When it comes to Indian food my favorite dish hands down is Chicken Tikka Masala. I eat this dish every time I go to any Indian restaurant and the best part is that it differs in taste at each restaurant.
They say that there is no true known origin to the dish and that it was probably created in an Indian Restaurant in the United Kingdom. There is also no standard recipe, which is why every time I had chicken tikka it was different at each restaurant. This led me to then trying to recreate it at home, and I was able to come up with a spicy hearty flavorful sauce with the addition of curry and cinnamon; which aren’t commonly found in most preparations of chicken tikka. Check out my recipe below.
1 8 oz package of plain greek yogurt
1 large chicken breast or 2 small chicken breasts, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 Habenero pepper minced, seeds removed (I like my food spicy; if the habenero is too spicy for your taste, substitute it with Serrano or jalapeno peppers.)
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons curry
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup of water
Marinade for the chicken:
In a large bowl combine the chicken, yogurt, cumin, salt, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate for 30 minutes or overnight. (I normally marinate my chicken overnight).
Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium to high heat with 2 tbs of olive oil and 2 tbs of butter.Once the butter has melted, add the onions and peppers and saute until the onions become translucent. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute, and then add the tablespoon of tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste until it darkens to a dark brown color, about 2 minutes. Then add the curry and paprika and continue to cook for a minute or two.
Add the roma tomatoes, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and water and bring to a boil. Once the sauce has been brought up to a boil, reduce your heat and simmer for about 30 minutes (the longer you simmer, the. more the flavors develop; like a stew).
In a separate pan or grill pan, coat with olive oil. Place the chicken in the pan once it becomes hot and grill for 2 minutes on each side. You want to get a nice char on the chicken. Don’t worry if it’s not cooked all they way because it will finish cooking in the sauce. Add the chicken to the sauce and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Garnish the sauce with chopped cilantro. Serve over rice, naan bread, or both 🙂