Issue 17 / Cuisine Close Up With Chef Harminder Singh

Cuisine Close Up With Chef Harminder Singh

Sep 27, 2015

Chef Harminder has been giving Indian cuisine a new face since 2005 and I got the chance to sit down with him to find out more about the man behind the brand.

Chef Harminder is an Indian chef extraordinaire and has been on a steady up and up since the opening of his restaurant, Coriander Green: The East Indian Feast, in downtown Oakville in 2005. Crowds flock to the restaurant to enjoy tasty delights such as the special vegetables, lamb madras, gulab jamun and delicious butter chicken (stay tuned for his infamous recipe for this dish). After a few wonderful years in the culinary world, Chef Harminder expanded his culinary adventures and opened the doors of Taj: The True Indian Gourmet in 2008. With the sit-down, formal Coriander Green and the take-out focused Taj, it's no surprise Chef Harminder’s next step was into banquet halls, with the opening of Culinary Stars which doubles as a school for his culinary classes. 

Chef Harminder Singh
Photo Credit: Chef Harminder Singh 

Geeta Wahab: What inspired you to become a chef?
Chef Harminder: I love to put a smile on people's faces. Cooking good and healthy food is my way of spreading goodness in the world.
GW: What is your favourite comfort dish to make after a long?
CH: My comfort food is basmati rice loaded with colourful organic veggies and some lean protein.
GW: What are some of your favourite flavours to work with?
CH: My favourite flavours from Indian cuisine are fresh mint and green cardamom.
GW: Which spice can't you live without?
CH: Coriander seeds.
GW: Is there another cuisine you would love to learn to cook?
CH: Although I have extensive knowledge about major cuisines, I believe learning is lifelong.
GW: What is next in the world of Chef Harminder?
CH: We are continuously growing; many ideas are coming to life. I'd love to venture into the hotel business.
For more information on Chef Harminder, recipes and classes visit him online at And now, for the recipe you’ve been waiting for: Chef Harminder’s tasty, dreamy Butter Chicken.
Butter chicken is a combination of chicken tikka which is cooked in the oven separately followed by being drenched in thick spicy butter sauce that was cooked in a sauce pan.

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka

2 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons tandoori masala
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon full fat yogurt
½ teaspoon ginger powder
Salt and chilli powder, to taste


Mix all the ingredients, except for the chicken, in a bowl to make a thick, consistent marinade. Then add the chicken cubes and mix well. Cover and keep refrigerated overnight or for at least four hours. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the marinated chicken on a foiled sheet pan. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for the Sauce

500 grams of crushed tomatoes, fresh or canned
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
50 grams unsalted butter
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
10 grams ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon red chilli powder
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leafs
¼ cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon green cardamom powder


Heat a medium saucepan and add oil, garlic, and ginger and cook until they turn golden brown. Add butter and let butter melt. Then add tomatoes and stir. Cook the sauce for 30 minutes. On low heat, add the spices, salt and whipping cream. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes on medium low heat, until sauce thickens to coat the back of a spoon. Add chicken tikka to the sauce and mix. Enjoy!

Chef Harminder's Butter Chicken
Photo Credit: Chef Harminder Singh 


Main Image Photo Credit: Chef Harminder Singh 

Geeta Wahab


Cultivating a life she loves, Geeta (@geets.suites) is chasing all her passions, including her love for home décor. As a brand new home owner, her current journey has launched her further into that world - check out her Instagram @geets.suites for tidbits of her story and other decorating pieces. A...


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