Chicken Tikka Masala

IMG_2934I’ve loved Indian food since I was a kid. When I was seven and visited India with my family for the first time, I decided that I had three favourite dishes – Mattar Paneer, Aloo Gobi and Chicken Tikka Masala.

For a long time I didn’t really cook Indian at home, partly because the really good recipes are time consuming and partly because my mother-in-law – a fantastic cook – kept us well stocked, sending us home with all of our favourite dishes each time we visited.

I have however, over the years, developed an arsenal of relatively quick and easy Indian recipes that fulfill our cravings but can be whipped up on a week night. This Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is one of them.

The succulent pieces of chicken breast stay moist due to the yoghurt marinade and the warm and slightly spicy sauce gets its richness from Garam Masala and sweet browned onions. While the recipe calls for the tomatoes are blended, resist the temptation to start with crushed tomatoes as the sauce won’t end up with the right consistency.

I like to serve it with turmeric rice with peas as was suggested by the original recipe I found online years ago (unfortunately I’ve long since forgotten the source).

The best part of the recipe? It achieves that deep delicious flavour we crave in less than an hour!

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4):

For the Chicken:

3 CHICKEN BREASTS

GROUND CUMIN

GROUND CORRIANDER

SALT

1/2 CUP PLAN YOGHURT

For the Sauce:

3 TBSP BUTTER

1 LARGE ONION FINELY CHOPPED

4 CLOVES GARLIC FINELY CHOPPED

1 TSP GINGER PASTE

3 TBSP GARAM MASALA

1 CAN DICED TOMATOES

1 TSBP SUGAR

1/2 TBSP SALT

1 CUP CREAM

FRESH CILANTRO TO GARNISH

For the Rice:

2 CUPS BASMATI (OR YOUR FAVOURITE LONG GRAIN) RICE

4 CUPS WATER

1 TBSP TUMERIC

1/2 CUP FROZEN PEAS

1 TBSP BUTTER

1 TSP SALT

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the broiler.

Sprinkle chicken breasts with freshly ground cumin and ground coriander and a bit of salt. Coat well with yoghurt. Broil until just starting to char around the edges and then set aside.

Meanwhile, add the butter to a large sauce pan and sauté on low until soft and browned. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for an additional two minutes. Add the Garam Masala and tomatoes and cook for another two minutes.

Transfer the tomato onion mixture to a blender and blend until smooth and then transfer back into the sauce pan.

Bring back to a simmer and add sugar and salt. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes, deglazing the pan with the back of your wooden spoon and allowing some of the water to simmer off.

Add the chicken and cream and stir to combine.

Cook the rice using your usual method, adding the peas about half way through.

Serve the Chicken Tikka Masala over the rice garnished with fresh cilantro.

Prep Time: 10 min

Cooking Time: 40 min

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