Life has been going pretty well the past few weeks. I’ve been reaching out to old friends and trying different local restaurants…and after searching everywhere for some proper paneer cheese, I finally spotted some at the local Costco Wholesale, of all places! I’m now the proud owner of two huge blocks; they’re sitting in my fridge, waiting to be a part of my next cooking adventure.
So the focus of today’s entry is Chicken Tikka Masala. Mmmm. Scrumptious and oh-so-delicious. If you’ve ever eaten at an Indian restaurant before, its likely you may have tried this very popular dish. I first ate Chicken Tikka Masala at a local place in the San Francisco Bay Area. Creamy, flavorful, and amazing beyond belief. After my last success with Indian Pizza (thank you Aarti Sequeira!) I’ve been itching to try my hands at making another Eastern dish…and of course, Tikka Masala was the first thing that popped into my head!
To my understanding, the key to a good Tikka Masala are the spices. Garam Masala is essential, as is cumin. After hunting high and low at Trader Joe’s and Safeway’s, I hit the lottery at Lucky’s. Check it out: it’s a handy dandy little package with all the spices you need, pre-measured for Tikka Masala. There’s also a recipe card on the back! I didn’t use everything in the package because I prefer fresh over preserved, but definitely check it out if you’re a busy person on the go.
The recipe I posted today is actually not the one on the back of this package, but one that I came up with based on reading various adaptations of Tikka Masala recipes. Feel free to try it out and experiment with it.
Chicken Tikka Masala
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Time: 30 minutes prep, 30 minutes cook
- 4 low-fat boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1 and 1/2 chopped tomatos
- 1 inch garlic, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 and 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 4 slices frozen Naan Bread
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1. Prepare the chicken. I like to give the meat a quick rinse in water before I get them cooking. Place on a plate and season those bad boys on both sides with cumin. You can also add some kosher salt.
2. Marinate the chicken thighs in yogurt thoroughly. Place them on a foil covered baking sheet. Boil the chicken in the oven for about 15 minutes, with about 7 minutes on one side and flipping for 7 minutes on the other. Transfer to your cutting board and slice into 1-2 inch squares.
4. Now melt your butter in a pan. Make sure you slide the butter around so it coats the bottom of your pan.
5. Throw in the onion, and toss it around with the butter until coated thoroughly.
6. Add your garlic and ginger.
5. Now for the spice! First up, garam masala. Toss it in and make sure it coats everything. Then, add your paprika.
6. Add your tomatoes to the mix. I know some recipes call for canned diced tomatoes, which is fine but I had plenty of tomatoes and didn’t want to see them go to waste. Plus, they’re fresh! Just look at all those colors.
7. Allow everything to cook and simmer for a few minutes before adding in your cream.
8. Then, in goes your chicken…coat it well…
10. Finally, top it all off with the chopped cilantro! You can add some crushed red pepper for more heat. Serve with some rice or naan, and enjoy!
I had so much fun making this. I imagine I might adjust the recipe a little more over time (my broth was a little thin for my liking), but for this first attempt at Chicken Tikka Masala, I have to say I’m proud of it. Also, for the naan, I baked mine in the oven at 450 degrees for about 7 minutes. They came out perfect.
Thanks for reading!