Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chicken Tikka Masala

Two weeks ago, Aaron and I went to dinner with our friends Haren, Payal, Alf and Renee to an Indian restaurant in Clifton (I can't remember the name). I ordered Chicken Saag and Aaron got Chicken Tikka Masala. Both meals tasted great, but the chicken tikka masala was the best! You know it must have been good if I went home and found a recipe to make it myself! So, I meant to make this last week, but it got pushed off until tonight.

I was surprised to learn that Chicken Tikka Masala is "Britain's true national dish", according to Wikipedia. I found this highly rated recipe on Allrecipes.com, and only made a couple minor adjustments. Since we are on pepper overload from the garden, I used one jalapeno and one serrano pepper (minus the seeds from both) and it turned out to be just the right amount of heat that I like in my food.

1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (I omitted)
4 teaspoons salt, or to taste (I recommend using less salt - maybe 2 tsp in the total recipe)
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
(we added 1 chopped serrano also)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons salt, or to taste (I recommend leaving this out completely next time - I only used 1.5 tsp and still thought the recipe was too salty)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat a grill for high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

And that's it!

The whole thing was very easy to make. Aaron prepped the chicken while I was at work and got it marinating so it was ready to go by the time I got home. I skewered the chicken and he grilled it while I made the sauce inside. (Note - do NOT buy round skewers no matter how cool you think they look. They are a pain to get food on or off.)

I made basmati rice and mixed in some chopped cilantro after it finished cooking.

I'm a little disappointed because half-way into making this, I remembered I wanted to make naan to go with it. I had a recipe in mind, but that would have meant postponing dinner another 2+ hours. So, we figured we like this enough that we'll be having it again. I can make the bread next time.


Liz said...

I *love* Tikka Masala and now I am totally craving it! Looks great!

madebymel said...

I have always wanted to make Chicken Tikka Masala, but I was afraid I would mess it up! You make it look so easy! I will definitely try to make it soon. :)

Joelen said...

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my fave Indian dishes and this recipe looks great! I love your circle skewers... it been one of the things on my "to buy" list!

Amy said...

Oh wow, this looks so good!! I love Tikka Masala!!


Katie said...

This looks amazingly good!

Jaime said...

i love this dish! i made it for my blog a while back and it is a regular in our rotation now :)

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