Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe type: Curries
The word Tikka means pieces or bits. Chicken Tikka Masala is a delicious dish in which pre-marinated pieces of chicken are grilled and then added to a thick creamy gravy. The result is a lovely smokey flavor. Serve Chicken Tikka Masala with hot Naans (leavened Tandoor-baked flatbread).
- 1 cup fresh yogurt (should not be sour)
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 2 tbsps ginger paste
- 3 tbsps garlic paste
- 3-4 tbsps garam masala
- 6 peppercorns/ 2 dry red chillies
- 3 tbsps lime/ lemon juice
- ½ tsp orange food coloring
- 1 kg chicken (breast or thigh) skinless and cut into 2" chunks
- For the gravy:
- 2 medium-sized onions finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic chopped fine
- 5 pods cardamom
- 1 tin (400 gms approx) chopped tomatoes or 6 medium-sized fresh tomatoes chopped fine
- 2 tbsps garam masala
- 2 tsps soft brown sugar
- 1 cup single cream
- 3 tbsps almonds blanched and ground to a paste
- 3 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
- Salt to taste
- Grind the chopped coriander (keep some aside for garnishing) and all other marinade ingredients (except yoghurt) to a smooth paste in a food processor.
- Pour the above mix into a large bowl and add yoghurt. Mix well. Add the chicken pieces and mix well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate. Allow to marinate overnight.
- Thread the chicken onto skewers and keep ready.
- Preheat your oven or grill to medium high (200 C/ 400F/ Gas Mark 6). Place the skewers on the grill racks in your oven with a tray underneath to catch drippings. Roast open till the chicken is browned on all sides and tender. Keep aside.
- To make the gravy/ sauce: Heat the oil in a deep pan on a medium flame and add the onion. Cook till soft.
- Now add the cardamom and the garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garam masala, brown sugar, tomatoes, almonds and mix well. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and a thick paste forms.
- Add the grilled Chicken Tikkas (chunks/ pieces) and stir. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the cream and mix well. Turn off the flame.
- Garnish the dish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Naans.
To get a genuine smokey restaurant taste in your homemade Chicken Tikka Masala: Make a small bowl out of aluminum foil and place on top of the cooked Chiken Tikka Masala. Now burn a golf ball-sized lump of coal till red hot. Place this piece of coal in the foil 'bowl' and immediately cover the chicken dish. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Uncover, remove coal and foil 'bowl', garnish Chicken Tikka Masala and serve.