# 41 chicken tikka masala

Chicken tikka masala is a dish of roasted chunks of chicken that has been marinated in spices and yogurt, grilled to perfection, and then tossed & served in a spicy sauce, usually creamy and orange colored.  Despite it being hindu in style & name, it has been claimed to have originated in Glasgow in an Indian restaurant by the British Bangladeshi community; today it’s one of the UK’s most popular dishes! Since the origins are disputed, there really is no standard recipe for tikka masala (as you can easily discover in Pinterest how many different ingredients are mentioned in the many, many recipes to be looked through).  The sauce, however, usually includes tomatoes, cream, coriander, and the color-defining turmeric.  It can also be prepared with lamb, fish, or paneer (a fresh cheese popular in Indian and Pakistani cuisines).

One thing for sure, this yummy Anglo-Indian recipe is sure to make anyone very happy.  When eaten with naan bread and raita sauce, it’s one of the greatest homemade meals you can have: fresher, healthier, cheaper, and tastier than anything you can order!  The delicious magic of the garam masala spice blend will surely sweep you right off your feet, try it!

For the Marinade

  • 1 pound (450g) of chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup (240g) of plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 inch of ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of red cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Prepare the marinade in a medium-sized bowl and mix well. Add the cubed chicken pieces and seal completely.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Heat a medium-sized skillet and drizzle with vegetable oil.  Add the marinated chicken cubes and grill to perfection!  Add the rest of the marinade for flavorful chicken pieces and cook for 5 more minutes.  Set aside.

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 6 cashews (or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 inch of a cinnamon stick
  • 4 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup (60g) of heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) of milk
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cilantro

In a large deep skillet, add vegetable oil and roast the 1/2 red pepper.  Add the onions and the cashews, or peanut butter, and brown.  Let cool and blend to a purée.  Add butter to the skillet on medium-low heat and sautée the coriander, cumin powder, and garlic cloves.  Add the onion and red pepper purée, the cinnamon stick, ketchup, and tomato paste.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the chicken and heavy cream and stir to coat evenly.  Let the chicken soak-in the flavors, keeping the sauce on low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add the chili powder, or cayenne pepper, or both!  The spicier, the better…

Stirring often, add milk to make the sauce’s consistency however thick or runny as you please – extra saucy goes well with the naan bread! Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Serve over a bed of rice and garnish with cilantro.  Serve with the must-have compliments: raita sauce & naan bread.

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