Chicken Tikka Masala - Just the way you like it...
I have forever been in search of the perfect Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. When I say "perfect" I mean succulent and moist pieces of chicken in a fingerlickious good sauce. The sauce is creamy, a little sour, a little sweet, and the chicken pieces are so perfectly tender and succulent. While there are all kinds of theories on where this great dish originated, one of the claims is that it originated in an Indian restaurant in the United Kingdom. In fact, it is also considered a British national dish.
After trying out at least 10 versions and variations, I think I may have a very good recipe here. But of course, my search will not stop here.
PS - My dear friends Valisa and James can definitely vouch for this dish - they order it almost every month from me. Love them!!!
Serves - 4
Time - 15 minutes (prep), 2 hours (marinate), 20-30 minutes (cooking), 2 - 3 hours (total)
1.5 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken, cut into little chunks
For the Marinade -
1 cup plain yogurt
Juice of one lemon
1 tbs cumin powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
For the Sauce -
2 tbs oil or butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tbs ginger, grated
1 tbs garlic, minced
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chaat masala (found in Indian stores)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tbs dried fenugreek leaves (as garnish)
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chicken and let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, or overnight.
Lay the chicken pieces on a foil covered baking sheet and broil in the oven on high for about 15 minutes or until done.
To prepare the sauce, heat oil or butter in a wok on medium heat. Add in the onion and let it cook for about 7-10 minutes or until reddish brown.
Add in the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute.
Mix in the coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala, chaat masala and salt and stir for another 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato puree and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the mix from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then transfer it to a blender and blend until it is a smooth and creamy sauce.
Pour the sauce back into the pan and stir in the cream and simmer for a few minutes on medium heat.
Finally mix in the pieces of chicken to the sauce and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
Garnish with fenugreek leaves and serve with rice or Indian bread.