Indian “Thaali”

Apologies for the photo quality… I have no idea how to crop pictures on my new laptop! Oh well, I’m no photography-wizard regardless… so onto the food!! (edit: I downloaded a free version of photoshop… it’s not perfect but at least it’s cropped!)

Yesterday, I had a real craving for some Indian food (of the kind found more often in restaurants than at home, which is daal, bhat (rice), shaq (vegetables), and rotli). But I’m fairly anti-Indian restaurants because while the food tastes sooooooo good it’s seriously unhealthy and heavy. Too heavy to enjoy all that I want to eat. So I devised this “thaali” yesterday. Totally not a traditional thaali as the dishes are non-veg and more tandoori style than traditional, but yummy! hee. My thaali consists of:

Tandoori prawns

Butter Chicken; and

Fried paneer with coriander chutney

Coriander Chutney

Easy peasy – I promise. In a blender chuck in a few green chilies, 1 red chili, a bunch of coriander (leaves and stalks), 1 garlic clove, a spring onion, a splash of a vinegar, a splash of oil, salt and pepper, squeeze of lemon juice, and done! Blend until the desired consistency is achieved. Set aside until the rest of the food is ready.

Butter Chicken

Oh my God, though I say it myself (oops) this was divine and soooooo more-ish. Make the marinade first and don’t put the chicken in until the marinade is complete  as you will want to test it. You’ll also want to use a few spoonfuls of the marinade for the prawns as well, so make a little extra.

Yogurt Marinade

In a bowl combine yogurt, half the juice of a lime, 2 crushed garlic cloves, chopped green chilies, grated ginger, ground cumin, garam masala, ground coriander, a tiny pinch of tandoori spice, salt and pepper. Mix it all together and taste. If happy, take out 3 table-spoons of the yogurt mixture and move to another bowl. Then add in the chicken (chicken breast cubed) and marinade for a minimum of an hour.

Butter chicken

Cook the chicken with the yogurt marinade in a pot, add a squeeze or two of tomato paste, a little (or a lot if you like) butter, and grated onion. Once it is about half the way cooked, add in a little single cream. Let it simmer away, until cooked.

Tandoori Prawns

Start with the yogurt base from the chicken marinade. Add to it a little lemon salt, paprika, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder. Add more ginger. The mixture should be more red-ish than the chicken marinade. Add the prawns (I used raw tiger prawns) and marinade in the fridge.

After cooking the chicken and paneer, grill your prawns.

Fried Paneer

To be eaten with the chutney. In a bowl add flour, turmeric, chili powder, salt and pepper. Coat the paneer and then shallow fry.

All done! A reasonably healthy version of the kind of the Indian food found in restaurants and portioned for one, well one, who will be very very stuffed afterwards. But soon feeling hungry again because it was light!

Enjoy x


2 responses to “Indian “Thaali”

  • inafryingpan

    Kudos to you for making a thaali at home – that too one with butter chicken and prawns and paneer! I can’t believe you make it sound so simple and with such few steps – this is really pretty neat, love your homemade version 🙂

    • kooksfood


      It was super simple, I don’t have much time or inclination to clean up, so I opt for as easy as possible always! lol. For the chicken I bought one skewer from Waitrose, saving myself time, as no need to cut and defat my chicken or de-germ my chopping board later. Plus the paneer was ready cubed straight from Al Maya frozen section (via my freezer)… all I had to do was defrost.

      The only thing that really needs to be done is adjust seasoning according to taste and portion requirements

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