Butter beans are white or cream coloured flat beans. They are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and thiamin. They are a good source of protein plus they are very low in calories and fat. I have come to love these beans not only because of their nutritional benefits but also for their rich taste.
Another thing if, you are pretty busy with either work or school, beans and other legumes tend to become your friends. Let’s take the case of these beans, I bought a 1 kg pack, then washed and soaked the beans overnight. The following day, I cooked them in a pressure cooker for about an hour and they were done. Once cooled, I packed in portions enough for three people then refrigerated. This helps because if I want to cook beans in the evening all I do is remove one pack from the freezer and voila, stew in 20 minutes tops.
1 half of a medium sized onion sliced
2 tomatoes diced
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1/4 tablespoon black pepper
1 cup pre cooked butter beans
2 bay leaves
1 cup water or vegetable stock
Handful of dhania chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt to taste
First, have you guys noticed how expensive some vegetables have become? I was shocked the other day when I went to the market and found that 8 and I mean 8 tomatoes are going for 100 shillings (slightly above one dollar). The onions and the dhania are equally expensive. The horror. It seems until the shortage ends, I’ll stick to using onion halves and substituting tomatoes with tomato paste. Enough with my rant back to the cooking.
In a sufuria, heat the vegetable oil. Saute the onions. When I was setting out my ingredients, I realised that there was a potato laying around, so instead of throwing it out, I peeled, washed then diced it and added it to the sauteed onions.
Add the tomatoes.
Next, add in the spice; turmeric powder, black pepper and the coriander powder.
Stir and cover to let the tomatoes cook down.
Add the butter beans.
Stir in with the yummy spice mixture. Add the water and the bay leaves.
Cover and bring it to a gentle boil.
After ten minutes of simmering, remove the bay leaves then throw in the chopped dhania.
Note: Bay leaves are never eaten, they are great for adding flavour to the food, always remember to remove before serving
Stir for about two minutes just to awaken the flavour of the dhania. Serve with your accompaniment of choice.
Last year during hubby’s birthday, we went out for lunch at an Indian restaurant, Mughals, at Adams Arcade. I had some butter chicken, which in my opinion is by far the best boneless chicken curry I’ve ever eaten. After that I embarked on looking for the recipe but most of what I got seemed too complicated to do but that was until January 8th this year. I was busy reading through the Saturday magazine pull out in the Daily Nation and what do I see, Chef Aamil Mughal owner of Mughals has been reviewed and the recipe for the butter chicken detailed. Needless to say I was very happy, I even borrowed the magazine (I gifted my self).
Anyway, so even after getting the recipe I took a while before trying it, reason being, I’ve been so busy so I just get home and do quick fixes for dinner and at times hubby does the cooking (yeah, he’s heaven sent).
The recipe is pretty simple and it calls for ingredients can be easily obtained.
3 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
3 teaspoons garam masala powder
2 tablespoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
3 chopped green chillis (optional)
600 grams boneless chicken (cut in cubes)
100 grams crushed cashew nut powder
1/2 litre milk
3 ripe tomatoes
1 bunch coriander chopped
salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh cream (optional)
This recipe serves 4.
As I was preparing the ingredients I realised that I didn’t have butter, fresh tomatoes and coriander but that didn’t stop me from making this recipe. I just figured I would substitute the missing ingredients. For the butter I used two tablespoons of vegetable oil, for the tomatoes I used two tablespoons of tomato paste. Since the coriander is for the garnish, I thought I could do without it. also didn’t use fresh cream since I didn’t have plus it was optional, nor did I put chilli because hubby doesn’t fancy chilli.
In the event you use butter, place it in a cold pan then switch on the heat and add the garlic when it is melting. Since I used oil, I just let it heat for a minute or so then I added the garlic.
Once slightly browned add the chicken cubes and stir.
Add the garam masala, turmeric and chilli (if using). Maintain a steady temperature. If too hot it will burn very quickly.
Now add the crushed tomatoes and stir. Let it simmer gently for a few minutes. Since I was using tomato paste there wasn’t a lot of simmering so I added about a tablespoon of water to it.
Add salt and keep tasting.
Add milk and stir and let it boil.
Once the milk has boiled, add the crushed cashew nuts and stir. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Before I forget, for the cashew nut powder, all you need are the cashews then you crush to make the powder. You can choose to use a mortar and pestle or if your blender has a spice mill, that will also do.
Finally you can add the chopped coriander, stir and take it off the heat.
My butterless butter chicken
It was great though not as delicious as the one we ate at Mughals maybe it’s because of the substitutions.
If I could do it over again:
I would definitely not do the major substitutions of butter and tomatoes. I especially feel the tomatoes are very vital in this recipe so that the sauce is even more and not as thick.
All in all, this is an easy recipe and it doesn’t take long to prepare.
According to Chef Aamil it’s best served with hot butter or garlic naan but can go well with toast. I served it over rice.
Sorry Dee yet again I put up a recipe with eggs. Forgive me .
This is a recipe I learnt from my mother, we used to prepare this mostly to serve as an accompaniment for rice though one can also serve it with ugali or pasta.
I prepared this dish sometime last week. Being the final week of the month, I was a bit low on supplies so I just cooked what was available plus hubby had to rush to the kiosk to add the eggs. (such a darling).
Did I mention it takes less than 15 minutes to prepare? Yep… Quick fix 🙂
Start by chopping up the necessary ingredients.
In a bowl lightly beat 4 eggs and set aside.
In a saucepan add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and fry the onions. Season with salt and black pepper.
Once the onions are tender add the tomatoes and eggplants.
Cover and let them cook down for around 5 minutes.
The sauce will look like this;
Last and definitely the core ingredient of this dish add the eggs.
Don’t stir immediately, cover for about two minutes to allow the eggs to set then stir. The goal here is to achieve the look of scrambled eggs.
Once the eggs are cooked, we are ready to serve.
I served over some leftover rice.
Goodness!!! The best egg curry ever, it was rich in flavour and taste. The basil was both savoury and aromatic. This one was a definite win with hubby.
If I could do it over again:
Change nothing. Perhaps cook it more often.
Eggs are just so versatile. How else do you incorporate eggs in your meals especially lunch and dinner?