Deepavali is just around the corner and we are sure some of you have already started planning or preparing what to cook for the Festival of Lights! As it is a time to impress and celebrate, home cooks will be whipping out their best recipes to show off their culinary prowess and provide delicious foods for family and friends.
If you are feeling the pressure, we have home cook Rashida’s infallible recipe for Butter Masala Chicken with Pilaf to help you along with the process. Butter Masala Chicken is well known for its rich savoury flavour which pairs perfectly with the light fragrance of the Pilaf. This is a quick and easy meal you can put together in just 40 minutes so you can spend more time celebrating with your family and guests during Deepavali, and you can even cook it as a quick dinner fix for regular weekday nights!
For our non-indian friends, this is a recipe that we would recommend giving it a try! Not only that it’s simple to cook, the butter masala chicken is made up of fresh whole ingredients such as tomato and onion, spices and nuts which gives a tasty balance of natural sweetness, tanginess and fragrance. Cooked with the tender and juicy grilled chicken, we are sure that it is a dish that your whole family will love! For the pilaf, you can replace it with ordinary white rice or if you want to go fancy, enjoy it with ready-made garlic naan which you can get from NTUC.
All the ingredients for this meal are also easily obtained from NTUC FairPrice. Indian spices can be hard to acquire from local supermarket, but for these dishes, NTUC FairPrice has got you covered without compromising on the flavours!
And if you don’t have enough reason to celebrate, they are also giving away $500 FairPrice Gift Cards to 100 lucky winners! Simply spend $30 in one receipt from 26 September to 6 November and you might stand a chance to win. Really, all you have to do is just to do your daily grocery shopping at NTUC FairPrice for more chances of winning!
The ingredients needed for the chicken marinade of the Butter Masala Chicken are chicken legs, plain or Greek yoghurt, garlic, ginger, red chilli powder, smoked paprika, and salt.
For the masala gravy, you will need oil, butter, purple onions, tomatoes, cashew nuts, water, salt, garlic, chilli powder, paprika powder, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin powder, honey, and cooking cream. #tip we replaced sugar with honey for a healthier and glossier-looking gravy!
For the Pilaf, you will need Basmati rice, water, frozen peas, green chilli, salt, cumin seeds, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, and oil.
The first step is to marinate the chicken.
In a large bowl, add the chicken and all the marinade ingredients. #tip marinating the chicken with yoghurt is a great way to achieve that tender juicy texture as the acid in the yoghurt will tenderize the meat and lock in the natural juices of the chicken.
Mix well and cover the bowl with cling wrap. Place the bowl in the chiller to marinate for at least an hour. #tip you can marinate the chicken overnight for more flavour and a shorter preparation time!
Next, prepare and cook the rice for the pilaf.
Soak the Basmati rice for 15 minutes then drain and transfer the rice into the rice cooker and add the 375ml of water. Do you know that Basmati rice is a healthy grain with high fibre content that makes it a Low GI food? Thus, it is suitable for people who have diabetes, pre-diabetes or pregnant women with gestational diabetes too! #foodfacts
In a pan, heat up some cooking oil and add all the spices, green chilli, and peas. Sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the fried ingredients into the rice cooker and season with salt.
Close the rice cooker and turn it on to cook as per normal or to cook on “white rice” mode. Although, Basmati rice is traditionally cooked in a pot by Indian home cooks, Rashida tweaked her recipe for us to make it fuss-free with less monitoring and to ensure that the rice will turn out perfect every time!
The third step is to grill the chicken.
In a non-stick pan, heat up some cooking oil and grill the marinated chicken for two minutes on each side. Once, the chicken is fully cooked, put them on a plate and set aside.
For the next step, cook the masala gravy.
Using a clean pan, add the oil, butter, and onions and fry until the onions are slightly brown. Add in the tomatoes, cashew nuts, and grated garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the chili powder, paprika powder, salt and water to the pan. Mix evenly and let the gravy simmer for 10 minutes until the ingredients are soft.
Pour the cooked gravy into a large bowl and use a hand blender to blend the ingredients into a fine puree. If you are using a regular blender, pour the cooked gravy into the blender straight to blend. If you find that it is difficult to blend, add in 1 tbsp of water at a time for a smoother blend. Do not add too much water as it will dilute the taste of the gravy.
Using a sieve, strain the gravy into another bowl.
The last step is to cook the masala gravy with the chicken.
In a clean frying pan, add the butter and whole spices and sauté for 10 seconds. Then add the strained gravy and cumin powder. Simmer the gravy for five minutes.
Add the grilled chicken, honey, and cooking cream to the gravy and stir well. Cook for five to seven minutes.
Garnish the Butter Masala Chicken with more cream and chopped mint leaves for a touch of finesse and you are ready to serve it alongside the light and fragrant Pilaf!
Get the recipe here!