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Lifestyle | 08 Apr 2020 | By Sun International

The Maslow Sandton’s Chef Hector Shares A Comforting Lockdown Recipe For Butter Chicken And Roti

The Maslow Sandton's Executive Chef Hector Mnyayiza is using the COVID-19 national lockdown to do more of what he loves: spending time with his young son and cooking. 

Hector joined Sun International in 2011 and has worked at Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom in KwaZulu Natal, and the Windmill Casino in Bloemfontein. He moved to The Maslow Sandton in 2017 and was appointed Executive Chef in 2019, overseeing the kitchen and Lacuna Bistro

While he's enjoyed a rewarding career in food, he says the long hours and time spent away from family can be tough. "I miss being around for my son. As a chef, you have to be prepared to sacrifice weekends and family time."

This why Hector is relishing being at home during the lockdown, as he can indulge both his loves. He has roped his son into kitchen, appointing him as Daddy's sous chef.

"Cooking together is a great way to keep children busy and help them feel useful. At the same time, they will learn skills they case use throughout life."

Hector has been whipping up comfort meals that are ideal for the changing weather and lockdown conditions. "The weather is starting to get cooler, and with having to plan our meals prudently during lockdown when trips to the shops must be limited, batch cooking meals such as curries and casseroles are ideal."

Here is his tried-and-trusted recipe for butter chicken. The recipe for Soft Butter Roti to accompany the butter chicken is courtesy of Lorraine Maharaj.

Butter Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 300g Boneless Chicken breasts
  • 60g Medium curry powder
  • 10ml Egg yellow food colouring
  • 250ml Fresh Cream
  • 150g Fresh Tomatoes (blanched and peeled)
  • 1 Whole Onion 
  • 20g Fresh Dhana (Coriander leaves)
  • 80g Butter
  • 10g Breyani mix
  • 250ml Tomato sauce (optional)
  • 5g Crushed Garlic
  • 10ml Fine Salt

Method:

  1. Cut chicken into cubes. Marinate with teaspoon garlic, two teaspoons curry powder, one teaspoon egg yellow colouring and two teaspoons salt.
  2. Score the bottom of the tomato in a cross shape. Drop the tomatoes in boiling water until the skins start to open. Remove and place them in cold water. Peel the skin off the tomatoes and chop roughly.
  3. In a saucepan, add butter and fry your chopped onions. Add the breyani mix, a teaspoon of garlic and two teaspoons of curry powder. Allow to cook for about one minute.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and chopped dhana. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves, and then blend until fine. After that, strain the tomatoes and put them back into the saucepan.
  5. Warm up the 250ml cream in another saucepan and then add to the mixture so that it does not split. Add 250mls tomato sauce (optional) with two teaspoons egg yellow. After that, add two spoons of butter let it simmer.
  6. Pan-fry the chicken and set aside for the oil and juice to settle. Then, add the chicken into the sauce mixture. Make sure to keep out the chicken juices and oil from the bottom of the bowl.
  7. Allow to simmer. You can add more chopped dhana and salt to taste. 
  8. Enjoy with basmati rice, roti or poppadoms 

Homemade Roti

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups/500ml cake wheat flour sifted
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter plus extra for brushing the Rotis
  • 1 Cup/250ml boiling water
  • 1 Pinch of salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Sift the flour and add the melted butter.
  2. Pour the cup of boiling water into the flour and mix it into the flour using a fork or spoon. You will have a wet, lumpy mixture. 
  3. Knead into a soft dough once the mixture has cooled a little. The dough will feel a bit sticky, but as you knead, it will become silky smooth. If the dough doesn't feel soft, you can drizzle a little more butter and keep kneading.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan or thawa on the stovetop on medium heat. You may need to adjust your heat if the pan gets too hot. 
  5. Divide dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a neat round ball. Flatten the dough with the palm of your hands. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface. You can add more flour as you are rolling to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll each ball into a circle of about 20cm in diameter. 
  6. Place the roti on the pan. Cook until it starts to bubble a little and then flip it over. Cook until the other side bubbles. Brush with butter and turn over again. Brush the other side with butter and turn over. You must flip your roti over three times. It takes about a minute to cook the roti. 
  7. Keep the Rotis soft by placing them in a container with a paper towel at the bottom and on top.