Tag Archives: Aarti Paarti

Chicken Tikka Masala #3

Chicken Tikka Masala #3

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium
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Chicken Tikka Masala #3
There are many meals that I want to “master” or perfect. Chicken Tikka Masala is one of those. I’ve had a few that would unquestionably show up on my death row last meal menu. I just love all the things going on in a good one. It’s like a complicated Indian inspired pasta sauce. Burts of tart, tang, smoke and of course that beautiful slow heat make it irresistible to me.

For those who claim that they don’t like Indian food or “curry”, this dish can actually be 100% absent of actual curry. Mine has some but not that much. You should try it if you have never had it.

My last attempt at it was largely from Aarti’s recipe (foodnetwork) and it was really good but I can’t help to search on ways to improve or at least put my twist on the dish. So this time I pulled about four recipes that were highly rated. I highlighted ingredients that were absent from the other recipes and also circled the ones that were the same. My strategy was to create a base of ingredients and techniques that were consistent and then add to them unique ones from the other ones.

This turned out super. The use of lemon really really punched up the tang and gave it a brightness. Also the brine and broil on the chicken was most excellent. Most definitely will that be included in my technique going forward.

4 Chicken Breasts (cut into bite sized pieces)
Add chicken thighs if your people like them
1 large onion (diced)
1 bunch of cilantro
6 cloves of garlic
1 lemon
4-6 Roma tomatoes
2 tbs of fresh ground ginger
2-4 serrano pepper
3 tbs of ghee
1 cup of heavy cream
1 28oz can of Tomato sauce or puree
2 tbs of tomato paste (optional)

4 tbs of Cumin
4 tbs of Paprika
2 tbs of ground coriander
3 tsp of tumeric
3 tsp of ground curry powder (optional)
1-3 tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tsp of Kosher Salt


2 cups of plain full fat greek yogurt
Spices mixed and toasted (above) set aside 4 tbs for sauce
6-8 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbs of mashed fresh ginger
1 tbs of Kosher Salt
Juice of 5-6 lemons
1/2 cup of water

1. Make your spice mix and create your brine in a large zip-locked bag. Trim and cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces and add them to the bag and let it marinate for at least 3hrs. Better over night.
2. When ready make the dish, preheat your oven on broil. Line a sheet pan with foil. Remove your chicken from the marinade and pat it dry as you can. Place it on the sheet pan along with your Roma Tomatoes, Serranos and broil until there is a char. I first put my pan on a lower rack (10mins) , removed any liquid, and put it up on the top rack and watched it until there were some charred ends. When done remove and set aside until time to add to your sauce.

3. Sauce. While my chicken was cooking, I started on the sauce by melting my ghee in a large pot (medium heat) and cooking my onions. I minced the ginger and garlic into a paste and added it for a minute or so. Now I added the remaining four tbs of the spice mix to “bloom”. Stir for about a minute. Now add your tomato sauce/puree and turn it to low and let it simmer and reduce for 30mins. I then added the roasted serranos and rough chopped Roma tomatoes and about 1/2 a bunch of rough chopped cilantro. Cook on low for another 30 minutes.

4. Now remove from the stove and let it cool a bit. CAREFULLY pour into a blender. I have a variable speed blender and I turned it on the lowest setting with no lid. If you lid the mixture and blend while it’s hot you will have a mess on our hands not to mention some burns. I was able to slowly blend this mixture until smooth.
5. Pour the mixture back into the pot on the stove and warm it up to eating temperature. Add your chicken. Let it simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Remove from heat. Now stir in your cup of heavy cream. Taste. At this point you can add extra spices, juice of one lemon, and/or tomato paste to finish it off. I did the lemon and tomato paste. Serve with Naan bread and over rice with some fresh cilantro.

Middle Eastern Chicken Kebobs, Turmeric Rice with Naan

Middle Eastern Chicken Kebobs, Turmeric Rice with Naan

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Middle Eastern Chicken Kebobs, Turmeric Rice with Naan
So I made a homemade tandoor oven for summer kebab cooking. So on my first fire I went Middle Eastern and found a recipe from a delightful site called Once Upon a Chef http://www.onceuponachef.com/ by Jenn Segal. Not sure how I found her but she has some great looking food with great pictures.

Also when I watched the video to build my tandoor the guy was slapping dough on the inner walls of the pot to bake the Naan bread. So I wanted to try making some Naan bread and went to my favorite Indian chef Aarti Sequeira.

Finally I took my bone broth/stock and made a turmeric and saffron rice pilaf. I am going to leave that recipe off because it’s basically the same recipe I used prior but instead of water I used stock/broth and added some turmeric and saffron.

The chicken turned out great as did the Naan. I am not sure why I feel this way but when anything bread related turns out it feels like an accomplishment. Baking and breads remain mystical because of the steps and necessary measuring etc.

We enjoyed it with some Rahr beer brewed in Ft. Worth. I went with the Amber Red. Good stuff!!

Let’s cook
2 chicken breasts (cubed into large bite sized pieces)
1 cup of plain greek yogurt
juice of one lemon
5-6 minced garlic
1 tbs of paprika
2 tsp of cumin
2 tsp of cayenne
2 tbs of pickle juice
2 tbs of olive oil
1 tbs of Kosher Salt
1 tbs of Black Pepper

Naan by Aarti
1 tsp of dry yeast
2 tsp of sugar
2 cups of AP flour (sifted)
1/8 tsp baking powder
2 tbs of greek yogurt
2 tbs of olive oil
3/4 cup of warm water
Butter and salt for topping

1. Best to marinate your chicken 24hrs. IF you can’t do your best to marinate it as long as possible. Take all your ingredients and mix them in a bowl. Taste it. Adjust as necessary. Cube your chicken and put it a bag or in a bowl and cover.
2. Skewer your chicken and if you can leave a little room between each piece. Cook them in your homemade tandoor or grill if you don’t have a tandoor.

3. Naan bread. You need start this about 4hrs prior to eating because the yeast has to do its thing.
Take a bowl or measuring cup and fill it with 3/4 cup of water. Warm it up in microwave for 15 seconds. Add sugar and yeast. Stir and let it get frothy for 8 mins. IMG_9976

Take your other dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar, baking powder) and sift into a large bowl.

Back to your yeast brew and wet ingredients. Add olive oil and yogurt to the yeast brew and stir to break up the yogurt. Now add to your dry ingredients and combine until you have a sticky mess.

I turn my oven on to 150 degrees for 30 seconds and then turn it off. It gets just warm enough and I cover my dough with plastic wrap and a towel and put it in the oven (Turned off). Just a shot of heat in there. Let it sit for 4 hours.

When ready to make it split this dough into six equal pieces. When ready to make use a cast iron skillet or your tandoor and roll each piece out to about 1/4 inch thickness and slap it on the wall or cast iron. It will bubble up a bit and should be ready to eat after 3-4 minutes. Top with butter and a little pinch of salt.