Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

I made Chicken Tikka Masala before, and it took several days to marinade and then cook. I don't really operate that way- so I decided to try it again and test the need for days of marinade.

JW's verdict: the best tikka masala ever, "now go write it down!" (of course, I didn't)

So, I started with the basic recipe I blogged about before, but here were my modifications for 1 Day:


Masala Marinade

  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup blanched whole almonds
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I probably added a bit more... it was nice and warm!)
  • One 35-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I had half and half...)


  1. MAKE THE MASALA MARINADE: In my food processor, I ground the garlic cloves, fresh ginger, cumin, whole coriander seeds, ground ginger, cayenne and turmeric. In a plastic bag, combine the yogurt and spices. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken into small chunks and make a few shallow slashes in each piece of chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade, turn to coat and refrigerate for as long as you have.
  3. MEANWHILE, in a cast-iron casserole, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil. Add the almonds and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely ground.
  4. Heat the remaining oil and add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garam masala, chile powder and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the sugar and season with salt and pepper. I also added 1 bouillon cube with some water.
  5. Cover partially and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 8 inches from the heat. 
  7. Remove the chicken from the marinade; scrape off as much of the marinade as possible. Spread the pieces on a baking sheet and season the chicken with salt and pepper. 
  8. Broil the chicken, turning once or twice, until just cooked through and browned in spots, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut it into 2-inch pieces.
  9. Add the cream and ground almonds and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes longer. 
  10. Stir in the chicken; simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, and serve. 
Next time... I want to make it in the crockpot. We'll have to see how that goes.

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