Come on dudes, celebrate Women’s Month by treating your special lady (and family) with one of my hot favourites, writes Ant Ellis.
It’s become more apparent than ever that there are plenty of dudes out there who don’t cook (sad) or won’t cook (sadder). In my ongoing kitchen conversations with dads, bros and lazy SOBs everywhere, I’ve encountered some bona fide mageirocophobes (Google it), but most importantly, there are plenty of us who really want to cook more but don’t know where to start other than with the braai tongs or with the same-old, same-old formulaic dinners we think our families can’t get enough of (saddest).
It may be an East Coast thing, which is good with me, but the one dish most men wish they could cook is curry. Now this is an absolutely wonderful, creative and truly delicious world which ranges from the rich and varied flavours of the Indian sub-continent, the tantalising tang and spice of Southeast Asia, and of course, the very special and ridiculously tasty Durban varieties, especially lamb and prawn – from the sweet and fragrant, to the TP-in-the-freezer scorcher.
So my dudes, this Women’s Month represents your opportunity – nay, your duty – to step up to the hot plate once again with a family-friendly addition to your repertoire. It’s a dish that right now is among the world’s most popular, and a lot easier to crack out than you think: Murgh Makhani, AKA Butter Chicken. Grab your apron and smash it out (remember to do all your prep and measuring upfront, it’s critical), then bask in the unparalleled glory of your colossal, delicious achievement.
Slam Dunk Butter Chicken
•750g chicken breast or thigh fillets,
cut into bite-size pieces
•1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
•2 cloves garlic, crushed
•½ cup plain yogurt
•1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
•1 tsp turmeric powder
•2 heaped tsp garam masala
•½ tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper
•1 tsp ground cumin
•2 tbsp butter or ghee,
or 1 tbsp vegetable oil
•1 cup tomato purée
•1 cup cream
•1 tbsp sugar
•1 1/4 tsp salt
In a bowl combine marinade ingredients except chicken, mix thoroughly. For a super smooth sauce, do this in a blender. Add chicken and coat thoroughly, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours. Heat the ghee, butter or oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. Add chicken, without shaking or wiping off the marinade, but don’t pour remaining marinade left in the bowl into the pan yet. Cook for about 3 minutes, until chicken is white throughout. Add tomato purée, cream, sugar and salt and any remaining marinade, mix through. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Test to see if you need more salt, according to
The World’s Quickets Flatbread
•1 cup cake wheat flour
•1½ teaspoons baking powder
⅔ •½ cup plain yogurt
In a bowl simply mix the 3 ingredients together until combined, then using your hands, compress and knead into a dough. Too dry? Add a touch of yogurt. Too wet? Add a touch of flour until it’s nit sticky, not flaky and smooth. Cover and rest for 30 “at-room-temperature” minutes. Cut into 4 pieces, roll into a ball shape then dust with flour and roll out until 2mm thick.
Add a little oil to a medium-hot pan, add flatbread. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until bubbles form and the bottoms have golden patches. Flip and cook the other side then remove and repeat.
If you ain’t got time for that, serve this cracking curry with Basmati rice (it’s real easy to make – just follow the instructions on the packet) and a stack of fresh warm roti (don’t make these, let the experts do it). Finally, garnish with fresh coriander leaves, and if you’re feeling pretentious, flaked almonds.
As always, for the vegetarians out there, this delicious recipe can be made just as tasty by substituting the chicken with any combo of steamed vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, turnips, green beans or cauliflower.
Until next time: I’m sensing a pattern here. It’s becoming my mission to take the male species on a journey from kitchen boys to kitchen men. Single? Cooking more for yourself will save you a fortune. Have a significant other? Cooking more for them may greatly improve your luck. *
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