Saturday, July 16, 2016

Restaurant Style Chicken Tikka Masala ( Bite-size grilled chicken pieces in a rich cream and tomato based sauce).

Chicken Tikka Masala is ubiquitous in Indian restaurants, worldwide. Most people around the world who like Indian food are familiar with this dish. They would have tasted/ eaten this dish with naan or rice at least once!

Making it at home might seem like a far-fetched idea, but in reality it is not that difficult. I have a good friend from school, Sandhya, who is chef, par excellence. Everything she makes is delicious!! She is a North Indian and this dish is part of their cuisine. You see, I am a South Indian and chicken tikka masala is definitely not a part of my everyday cuisine ( traditionally). Coming back to my friend, she taught me this super-easy recipe for Chicken Tikka masala, and I would never go back to making it any other way!!

You have to check this super-easy recipe out!

Prep time: 15 mins + 30 mins plus for marinating.

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients :

Boneless chicken thighs : 1 lb ( 450) gms, cut into bite-sized pieces
Cooking oil: 1 tbsp
Ginger: 1 inch piece, cut julienne
Whole red chillies: 2-3 medium-sized
Half & half : 1 cup ( room temperature). ( If you don't have half & half, whole milk or heavy cream will also do).
Tomato paste: 1/2 8oz can
Kasuri methi ( crushed dried fenugreek leaves): 1 tsp ( optional)
Salt: to taste
Sugar: 1 tsp
Coriander leaves ( cilantro) : 1 tbsp, chopped, for garnish.

For marinating the chicken:

Chicken tikka masala: 4 tbsp ( any brand will do). ( if you don't have this spice mix, check the "cooking made easy" for alternative
Ginger garlic paste: 2 tbsp
Lime/ lemon juice: from one lime/ lemon
Plain yogurt ( curd) : 1 cup
Kasoori methi (crushed  dried fenugreek leaves): 1/2 tsp
Salt: to taste

Skewers for kebabs : 3-4 ( may not need all.


Clean the chicken thoroughly. Add all the ingredients listed under " marinade" in a bowl and mix well to make a paste. Add the chicken pieces to this bowl and mix well. Keep in the refrigerator and marinate for atleast 30 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, soak the wooden  skewers in water for atleast 30 mins. Soaking the skewers helps prevent it from catching fire while grilling.

Once marinated, you can arrange the marinated chicken pieces on the skewers. Reserve the remaining marinade, DO NOT DISCARD!

If you have a grill, you can cook the chicken on the grill. If not, use the oven.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Place the skewers on a grill pan or baking sheet to catch the drippings. Bake for 16-18 mins, rotating the skewers once at the end of 8-9 minutes. Ensure that the chicken pieces are cooked before taking it out of the oven.

While the chicken is in the oven, prepare the sauce.
In a sauté pan or sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium heat. 

Add the julienned ginger pieces and sauté for 10 seconds. 

Break the red chilli into 2 pieces and add it to the pan. Sauté for 10 seconds. 

Now add the tomato paste. Reduce the flame and sauté until the tomato paste loses its raw taste (or you see it leaving a little bit oil).

Add the half & half & mix well. 

Now add the remaining marinade, kasuri methi ( dried fenugreek leaves), salt , sugar and mix well. Bring it to a gentle boil.

Remove the chicken pieces from the skewers and keep ready.

Add the grilled chicken pieces to the sauce ( I ate quite a few pieces, enroute!;)).

Garnish with coriander leaves ( cilantro) & some cream!

Serve with rice/ roti/bread!

Enjoy! I am bringing this to Throwback Thursday #47Fiesta Friday #128  and Saucy Saturday #53!

Cooking made easy:

If you don't have tikka masala on hand, use the following in the proportions given for the above mentioned recipe:

Dhaniya (Coriander) powder: 1 $ 1/2 tbsp
Jeera ( cumin) powder: 3/4 tbsp
Haldi ( turmeric) powder: 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder: 1/4 tsp
Garam masala: 1/2 tbsp
Kashmiri mirch powder ( red chilli powder): 1 tbsp

Tip for healthy living:

If you want the dish to be low calorie, use whole milk instead of half & half. The dish may not be very creamy but it will still be delicious and low fat!

Food for thought:

You are confined only by the walls you build yourself. Unknown

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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