook for the remaining half hour, then serve over rice.

Makes about 6 servings

Download a printable recipe.


Kristin said...

Which Indian grocery do you guys go to? The one on Quakerbridge has AMAZING samosas. YUM! TJs also has pretty good frozen Indian dishes, we discovered recently. But eating prepared food is not really what this blog is all about, now is it?

Bec said...

We went to the one next to Hot Wok. Mmm... Hot Wok.

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