Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

I've tried quite a few recipes for Chicken Tikka Masala and none of them ever tasted right. A friend gave me a new cookbook for my birthday and I gave this recipe a try. I found it to be really delicious and much closer to what you would find in an Indian restaurant. Its also really simple to make (no toasting of spices or grinding) and thats always a plus.

Chicken Tikka Masala (America's Test Kitchen Cookbook)

This dish tastes best when prepared with whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt can be substituted; do not use fat-free yogurt. For a spicer dish, do not remove the ribs and seeds from the chile. The sauce can be made and refrigerated up to 4 days in advance; gently reheat the sauce before adding the hot chicken. Serve with basmati rice.


Chicken Tikka
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, trimmed
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Masala Sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, minced (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 serrano chile (I kept the ribs and seeds), minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine the cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the spice mixture, pressing gently so it adheres. Place the chicken on the plate, cover with saran warp and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, garlic and ginger. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering (hot). Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden (8-10 minutes). Add the garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala. Cook while stirring frequently until fragrant (3 minutes). Add the tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cream and return to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm.

3. As the sauce simmers, heat up the grill (medium high). Spray the grill with some nonstick spray if you wish. Using tongs, dip the chicken into the yogurt mixture and place on the grill. Grill until chicken reaches 160 degree; flipping halfway through.

4. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks. Stir the chicken pieces into the warm sauce (do not simmer the chicken in the sauce). Stir in the cilantro, season with salt to taste, and serve.

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