Butter Chicken – Murgh Makhani and a very Happy Diwali to all xx


Butter Chicken

Seeing as today is the first day of Diwali and celebrated worldwide by all Hindus I thought I would share some tasty curry recipes with you. I am uber excited because I thought that the “bastage” that stole my laptop had gotten away with the only copy of these pics, oh Joy of Joys and Choirs of Angels I just found these on my desktop. Bonus!!!! Curries appeal to my palate and to my eye. The line-up of ingredients is almost as colourful as the end result and well worth the time it takes to prep and make a curry. Making a curry is akin to a religious event to me – I have as much fun chopping the veggies and laying out the tapestry of jewel coloured spices for the dish. Don’t rush through this – take your time and enjoy every colourful and aromatic moment – your body is your temple and this is temple food if ever there was.


Diwali – Divali – Dipavali is the Hindu festival of lights and Dhanteras is the first day of this five day festival on which the Goddess Laxmi is celebrated – Laxmi is the bringer of prosperity and well being. On this day homes and business premises are renovated and their entrances and doorways are adorned with Rangoli – colourful designs painstakingly created with jewel coloured powders, turmeric, rice and grains. Lamps and clay deities are lit and burn right through the night and fireworks are let off to mark the occasion.


KwaZulu-Natal boasts the largest community of Indians outside of India – and Diwali is virtually celebrated by everyone. This year it coincides with the English celebration of Guy Fawkes and the night with be punctuated by the bangs of crackers and beautiful colours of pretty fire works. So lock up your animals and keep an eye open for strays that may need shelter for the night.


My absolute favourite part of this celebration is the proliferation of sweetmeats that can be purchased from the many Indian spice emporiums and shops in Durban. I just love sweetmeats – they appeal both to my sweet tooth and to the artist in me. Beautiful boxes overflowing with exquisitely decorated treats abound – I just can’t resist them and I always have a box open to share with any visitors to the Casa Tripepi.


PS: I bet poor Andre – the latest contestant to leave Masterchef Australia bets he had made a few more curries in his life!!! I am really enjoying Masterchef Australia!


Butter Chicken


By Camelia Punjabi from her book 50 Great Curries of India


Apologies to Camelia – I have tweaked her recipe slightly to please the

Tripepi men!!!!




1kg of de-boned skinless chicken thighs (you can use them on the bone) cut in half






To make your marinade


4tsp lime juice

2 cups of whole plain yoghurt

8 – 10 cloves of peeled garlic

1tbs fresh grated ginger

1 ½ tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

2 tsp cumin powder – I only had whole seeds so I substituted

2tsp garam masala powder

1tsp salt


Place all of the above ingredients except the yoghurt into a blender – and blend to a paste.


Add this paste to the yoghurt and whisk until smooth.


If you are using whole pieces of chicken slash the meat and place into the marinade – I used de-boned skinless thighs cut in half that didn’t need any slashing. Add the chicken to the marinade – cover with cling film and refrigerate for a few hours (a minimum of 1 hour) – over night would be perfect – all of those flavours will get deep into the meat.


Cooking the chicken


In a large heavy bottomed pan or pot – heat a little oil – add in the chicken with the marinade and cook on a gentle to low heat until done.

Turn the chicken while it’s cooking.


The Mahkani Sauce




800g tomatoes – I used rosa baby tomatoes

1tsp kauri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

100g chilled butter

1tsp paprika

A few drops – of vinegar

1 tsp garam masala powder

100ml single cream





Half and liquidize the tomatoes.

Add them to a frying pan and cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid has evaporated.

Add the chilled butter and paprika to the tomato sauce and cook for a few minutes.

Taste the sauce and add just a few drops of vinegar to introduce a little acidity to the dish.

Now add the kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and garam masala powder – and some salt – to taste.

Cook this for about 30 seconds then add the cream and stir it in.

Remove this immediately from the heat and combine with the chicken and serve immediately with basmatic rice, some roti and pickles.


Tomorrow I will post the second curry in this meal.







Buon Appetito




 PS:  apologies for the lack of photo’s – i am having major picture issues – but i will keep adding more – bit by bit

I will not be beaten!!!!!!

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