Tuesday, February 17

Chicken Tikka Masala

A favorite Indian dish of grilled chicken simmered in a creamy spiced tomato sauce

Chicken Tikka Masala

I recently watched the movie The Hundred-Foot Journey and it got me interested in trying to cook  Indian food at home. Chicken tikka masala is one of the more popular Indian dishes out there and consists of heavily-spiced chunks of grilled chicken that simmer in a flavorful and creamy tomato sauce. I used this highly-rated recipe from Food2 and it came out great - the chicken was tender, the sauce was rich, and the seasoning was spot on. None of the steps are difficult and the ingredients can all be found at a regular grocery store, but it does take some time and planning to make this dish. If you want to take a short-cut, the grilled marinated chicken tastes delicious on its own without the sauce. Leftovers taste even better the next day and can keep for awhile, so I'd plan on making a big batch so you can enjoy your chicken tikka masala multiple times.

Related Recipes:
- Curry Coconut Chicken
- Indian Butter Chicken
- Grilled Indian Chicken

Chicken Tikka Masala:
For Marinade
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2" cubes
- 1 c. plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 8 whole cloves
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- a few grinds of black pepper

For Sauce & Assembly
- 28 oz. can of peeled whole tomatoes, chopped*
- 1 c. half and half
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into half moons
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 serrano chile, seeds and stems removed, minced
- 3 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 tbsp. garam masala
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- a few grinds of black pepper
- fresh cilantro, for serving

For Grilled Chicken
  • Stir together the yogurt, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, cloves, cumin, garam masalacayenne, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Add in the chicken and stir to coat, then cover the bowl and refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight.
  • Heat a grill or grill pan to high. Thread the chicken onto skewers and discard any remaining marinade.
  • Grill the chicken for 12-15 minutes, turning on all sides, or until the chicken is cooked through and has nice grill marks. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
For Sauce & Assembly
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and cook, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes, or until caramelized.
  • Add in the garlic and serrano and cook for another minute, then stir in the garam masala, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook for another minute, then add in the tomatoes any accumulated juices and stir, scraping all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in the half and half and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Remove the grilled chicken from the skewers and stir into the sauce. Let the chicken simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Serves four-six
*Do not add in all the tomato juice in the can or it might get too watery. Reserve and add only if you need to thin out the sauce a bit.