Vacation Curry Series – Butter Chicken

No curry series would be complete without the butter chicken recipe. A couple of things about this recipe.

  • It takes 5 hours to make this. 3 hours just to cook the onions properly.
  • After you put the tomato paste in make sure you cook it until the oil separates – this will make sense when you see it.
  • Use butter if you want softer onions


Butter Chicken


5 onions – large  – diced

1 cup of oil, ghee or margarine

5 tomatoes – large

½ cup of pureed garlic

½ cup of pureed ginger

1 tsp of tumeric

1 tsp of garam masala

¼ tsp of cayenne (optional)

1 small can tomato paste

1 litre of whipping cream

Cubed chicken


  1. cook the onions on a low heat in the oil until they are translucent. It is important that this is done slowly. It should take at least an hour if not longer. Stir often.
  2. add the pureed ginger and garlic and cook for 20 minutes or so with the onions. It should start to form a paste.
  3. add tumeric, cayenne (you can also use pureed jalapeno) and garam masala – cook for 20 minutes or so
  4. add tomato paste – cook until the entire mixture is a ruddy brown and the oil starts to separate from the paste. This step is very important or the tomato paste will not be mixed in well enough.
  5. puree the 5 tomatoes and add to mixture.
  6. run the sauce through a blender to liquify.
  7. return the sauce to the pan and add the whipping cream
  8. add raw chicken to sauce. Cook on low temp until chicken is cooked – about an hour



Vacation Curry Series – Bhindi Masala

I love this recipe! The okra turns out very well. Of course, liking okra is kind of a prerequisite! Okra can become a little slimy but it goes away once it is cooked slowly. As with all of these recipes the times are very much an understatement. The more slowly you cook this the better it will turn out.

I add water twice and let it dry out. You want to serve it dry so that the spices and onions stick to the okra. Give it a try!

Bhindi Masala

500 g (1 lb 2oz) okra, about 5 cm long

3 green chillies

3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Wash the okra and pat dry with paper towels. Trim the tops and tails. Ignore any sticky liquid that appears because this will disappear as the okra cooks.

Cut the chillies in half lengthwise, leaving them attached at the stalk, and scrape out any seeds. Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based frying pan, add the mustard seeds and onion and cook until the seeds pop and the onion is light brown. Add the cumin, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric and cook until the popping stops.

Add the garlic, okra, and the chilli to the pan, fry for 5 minutes, stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Add ¼ cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir to make a sauce. Season with salt, to taste. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the okra is cooked through and the sauce is thick and dry.

Vacation Curry Series – Chai Tea

I love chai but only if it is the real stuff. I can’t stand the pre-packaged stuff with the fake spices in it. Blech! This recipe is really good and you can increase the amount of spice if you want. You do not need to use the black tea if you cannot find it – just put in an extra tea bag. Tea masala can be found at just about any Punjabi market like Fruiticana.


Chai Tea


6 whole cloves

6 cardamom pods

3 pieces of cinnamon stick

½ tsp of tea masala

1 tsp of black tea

2 tetley tea bags

2 teaspoons of sugar

Mik to taste


Put all ingredients in a pot with water except the milk. Boil for 10-15 minutes. Add milk to taste, heat through. Strain tea into a pot.



Vacation Series – Channa Masala

1 tablespoon of oil

1 can chickpeas

1 chopped onion

1 chopped tomato

1 tsp of tomato paste (I omit this)

1 tsp of ground garlic

1 tsp of ground ginger

1-2 green chilles (I omit or use a small amt of green chille chutney)

fresh cilantro

I tsp of dried fenugreek or methi leaves


¼ tsp of turmeric

1 tsp of garam masala

1 tsp of cumin seeds


  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom panned. Add in the cumin seeds and chopped green chilles and fry for a bit.
  2. Add ginger and garlic and cook for a minute.
  3. Add chopped onions and when the onions are golden brown add in the chopped tomato and tomato paste and the rest of the spices with salt.
  4. Let it cook for a while until the oil separates.
  5. Add the can of chickpeas and let it cook.
  6. Add in one cup of hot water and bring it to a boil.
  7. Lower heat and let it cook for a few more minutes.
  8. Last, add the coriander leaves and dried methi leaves.


This is one of my most favourite recipes. This is not a heavy sauced dish. Instead it is quite light. It is a North African curry so it is a bit different. I never use the tomato paste in this dish. Using tomato paste can be a bit tricky as you have to make sure you cook it in the torka until the oil begins to separate. It takes a bit of time and you can’t rush it. If you don’t wait it won’t be right.


On Vacation – the Curry Series

While I am on the cruise to Alaska with my mother, I have scheduled some things to post in case I can’t get internet for some reason. I do intend to post though if it is possible. I just don’t want to forget!

I thought a really good way to accomplish goal would be to have a theme. A lot of people ask me for recipes for curry so I thought I would post a recipe along with some extra information to expand on it.

One of the most important things about cooking curry is to understand the role of the torka.[1] The torka is made up of onions, garlic, ginger and spices and forms the base of almost all Indian dishes. Torkas generally start with the onions. Many recipes will tell you that you can cook the onions in a few minutes. This is a lie. It takes quite a while to cook the onions down to a state where they can be used. It should be done on a low heat. The onions should only barely brown and be translucent. Once you have the onions cooked you need to add the pureed garlic, ginger and green chilli chutney. You let this simmer for a while until they are well mixed together. Then you add the spices and let them cook for a while. You can’t just add spices to curries they must be cooked in a torka.

Another important consideration is what you use to cook the torka in. I have used oil but I find that it makes the onions tough. I have never used ghee[2] but I suspect it would be the best. Generally I use butter. You can’t skimp on the butter either. There needs to be enough of it so that the torka is like a paste when it is done.

Check back for the first recipe tomorrow. I will post one a day culminating with the butter chicken recipe at the end!



[1] I have no idea if that is the spelling. I was told the name by a friend and how to make it.

[2] Clarified butter.

Epic Curry Meal

We decided that we would cook a big curry dinner tonight. Wandering Coyote is still here and her family came to enjoy the curry goodness. My amazing sous chefs chopped until they bled – for real. I made eggplant caponata for an appetizer as it is Deb’s favourite although technically not curry. Here is the menu:


Butter chicken

Eggplant curry

Chana masala

Mater paneer

Aloo Gobi



Aloo paratha

The meal was fabulous. I think it was some of the best curry I ever made! That’s it for now. Recipes to follow if anyone wants any!

Not much time today…

I spent the day cooking curry for company who was coming for dinner. Here is the list of what I made:

Rice pilaf
Butter chicken
Aloo Tikka
Channa Masala
Bhindi Masala
Matar Paneer
Aloo Gobi

Pictures hopefully tomorrow and maybe some recipes if anyone wants them!