Chicken Tikka Masala

Recipes
Chicken Tikka Masala

This Chicken Tikka Masala recipe starts out with marinating the chicken in yogurt and spices to tenderize the meat and add lots of flavour.  After the marinade, the Tikka Masala comes together easily with tomato, spices and cream.  Making Tikka Masala might be faster than getting take-out!

Tikka Masala has some heat to it, but the heat is flavourful and not over the top.  If you prefer milder curry, this recipe has adaptations to cut back on the level of heat.

Thank you to Arvinda and her daughter Preena, from Missisauga for sharing their recipe with all of us!

Tikka Masala Ingredients:

Marinade

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed
1⁄4 cup thick plain yogurt
2 tsp tikka masala spice, try Arvinda’s Tikka Masala (use 1 1⁄2 tsp for mild)
1 tsp lime or lemon juice
1⁄2 sea salt

Sauce

1 extra-large onion (or 4 medium onions), peeled and quartered
3 tbsp oil
2-3 each of black peppercorns, cardamom pods, cinnamon bark, cloves and star anise (whole spices)
1⁄2 cup crushed tomatoes, canned, unsalted
2 tbsp tikka masala spice, try Arvinda’s Tikka Masala (use 1 1/2 tbsp or 1 tbsp for milder curry)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1⁄2 cup half and half cream (10% M.F.)
1 tsp lime or lemon juice
1⁄2 cup water, add extra if needed
1⁄2 tsp garam masala, to garnish (optional)
1⁄4 cup cilantro, finely chopped to garnish (optional)

Chicken Tikka Masala Preparation

1. Marinade: In a large bowl, mix marinade ingredients together. Add chicken, coat well, cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 400F. Put chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Option: For best results, grill on barbeque. Set aside.

3. Sauce: Boil the onions in water until softened and cooked. Drain and purée in a food processor until smooth. In a large pan, heat oil on medium-high. Add whole spices and fry for one minute until they sizzle. Add puréed onion. Cook for 10 minutes until onion is reduced and becomes a thick paste. Stir in crushed tomatoes, add tikka masala and blend to make a paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add cream, sugar and salt and mix into a sauce. Fold in cooked chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add water and mix. Cook for a few more minutes and add lemon juice. Garnish with a sprinkle of garam masala and cilantro, if desired. Serve with Naan and basmati rice.

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