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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

I really, really like Indian food.  A lot.

So I learned that chicken tikka masala was actually invented in London.  That's the story, anyway.  At any rate, they serve it at Indian restaurants, and it's tasty.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that although there were a couple steps to making it, it was really easy!


Scrappy and pita.

Chicken Tikka Masala
from Cook's Illustrated Magazine 10/2007

Chicken Tikka
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander (I left this out since I didn't have any)
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used tenders)
1 c. plain yogurt (I used Fage Greek)
2 tbsp. olive or veg oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger

Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt.  Sprinkle over chicken (both sides), lightly pressing onto meat.  Cover and let sit for 30-60 minutes (I left mine on the counter, don't tell the food police).  For yogurt sauce, combine yogurt, oil, garlic and ginger.  Stir to combine.  I left that to sit on the counter, too.

Masala Sauce
3 tbsp. veg oil (I used half olive oil and half ghee, because I could)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, finely chopped (remove ribs & seeds if you don't want it too spicy)
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. garam masala (essential, people)
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro

For the sauce:  Saute onion in oil about 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Add garlic, ginger, chile, paste, garam masala.  Saute a minute or two until your kitchen smells like heaven.  Add tomatoes, sugar, and salt.  Cover and simmer on medium-low for about 15 minutes.  Stir in cream and bring back to simmer.  Turn it off and cover to keep warm.

Uncover your wrapped chicken.  Turn on the broiler.  You need to line a pan with foil and set a rack inside.  I am sure you could get away with crumpling the foil and then opening it if you didn't have a rack.  Point is, you want air circulating underneath.  I used a cookie sheet and cookie rack.  Coat chicken in yogurt mixture.  Be generous.  It should go on pretty thick.  Broil it in the broiler, turning, and letting it char a little, until done, 10-15 minutes.  Let it rest a couple minutes, then cut into 1" pieces and toss into the masala sauce.  You're not cooking the chicken in the sauce.  Top the whole thing with the chopped cilantro and wow your family.

I served mine with pita that I wrapped in foil and warmed in the oven while the chicken cooked.

The Flour Children LOVED this.  (Hooray!)

Silly.  She made her's into a sandwich.

Goofy.  He made his into a taco.


  1. Don't care where it was invented, it's one of my favorite!



  2. So yummy! I must try it sometime.

  3. This might just clear my sinus congestion! Sounds wonderful.


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