Florence Graves, business manager for the College of Architecture and Design, who has owned a restaurant in Dubai and earned a chef certification at UT, says cooking is a form of creativity and relaxation for her. Put on your chef hat and join Graves in the kitchen to learn how to prepare chicken makhani.
When I was asked to contribute an Indian recipe, I immediately thought of my award-winning dish from a competition in Dubai in 1993—chicken makhani. However, my cooking adventure took a strange twist when a crucial ingredient was missing, but that’s grilling the chicken before it’s been marinated.
Start with a recipe for tandoori chicken.
- 5 lbs. of chicken
- Shan tandoori powder—one box
- ½ tsp. garlic paste
- ¼ tsp. ginger paste
- A pinch of cayenne chili powder
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- Juice of one lime
Cut the chicken into one-inch cubes. Mix all the above ingredients and marinade overnight. Grill the chicken pieces until well done and a bit charred to add a smoky flavor.
“This dish can be served garnished with onion rings, lemon wedges, and a little cilantro and goes well with a summer salad, pita bread, and hummus. Now, let’s turn tandoori chicken into chicken makhani.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 stick real butter
- 1 tsp. fresh whole cumin roasted and powdered
- 2 cans tomato puree
- Diced tandoori chicken
Take the tandoori chicken and dice it into small, quarter-size pieces. Set aside. Roast whole cumin seeds and crush them in a mortar with a pestle. This is the only way to release the wonderful aroma and taste of cumin (do not use cumin powder). Melt half a stick of butter in a pot and add the tomato puree.
At this point, I went to get tomato puree from the pantry only to discover that I was out. What to do? Get creative! I had made and canned marinara sauce with tomatoes from our garden the previous weekend. Since my husband and I were the only ones that would be having this for dinner I thought, “What the hay, I’ll put in the marinara sauce instead of the tomato puree.” A fusion dish was born.
Now, back to the recipe. Take your tomato puree or marinara-based sauce and add the powdered cumin, heavy cream, and remaining butter and let it simmer for fifteen minutes. Serve with saffron rice.
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