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Instant Pot Butter Chicken Meatballs

I make my Instant Pot Butter Chicken fairly often but I don't always plan well enough to marinate the meat overnight and I do believe that an overnight marinade is essential to achieve a rich depth of flavour in the final dish and avoid it tasting like bland chicken plunked into delicious sauce. My theory was that if I added the chicken marinade ingredients INTO the meatballs, it wouldn't have to sit for so long before I can cook the finished dish.

We also really, really love meatballs. A quick search for meatballs on The Yum Yum Factor will reveal my obsession with these orbs of tender delight so it stands to reason that I eventually try to meatballify every favourite recipe at some point.

I have been mulling a meatball conversion with Butter Chicken for a while but I have been so busy cooking at work, that I have barely cooked more than scrambled eggs in my own kitchen all year but I finally got around to making it this week.

don't be alarmed by the bright red interior - thats just the tandoori masala

I loved the tandoori meatballs after the first try but the sauce required a bit of tinkering to get it right as the amounts I use with my actual butter chicken resulted in a sauce that was too thin, most likely due to the extra moisture released from the mushrooms. You don't have to add the mushrooms to the ground chicken but I think that they are great not only from a stretching your meat dollars standpoint, but they add flavour and moisture to ground chicken, which can be a bit dry.

This final sauce is the perfect amount and consistency and the flavour is bang on. Whether you use heavy cream, evaporated milk which gives the thick consistency of cream without the fat or  coconut milk is up to you. All three versions are delicious with cream being the most decadent but with all that butter and heavy cream, it's not exactly the lightest thing you will ever make. Speaking of sauce, you will most likely have a decent amount leftover after all of the meatballs have been devoured and you can either serve it with french fries and cheese curds - Indian Poutine is to die for- over fish or roasted veggies with rice. Come on, this stuff would be great on just about anything. You can even freeze the leftover sauce to use later and just simmer some chicken or more meatballs in it a month or two down the road.

You can take a bath in it, just promise me you won't throw it out.

Butter Chicken Meatballs

serves 4

Wouldn't these be great in a sub?

Tandoori Meatballs

550g (1 1/4 lbs) ground chicken
125 g (1/4 lb) white button mushrooms
1 egg
1 tbls greek yogurt
1/3 cup panko
3 tbls tandoori masala
2" piece of ginger, peeled and rasped (or about a tbls of ginger puree)
3 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp or minced

Butter Chicken Sauce

2 tbls ghee or butter
1 onion, peeled and grated
5 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp or minced
2" piece of ginger, peeled and rasped or minced (1 tbls ginger puree)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili flake
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp fenugreek
1 3/4 cup tomato puree (jarred passata or puree canned tomatoes with immersion blender - no sauce)
1/4 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream, evaporated milk or coconut milk
1 tsp garam masala
a big handful of chopped cilantro

Pulse the mushrooms in a food processor or chop until it resembles coarse crumbs. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined and let the mixture rest in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.

When it's time to cook the curry, form the tandoori chicken mixture into meatballs - I like them slightly larger than a golf ball and set on a parchment lined tray.

Heat a tbls of ghee or veg oil in a hot, non stick pan and brown the meatballs and remove them to a plate.

Meanwhile, heat your Instant Pot on the Saute setting and wait for it to say "HOT"
Heat the ghee or butter in your instant pot and saute the grated onion for a couple of minutes, stirring almost constantly so that the onion doesn't burn. Add in the ginger and garlic and saute for another minute before adding in the dry spices and saute for a final 30 seconds or so, until it becomes really fragrant. Pour in just a splash of water or chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.

Now, pour in the tomato puree and the chicken broth , nestle the browned meatballs in the sauce and close up the lid.
Cook on high for 7 minutes and then let it NPR for at least 10 minutes before releasing the remaining steam.

Open the lid and add in the butter and stir gently until it melts into the sauce. Pour in the cream/evaporated milk/coconut milk and the garam masala and lastly, fold in the chopped cilantro.

Serve over basmati rice and top with a bit more chopped cilantro

If You Only Do One Thing In Lisbon, Make It A Market Tour and Cooking Class at Mesa Luisa

Meet Luisa.

Luisa grew up in Portugal, went to school in Belgium, lived in Spain and France and spent a large chunk of her life travelling the world while she worked in advertising before she quit to become a dressmaker, working out of her stunning former ship part warehouse space directly facing the Tagus River in Lisbon. Then, this past February, Luisa decided to change course yet again, built a beautiful kitchen in her warehouse and launched her newest venture, Mesa Luisa. Offering her version of the more typical market shop followed by a cooking class and lunch, upcoming workshops and private evening dinners by appointment , Luisa has reinvented herself as a chef, hostess, guide and story teller in her hometown of Lisbon.

Lisbon and Porto in Photos

Sunset over the River Tagus

I just got back from a ten day trip to Portugal - okay, it was actually eight days in Portugal and 2 days in Paris. I did things a little differently this time as I was taking my big sister with me to experience Europe for the first time and didn't want to be a slave to my notes. I was there in 2014 so I wanted to let her kind of set the tone and let's be honest, I will be back another time. Or two. Or three.

Feed Your Freezer With A Big Batch of Meatballs

More Meatballs!
My last recipe was for these crazy delicious Korean Meatballs and this time, I am showing you how to whip up a big batch of tender meatballs that you can bake off and then freeze because, I know you don't want to hear it, but SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER. Time to stock the freezer for September when life goes back to the daily grind and nobody has time to come home from work or school and make these puppies.

Why Spicy Koreanish Meatballs Should Be One of the Seven Deadly Sins

Oh my, what a spring/summer I have had. For the last year I have been working as a hired gun, cooking for a local caterer, teaching classes as well as hosting pop ups and private dinners around Toronto.

A Spanish Feast to Usher in the Spring For My Toronto Friends

Okay my people, if you are in Toronto, you are in for a treat this month. I am going to make big, family style meal for 20 at The Kingston Social that is inspired by my recent trip to Barcelona. As always, Tanya will be on hand to whip up her amazing cocktails with a lovely wine and beer list available as well.

Come and join us for a night of fun, delicious food and drink and if you are really lucky, some table top flamenco dancing by yours truly

Reserve your spot by buying a ticket here

Adventures in Spanish Cookery at Cook & Taste Barcelona

I don't know about you, but the first thing I do when I get to a new country is visit a grocery store or outdoor market because I truly feel that our first connection to other cultures and their people is through food. 

Spanish Tortilla At Last

I lived in Madrid a million years ago when I was in my twenties and I admit it - I was a tortilla addict. I ate tortilla in the morning. I ate tortilla mid morning. I ate tortilla at lunch, at dinner and again in the evening as a tapa.
I also gained an alarming amount of weight which only made sense AFTER I watched somebody making it. Potatoes cooking away in a big pan of simmering oil was all I needed to see to understand why my steady diet of tortilla and beer was also responsible for my waist white wall tire.

My Travel Notebook: Day Trips from Barcelona - Girona and Tarrogona

brightly coloured facades of the houses overlooking the Onyar River

If you are in Barcelona more than a few days, you are missing out if you don't plan at least one day trip, depending on your interests.

My Barcelona Notebook: Ten Days Of Joyous Eating, Drinking and More Eating

It would be an understatement to say that we probably ate some of the best food in recent memory while we were in Barcelona. Unlike Paris, where I found that between the fabulous sandwiches that we would grab from any old boulangerie and some bazillion dollar 2 Michelin star restaurant, the food was inconsistent and often not very good although always expensive. Sorry people, you can send me all the hate mail you like, but all three of us agree on that point - the restaurant food was expensive and disappointing more often than not.

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