So let's just say we're a little excited about the opportunity to share one of our favorite Indian recipes, Chicken Tikka Masala. A dish well known around the world for its combination of delightful spices, Chicken Tikki Masala is a surefire Indian staple. Cardamom, Cayenne, Coriander, and fresh Cilantro are just a few of the wonderful herbs that tie this dish together and give it an unforgettable flavor profile.
We hope most of our readers recognize the importance of functional foods (check out the Health Benefits of Indian Spices), this is why we make it a point to utilize them in all of our meals and there is no exception with this dish. All of the fresh herbs and spices included here possess many amazing nutritional benefits that can be highly beneficial to your overall well being. We recently posted an article on the 7 Healthy Benefits of Ginger Root, give it a read and maybe a share with your friends ;)
Anyhow, back to the recipe at hand... So we've included all the proper ingredients and steps to make this aromatic dish authentically Indian. Yet, we must first let you know that we decided to make our modifications due to personal preferences. We've marked the ingredients we omitted with an asterisks (*).
We try to stay away from dairy as often as possible so yogurt and heavy cream were omitted, and it just so happens that neither of us do well with peanut oil so we've replaced that with Cold Pressed Olive Oil. We accompanied the dish with brown basmati rice and even with all these major modifications, we assure you the dish will taste delectable! Try either version and let us know your feedback! Until next time... Stay Pure My Friends!
Chicken Tikka Masala
For the chicken:
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 to 4 breast halves total)
- 1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt *
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil *
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime or lemon juice
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) Kerry's Gold Irish Butter (substitute with Coconut Oil if you really don't want to use butter)
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups canned tomato purée
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half *
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus additional sprigs for garnish
Method of Preparation:
Once you have all the ingredients ready, we will now move on to the method of preparing Chicken Tikka Masala. The main essentials in this dish are Chicken and Tomato Sauce which you need to prepare separately and then mix later.
Here are the directions to prepare them:
Marinate the chicken:
- In order to marinate the chicken and let the spices blend in the meat properly, you need to puncture the chicken breasts with a fork all over on both sides.
- Next, place the chicken breasts over a plastic wrap separately and then cover it with another plastic wrap.
- Beat the chicken using a meat mallet or a rolling pin, in order to flatten the breasts to an even ½ to ¾-inch thickness.
- Whisk some yogurt, 1 tbsp. peanut oil, lime juice and garlic in a small bowl.
- Add the minced chicken, and rub the marinade over the meat. Once done, move on to the sauce.
Make the sauce:
- Take a small bowl and add coriander, cardamom, cumin, paprika, nutmeg, grated ginger and cayenne in the bowl. Whisk the mix all together.
- Take a wide 4-quart pot or any sauté pan and melt the butter over moderately high heat on a stove.
- Add onions in the pan to sauté until its light brown and caramelized. It would take about 5 minutes.
- Decrease the heat to moderate then stir in the spice and ginger mixture, so that onions can caramelize evenly.
- Now add the tomato puree, water, heavy cream and salt and let the sauce boil.
- Decrease the heat and let it simmer the sauce while it is uncovered for about 10 minutes to get it thickened.
While sauce is simmering, cook chicken:
- Take a heavy 11 to 12-inch griddle or skillet and set it over a moderately high heat until it’s hot.
- Add ½ tbsp. of peanut oil.
- Now cook the chicken breasts in 2 batches on the griddle or skillet. Feel free to decrease the heat if the chicken sears too fast.
- Turn it few times to cook it properly until its browned well on both sides. It may take about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Repeat the same process for the 2nd batch of chicken adding ½ tbsp. peanut oil in between.
- Once the chicken is cooked, chop it into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
- Add the pieces into the simmering tomato sauce and let it gently simmer further, while stirring, for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the black pepper and chopped cilantro. Add some salt for seasoning.
Enjoy. Bon Appetit. Buen Provecho. Namaste.