Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala

The other night I was craving chicken on the grill.  My boyfriend suggested we make chicken tikka masala.  I wanted a recipe that was easy to make and one that did not require too many ingredients that we would never use again if the dish was a flop (which is was not - please keep reading).   So we bought a new propane tank for the gas grill and a few ingredients for our Indian meal.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Sautéed Greens (upper left)

I found a great recipe here, which we tweaked. This recipes serves 4, which we ate for dinner and still had enough a left-over lunch the next day.

1/2 cup yogurt
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice 
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
3 thin boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (less than a pound of meat)

Grill: We added the marinated chicken and 1/2 onion - chopped in large pieces - onto 4 wooden skewers.

Tikka Masala Sauce:
1-1/2 teaspoons butter
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1 can of peas
small can of tomato paste

Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro


1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cumin, cinnamon, paprika, black pepper, ginger, and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken pieces, cover, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. 

2. Preheat grill on high heat. 

3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken and chopped onion onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill about 5 minutes on each side. 

5. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic and jalapeno for a few minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, paprika, and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce, cream, and tomato paste. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 15-20 minutes. 

6. Add the grilled onion to the sauce and blend with an immersion blender.   

7. Fold in the grilled chicken and peas into the tikka masala sauce. 

8. Place chicken tikka masala over jasmine rice and  garnish with fresh cilantro.

COOKING NOTES: The peas added a great textural element to the sauce.  We're thinking of incorporating potatoes and/or cauliflower next time as well. 

I cannot express how delicious this Indian dish was.  My boyfriend stated that it was even more impressive than some of the chicken tikka masala meals we had in actual Indian restaurants.  If you enjoy Indian food, than you must try this recipe!!!  We've been talking to all our friends about it and will definitely be making it again.

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