Morsels of tender chicken in creamy tomato sauce aka Chicken Tikka Masala , is a very popular fare in Indian restaurants . Some say it was invented in the kitchens of London , others speculate it was concocted by the chefs in Punjab . Whatever the origins were this is a lovely dish , and in my book that is good enough . In case you are wondering , this is not about the dried tandoori chicken pieces swimming in overly creamy sauce served in restaurants . What I am talking about is the dish that home cooks have embraced, not any restaurant knock off. It is fairly simple , flavorful and has fewer calories to boot – I promise you are not going to regret making this .
Alternately these can be cooked on stove top . Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Add 2 to 3 tablespoon of oil and cook the chicken in batches.
Once the tomato sauce begins to darken in color add the tomato paste and mix well . Reduce the heat . Add the cream / coconut cream and mix in . Add the chicken along with the juices . Stir well . If the gravy looks too thick thin it with a few tablespoons of thin coconut milk / milk / yogurt or even water . Taste and adjust the seasonings . Turn off the heat once it comes to a boil . Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top . Serve with basmati rice / naan / or any flat bread .
- For a smooth gravy , blend the cooked onions along with the tomatoes .
- Fresh tomatoes can be substituted for tomato paste and visa versa . If not using tomato paste , puree 2 more medium de-seeded tomatoes .
- Fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) brings out the flavors more , but if preferred add 1.4 teaspoon coriander powder to the browned onions .
Chicken Tikka Masala
- 500 g Chicken 1 lb
- 1/2 C Thick Yogurt
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- 1 Tsp Chilli Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Coriander Optional
- 1/2 Inch Ginger Grated
- 2 Cloves Garlic Grated
- 1 tsp Salt To Taste
- 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
- 1 Onion Medium - about 1C chopped
- 1 Tsp Cumin seeds
- 3 - 4 Pods Cardamom
- 6 Cloves
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 1 Tbsp Methi /Dried FenuGreek Leaves Optional
- 1/4 C Cream / Coconut Cream
- 2 Tomato Medium de-seeded and chopped
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 - 2 Tbsp Oil
- Few Cilantro
- Mix the ingredients for the marinade together to make a smooth paste .Cut the chicken into bite size pieces .Rub the marinade all over the chicken and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes .
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200°C) . Remove excess marinade from the chicken pieces and place on a tray about 1" apart .Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the juices run clear.
- Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat .Add cumin seeds , cardamom , clove , bay leaf and methi leaves to the hot oil .Once the spices splutter add the chopped onion and saute for a few minutes till it begins to brown . Puree the tomatoes and add to the onions . Stir well for a few minutes until the moisture evaporates and the color deepens (Do no brown). Stir in the cooked chicken and any remaining marinade .
- Stir and saute for a couple minutes , add the cream / coconut cream .Reduce heat to low and mix well .Add a few tablespoons of water / thin cream to adjust the consistency of the sauce .Taste and adjust the seasonings .Bring to a boil and turn off the heat .
- Sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top . Serve with basmati rice / naan.
Craving more indian style chicken recipes ? Try the ever popular Tandoori Chicken !