Indian Takeout Time

Real talk, we LOVE Indian food. Yes, there are incredible restaurants in our favorite cities that we’d be happy to share with you, but there is something so amazingly satisfying about eating with your hands (via naan) at home. We’ve sampled our share of neighborhood restaurants and even tried some Trader Joe’s options because the internet was super into them, but at the end of the day, we are making our own! Everything feels a bit lighter and in our book, if it is a little healthier, we can eat more of it. For me, it brings back happy memories of traveling in India and wonderful home-cooked meals by the mothers of my college friends. 

Diana’s Indian craving is Butter Chicken like her favorite that she had in Tanzania (although she now says mine is better!). If you’re  being a true Indian princess like myself, you can call this “makhani” (practically the same as Chicken Tikka Masala).  My pick is saag (or palak) paneer. We didn’t make our own naan to keep it all gluten-free, but if you’re into that, send an email and I’ll share the secrets of using your pizza stone to make it “authentically.” We made our paneer because we are the best, but you can just as easily buy it or substitute it with tofu and we won’t make a thing of it. Indian “take-out” is our new favorite dinner and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 


ab + DZ

Butter Chicken
Serves 2
  1. 2 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1/2 medium onion, minced
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 inch garlic, finely grated on a microplane, about 1 tablespoon
  5. 1 teaspoon garam masala
  6. 1 teaspoon cayenne
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  8. 1 bay leaf
  9. 1, 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  10. 1 cup yogurt -- we used 2% Greek
  11. 1 pound chicken thighs, cut in 1 inch pieces
  12. kosher salt, to taste
  1. Add olive oil to a medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until translucent and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add dry spices and bay leaf. Toss to toast for about 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes and stir to combine, scraping any bits stuck at the bottom. Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. Stir in yogurt. Add chicken pieces and simmer for about 10 minutes until fully cooked. Stir sauce well and season as necessary. Serve over steamed basmati rice.
Lucky Banks Eats
Saag Paneer
Serves 2
  1. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  2. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. about 12 ounces paneer
  5. 1/4 cup neutral oil
  6. 1 pound frozen spinach, pre-chopped is ok!
  7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 1/2 medium onion, minced
  9. 1 inch ginger, finely grated on a microplane, about 1 tablespoon
  10. 4 cloves garlic
  11. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  12. 1 teaspoon coriander
  13. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  14. 1/2 cup yogurt, we used 2% Greek
  1. Toss turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and salt together in a small bowl. Cut paneer in 1 inch cubes and season with turmeric mixture. In a preferably non-stick skillet, heat neutral oil over medium-high heat. Brown paneer in batches, setting aside on a paper towel-lined plate when done.
  2. Thoroughly drain frozen spinach. We find it best to place it in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the excess water out of it. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onion until translucent and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and toss until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add dry spices and toast for about 1 minute. Add drained spinach and yogurt, breaking the spinach up with spoon as necessary. Stir until fully combined and mixture is simmering. Simmer for about 5 minutes for flavors to come together. Gently fold in paneer. Serve over basmati rice.
Lucky Banks Eats

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