Chicken Tikka Masala

Indian food is not as complicated to make as people assume. Yes, there are lots of ingredients (mostly spices) and several stages to each recipe, but if you take it step by step, these dishes are actually quite simple. Chicken Tikka Masala is a fan favorite of ours at every Indian restaurant, so it only seemed natural that we give it a try at home for a Valentine’s Day treat. The result was DELICIOUS!!! The chicken marinated for over an hour in a sauce that would be amazing on its own. Creamy greek style yogurt mixed with cumin, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, lemon juice, salt and pepper added rich flavor that could be tasted through the savory sauce that coated the meat. Mmm… that wonderful creamy red sauce….

When I think of Tikka Masala, I automatically envision the vibrant orangey red color of the thick sauce that is just begging to be sopped up with an abundance of naan and rice. A luscious tomato base, spiced up with garlic, jalapeño, paprika and cumin, this sauce only gets better when you add cream and butter (like I even need to tell you that). The sauce builds in flavor as it simmers and thickens on the stove. Warm, spicy and absolutely decadent, the Tikka Masala gets better and better with every additional ingredient. Once the marinated poultry was cooked to perfection in a large skillet, the chicken hopped into the dreamy red cream sauce and dinner was made!

We paired this dish with the awesomely tasty Basmati Rice with Raisins, Nuts & Peas alongside some simple sautéed kale cooked with garlic and salt. Hot damn… Indian food never tasted so good…

Makes 6 servings

1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, cook chicken until juices run clear, about 3 minutes on each side. Discard of extra sauce.

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeño for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 1 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add additional salt as needed. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.

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3 thoughts on “Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. I tried your recipe, and it was great! It was pretty simply compare to some recipes that I’ve found for Tikka Masala, so it didn’t scare me off. Thanks for the yummy food!

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