Butter Chicken Rice Pie

Total heaven in a casserole dish this meal was.  I must admit we all love butter chicken in the Murray household so I had a feeling this would definitely be a winner winner chicken dinner!

Now we all know that Indian cooking is all about the spices and the marinating time for many of their meals, butter chicken definitely being one of those dishes.   However this dish was put together in under 30 minutes and in the oven for around the same time.  It definitely could not be any easier to make and the flavours were very authentic.

A rich yet not overly spicy butter chicken, with hints of cinnamon, chilli and garam marsala through the creamy tomato sauce.  In all honestly you would think that it had been marinating for days and slowly cooked.

The rice topping well it made the dish!  The rice laced with Saffron threads and peas provided  a crunchy top yet was still soft underneath drawing up the butter chicken.  It was such a treat instead of having a spoonful on the side.

Needless to say leftovers were quickly packed up in containers and labelled with individual's names for lunches tomorrow.  I'm crossing fingers I get some.


Butter Chicken Rice Pie
(recipe adapted from Taste.com.au)

Serves: 6
SmartPoints per serve: 10

1/2 cup Chobani low fat plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mild chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 kilogram chicken breast fillets, cut into 4cm pieces
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
Pinch of saffron threads
3/4 cup frozen peas
20 grams butter
1 brown onion, chopped
1 large red capsicum, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup tomato puree
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup thickened light cream
cooking spray
fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Celsius fan-forced. Combine yoghurt, tomato paste, cinnamon, chilli powder and garam masala in a bowl. Mix well. 

 Add chicken. Toss to coat well. Set aside. 

 Place rice and 2 cups water in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Stir with a fork. Sprinkle with saffron. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is just absorbed and rice is almost tender. Remove from heat. 

 Add peas. Season. Stir with fork. Set aside. 

 Meanwhile, melt butter in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. 

 Add capsicum. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion has softened. 

 Add garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. 

 Add chicken and marinade to pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until chicken just starts to change colour. 

 Add tomato puree and sugar. Cook, stirring until combined. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes. 

 Stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper. 

 Spoon chicken mixture into an 8 cup-capacity roasting pan. 

 Place rice mixture evenly over the top of the chicken. Spray rice liberally with cooking spray. 

 Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden and crunchy. 

 Top with coriander leaves and serve.
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