Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tikka Masala

I've only had Tikka Masala once or twice and really enjoyed it, so I decided to give making it a try. I followed the recipe from Joelen's Culinary Adventures. Yet again, she did not disappoint. I enjoyed it much more the second day after the seasonings had more time to sink it. I tried it with both egg noodles and rice. I enjoyed the rice more. I have some in the freezer right now, and after writing this post, I think I'm going to have to start defrosting it for dinner tomorrow.

Recipe from Joelen's Culinary Adventures


Chicken Tikka:
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons table salt
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat (about 3-4 lbs)
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium garlic cloves , minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Masala Sauce:
2 - 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion , diced fine
2 medium garlic cloves , minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)


For the chicken, combine cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger. After the seasoned chicken has 'marinated' for 30-60 minutes in the fridge, pour the yogurt mixture over the chicken and toss to fully coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight.

For the sauce, heat oil in medium sized saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, allow the sauce to cool. Transfer the sauce into a storage container, cover and then refrigerate overnight (I refrigerated for 8 hours).

The next day, remove the chilled sauce from the fridge and heat up in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Remove the chicken from the fridge and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the yogurt coated chicken on the parchment lined baking sheet. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.

Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Adjust seasoning with salt if needed. Before serving, stir in cilantro into the sauce or garnish with cilantro if using (I used dried cilantro).


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