It’s no secret that Jamie and I adore Indian food. Our search for quality Indian food in South Jersey has proven to be exhausting and somewhat… depressing. As Jamie previously wrote, Cross Culture in Haddonfield offers a very tasty, yet somewhat pricey, option. Therefore, it’s saved for special occasions, not weekly takeout. I’m sure we’ll get around to reviewing IndeBlue, once we can force ourselves to try the food again after three horrendous experiences. Palace of Asia in Cherry Hill and Coriander in Voorhees are just ok, but didn’t bowl us over. Sometimes we don’t feel like making the trek to Philly for the spiced perfection that is Ekta Indian Cuisine, so there’s only one thing left to do – make our own.
Chicken Makhani (or Butter Chicken) is our favorite dish thus far, so we decided to start there. We borrowed heavily from this recipe with a few modifications. While this wasn’t Ekta quality, it certainly filled the craving.
We followed the recipe closely, but used half the amount of butter and only 1 cup of light cream. We also added ginger powder to the sauce. Pro-tip: Omit the added salt – it’s unnecessary.
I coated my raw chicken in a mixture of paprika, curry powder, chili powder, and possibly whatever else I had within reach. We used tandoori paste instead of powder, and I’d recommend marinating overnight. While we did get a nice red ring of spice after marinating for a half hour, I can only imagine the benefit of a full marinade.
After combining the sauce and chicken, we served over coconut basmati rice with naan on the side. I fully believe basmati rice is essential to the meal, and plain white or brown rice will not suffice.
The good: a very flavorful meal with a good amount of heat, and a nice creaminess. Plenty of food left over for dinner the next night.
The meh: needs more spices. A touch of fresh ginger would bring a nice kick, but it’s still missing something. We haven’t quite figured out what Ekta adds to give their dishes that extra umph, but we’re working on it. I’d also prefer the sauce a little thicker. This is a great jumping off point, but needs some work.