Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chicken Tikka Masala

For regular blog readers, you all know that I like to cook a variety of ethnic dishes. My interests often lean toward Asian foods so it came as a bit of a surprise to me when I realized that I have never attempted Indian food. This may be a partial lie, because I have made tandoori chicken before, but it was a very long time ago and I'm sure I tried to make it healthy and therefore lost the true essence of the traditional flavors. But not this time! I went all in with this Indian dish. Heavy cream? Check. Full-fat yogurt? Check. Lots of awesome spices? Check! Check! The resulting dish made for a small army, but I imagine you could easily cut this in half. I served with a brown basmati rice.

Chicken Tikka Masala (serves 8)

  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-milk yogurt (not Greek!)
  • 1 TB kosher salt
  • 2 lbs., boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
  • 3 TB ghee (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 2 dried chiles de arbol (or 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 1 28-oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups chopped cilantro


Combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl. Whisk yogurt, salt, and half of spice mixture in a medium bowl; add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and chill 4-6 hours. Cover and chill remaining spice mixture.
Heat ghee in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, tomato paste, cardamom, and chiles and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining half of spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pot begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes with juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes.
Add cream and chopped cilantro. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack inside sheet. Arrange chicken on rack in a single layer. Broil until chicken starts to blacken in spots (it will not be cooked through), about 10 minutes.
Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, add to sauce, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Serve with rice and cilantro sprigs.

1 comment:

  1. Looks and sounds yummy! This is Mark's favorite dish and a staple in my house. I use Greek yogurt in mine; it tastes just as delicious and I've tricked myself into thinking that's healthier!