After a week spent outside in the beautiful sunshine and warm weather (in mid-February!), the temperature has taken a nose dive this weekend. That makes this a perfect time to make a hearty curry for (maybe?) this last venture into winter.
Chicken Tikka Masala is a spice-filled, tomato-based Indian curry full of delicious tender chicken.
I use a Tandoori spice blend from Spiceology to marinate the chicken before roasting it and adding it to the curry base. You could also use a prepared tandoori paste, or a mixture of garam masala, turmeric, coriander, and Kashmiri chili powder.
Serve over rice with naan bread, if desired. Recipe for homemade Naan Bread:
Chicken Tikka Masala
4-6 chicken breasts, diced
3 Tbs dry Tandoori seasoning (Spiceologist)
2 Tbs plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 (15oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 onion, cut into quarters
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2-4 fresh small hot chili peppers, seeded (adjust to desired spice level)
1 small can (4 oz) diced hot green chilies
2 tsp salt
1 tsp whole mustard seeds
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
¼ cup butter
1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp kasoori methi (fenugreek leaves)
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbs tomato paste
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine diced chicken with Chicken Seasonings in a Ziploc bag. Marinate several hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 450°F.
In a blender, combine canned diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, fresh hot chili peppers, canned hot chili peppers, salt, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds. Blend until mixture is mostly blended (some texture is fine).
Melt butter in a large pot. Stir in remaining seasonings and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in blended tomato mixture and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.
Add tomato sauce, coconut milk, and tomato paste. Bring to gentle boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
While sauce is simmering: Spread chicken in a single layer on a shallow rimmed baking sheet. Bake chicken at 450°F for 10 minutes, then broil for 1-2 minutes, or until chicken begins to char. Stir chicken and any liquid in the baking pan into the sauce mixture on the stove. Cook for 5 minutes longer. Taste and add additional salt, if needed. Stir in half of the chopped cilantro.
Serve over rice and/or with Naan bread. Garnish individual bowls with the remaining chopped cilantro
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