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I have been on a mission to keep cost low when it comes to meals in the house….part of just trying to be frugal…also to help save $ for the new home.

The aim is to cook at least five dinners for six adults…keeping the total cost under $100.  I must admit, i have been quite successful.  The first week, we had…

Meal #1 – Fish & Prawn Pie ($20)
Meal #2 – 40 Cloves Garlic & Chicken Pasta ($10)
Meal #3 – Udon noodle soup with Yuzu Chicken ($15)
Meal #4 – Sichuan bang bang chicken with steamed egg with prawns ($11)
Meal #5 – Three-Cup chicken, veggie and rice ($5)
Meal #6 – Butter Chicken with saffron rice and cucumber raita ($25)

Total cost of six meals for six adults – $86

Pretty good effort….the one dish i really wanted to attempt was Butter Chicken, cos it is one of my favourite Indian dishes….I used a cookbook I will be reviewing soon (Food of India) as a guide…and it turned out great!  It did involve a bit of planning… I marinated the chicken overnight.  The verdict of the meal?  “Yummy!  Gonna have seconds.”  Music to any cook’s ears.  🙂

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Murgh Makhni (Butter Chicken)

2 cm piece of ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup almonds meal
2/3 cup thick plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon garam masala
4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
14 oz tin chopped tomatoes
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2lb 4oz skinless boneless chicken thigh fillets, cut into large pieces
5 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
1 large onion thinly sliced
8 tbs finely chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves
4 tablespoons single cream

1) Add the ginger, garlic, almond meal, yogurt, chilli powder, cloves, cinnamon, garam masala, cardamom pods, tomato and salt into a bowl and blend together with a fork. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat thoroughly.

2) Cover and marinate overnight in the fridge.

3) Preheat the Oven to 350 F.

4) Heat the ghee in a dutch oven, add the onion and fry until softened and brown. Add the chicken mixture and fry for 2 minutes. Mix in the fresh cilantro.

5) Pour in the cream and stir with a fork. Bake for 1 hour. If the top is browning too quickly, cover with a piece of foil.

6) Leave to rest for 10 min before serving. If oil rises to the surface, drain it.

7) Just before serving, place the dish under the broiler for abt 2 minutes to brown the top.

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