Tag Archives: Indian

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.

Chicken Tikka Masala #3

Chicken Tikka Masala #3

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Tikka Masala #3


Still on my quest for the best Tikka Masala. I saw this one from Kevin Townsley on Food 52 and it like I have said before most recipes for Tikka Masala have similar ingredients. So it’s those few extra techniques and seasoning amounts that make a difference. A few things that jumped out from his recipe were the cloves and caramelized onions. He was very emphatic about cooking them for 20mins. When a cook calls out a step and underscores its importance, you had better take note that they likely found “it”.

This was a good one and certainly I will take a few of the techniques as I continue on my quest. I did bump up the heat with 3 Serrano peppers which was probably a little over the line for many peoples tastes. The spices and chicken were all on point. I am my worst critic and while eating I am always thinking how can I make this even better and here is what I am going to try next time. I want to bump up the tomato profile so I will add a small can of tomato paste and I will let that simmer and reduce longer before adding back the cream and chicken.

Love this stuff.
Adapted Kevin Townsley of Food52.com
Tikka Marinade
2-3 Chicken Breasts cubed into bite sized pieces
1 cup Plain Bulgarian Yogurt (or Greek)
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbs ginger minced
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cayenne
8 whole cloves
2 pinches of black pepper
2 pinches of Kosher salt

1 large onion sliced in thin ribbons
4 cloves of garlic finely minced
3 Serrano chilies roasted (seeded and minced)
28-ounce can San Marzano whole peeled plum tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbs ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tbs garam masala
Kosher Salt to taste

Basmati Rice
Naan Bread
1. Dice and trim your chicken. Mix the marinade together with the chicken. Marinate for at least 24 hrs.

2. Turn on your stove and char your Serrano peppers until their skin is black and put into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam them so the outside comes off easily.

3. In a large pot of an oiled pot (2-3 tbs) on medium heat. Add your sliced ribbon onions and Kevin suggests 20mins with constant stirring. He claims it’s the secret so I did it just as he directed.
-When you onions are done, add your garlic and chilies and let them sweat out for 2mins.
-Add your spices and let them release their flavors (1-2mins)
-Pour in your canned tomatoes and let this simmer.
4. Take your marinated chicken and shake off excess marinade and grill it (either outside or on grill pan inside). Put a char on the chicken and set it aside.
5. Back to the sauce, remove from heat or at least turn it all the way down. Add you cream and stir for a few minutes. Salt, pepper and season accordingly and stir in the grilled chicken and let all flavors meld. Remember the chicken has been marinated already so it will add flavor. Just bring it up as you get your seasoning right.

6. Stir in cilantro and serve over rice with Naan bread.

Chicken Tikka Masala #2

Chicken Tikka Masala #2

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Tikka Masala #2
I am still on the search for the best recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. There is a joint here in town that has a magical sauce. I have been chasing it. I just love this stuff.

To those who are heavy into Indian food I know this is the equivalent to something like a California Roll in sushi terms but I still like it. On the other hand, those of you who think you don’t like Indian food you should dip your toes into these waters. Chicken Tikka Masala is a distant cousin to Italian’s creamy tomato vodka sauce or France’s tomato soup. There isn’t any curry in it for those who are curry concerned. All that said it is spicy but in the best of ways…. slow creamy heat that just builds into a perfect eye and lip sweat.
Serve over steamed rice with warm naan bread. It’s spicy, creamy, “tomatoy”, smokey goodness.

Adapted the sauce from the lovely Aarti Sequeira, FoodNetwork.

2-3 Boneless Skinless Organic Chicken breasts and thighs
1 cup of fresh yogurt
1 tbs of lemon juice
1 tbs of fresh minced ginger
1 tbs of minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of fresh cinnamon
1 tsp of Kosher Salt

6-8 cloves of minced garlic
2 inch knuckle of fresh ginger
3 dried serrano peppers (remove the seeds to decrease spice)
8 oz of fire roasted tomatoes
8oz of water
1 heaping tsp of Garam Masala
2 heaping tsp of Paprika
pinch of cumin
2 tsp of Kosher Salt
Black Pepper

1 tbs of butter
1 cup of heavy cream
cilantro to top

1. Cube your chicken into bite sized chunks and add to a Ziplock with the marinade ingredients. 24 hrs.

2. Heat up a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium heat and cook your chicken. (discard marinade). Set aside
3. Add everything in the second section into a food processor and blend for 6-7 minutes…
Pour this mixture into a pot with the butter and simmer for 15mins. Then add your grilled chicken and let it meld with the sauce for about 10-15mins. Watch and add water as necessary. Finally add your cream and cook for 10mins.
With Cream
Serve hot over steamed rice topped with fresh cilantro and accompanied with oven warmed naan bread.

Chicken Tikka Masla #1

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is to Indian food what Pad Thai is for Thai food but I don’t care I love them both.   Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my favorite things to eat. Frankly it would be on my final meal menu. Fortunately I have been able to get Jill on board so on Sunday night when my Beet Ravioli dough didn’t work out we trashed the “dough” we went and picked up some from Mughlai, Dallas who makes one of the best.

The Mughlai dish inspired me to continue to work on my recipe. I have pulled recipes from all over the place and I compare ingredients and tweak continuously. The recipe from epicurious.com by Alison Roman is my base but in reality the ingredients in most recipes out there are the same it’s just the technique and amounts that vary.

Chicken Marinade
3-4 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
6 chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups whole-milk yogurt
6 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tbs finely grated peeled ginger
4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbs Tandoori spice
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbs ground cumin
2 tbs kosher salt

4 tbs of butter
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 can tomato paste
8 cardamom pods opened and insides crushed
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
Served with Naan bread and Steamed basmati rice (for serving)

1. 24hrs before cooking make your marinade and cut chicken bites into a bowl or Ziplock and marinate in ½ the mixture.

2. In a large pot (medium–hot) add your butter finely chopped onions, tomato paste, crushed cardamom and red chili flakes and stir until onions are soft and the color darkens (about 5 mins).

3. Heat your oven on broil and place your chicken on a cooking rack shaking off excess marinade. You are going to but some char on your chicken but not cook it through.

4. Back to your sauce: add in the extra marinade sauce and continuously stir for about another 5mins.

5. Add your 28 oz of canned tomatoes and crush with a potato masher to break them down. Bring this to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10-15mins.

6. Now add your cream and cilantro and broiled chicken and let it simmer for 30-50mins. Stir it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Taste and season with extra cumin, tandoori, salt, garam masala if it needs it.

I serve with warm Naan bread and Basmati or Jasmine rice.