There wasn’t a lot of good Indian food where I grew up (awesome Chinese, but eh in the Indian department). I only discovered the joys of Indian food in college when one of my roommates insisted we check out a local restaurant. I fell in love with the restaurant and am still crushed over that restaurant closing its doors. But don’t fret! I have found a bangladeshi restaurant in Atlanta that has fantasic food and serves many of the same dishes. Panahar. It’s delicious and the owner is super friendly.

However, sometimes I don’t feel like driving out to Buford Hwy, so I sometimes cook up a batch of chicken tikka masala on my own. The dish has two main parts: the chicken tikka and the masala sauce. The chicken is marinated in a yogurt sauce and then, traditionally, cooked in a “tandoor,” which is a clay oven. For those of us without a tandoor on hand, the broiler is a good substitute. The tikka is then added to a masala sauce prior to serving. The masala sauce is usually a tomato & cream sauce with lots of spices. This particular recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com, which notes that Chicken Tikka Masala is the world’s most popular indian dish.


Pumpkins Cream Cheese Muffin (1 of 17)

CHICKEN TIKKA
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1/2 tsp  cumin, ground
1/2 tsp  coriander, ground
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 C plain whole-milk yogurt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 med. garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

 

Pumpkins Cream Cheese Muffin (5 of 17)

MASALA SAUCE
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 C onion, finely diced
2 med. garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 jalapeno, minced, (no seeds) (the original recipe called for a serrano chili pepper, but I didn’t have one)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp garam masala (a blend of spices available at most grocery stores)
1  large can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 C cream
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro leaves (or cilantro in a tube, if you forget to buy fresh cilantro at the grocery store)

 

Tikka Masala (5 of 16)

 

Combine all the ingredients for the Tikka, except for the chicken, and mix into a thick marinade.  Add the chicken and make sure all those chunks are coated. Then cover and marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes or, even better, several hours.

Tikka Masala (6 of 16)

 

 Towards the end of the marinating time, get started on the Masala by heating out the oil and sauteeing the onion until it has softened. Then add the garlic, ginger, jalapeño, garam masala and tomato paste. Cook for about three minutes, at which time your kitchen should be filling up with all kinds of good smells.

Tikka Masala (8 of 16)

 

 Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Once you’ve hit that boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Tikka Masala (11 of 16)

 

While the masala sauce is simmering, take the chicken out of the fridge and prepare either a baking sheet with a wire cooling rack or a broiler pan. Put the chicken on the pan (or rack) and cook under a broiler until cooked through, approximately 15 to 20 minutes (7 to 10 minutes on each side).

 

Tikka Masala (10 of 16)

 

 While the chicken is broiling, add the cream to the masala souce and continue to simmer for a few minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust to your liking.

 

Tikka Masala (12 of 16)

 

 Once the chicken is cooked, add the chicken tikka to the masala sauce and stir in the cilantro. Spoon out the chicken and sauce and serve over rice for a warm, spicey, comforting bowl of tikka masala goodness.

 

Chicken Tikka Masala
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • CHICKEN TIKKA
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • ½ tsp cumin, ground
  • ½ tsp coriander, ground
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 med. garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • MASALA SAUCE
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1¼ C onion, finely diced
  • 2 med. garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeno, minced, (no seeds)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala (a blend of spices available at most grocery stores)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅔ C cream
  • ¼ C chopped fresh cilantro leaves (or cilantro in a tube)
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the Tikka, except for the chicken, and mix into a thick marinade. Add the chicken and make sure all those chunks are coated. Then cover and marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes or, even better, several hours.
  2. Towards the end of the marinating time, get started on the Masala by heating out the oil and sauteeing the onion until it has softened. Then add the garlic, ginger, jalapeño, garam masala and tomato paste. Cook for about three minutes, at which time your kitchen should be filling up with all kinds of good smells.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Once you've hit that boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. While the masala sauce is simmering, take the chicken out of the fridge and prepare either a baking sheet with a wire cooling rack or a broiler pan. Put the chicken on the pan (or rack) and cook under a broiler until cooked through, approximately 15 to 20 minutes (7 to 10 minutes on each side).
  5. While the chicken is broiling, add the cream to the masala souce and continue to simmer for a few minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust to your liking.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, add the chicken tikka to the masala sauce and stir in the cilantro. Spoon out the chicken and sauce and serve over rice for a warm, spicy, comforting bowl of tikka masala goodness.