Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala needs no introduction.
It is an all time indian favorite food - enticed by all races and loved in all countries. Naan happens to be its best friend. Its a boneless version of the very famous "Butter Chicken".

Over the years I have modified my recipe a few times, sometimes to achieve the authenticity of flavors, at other times to make it a "guiltless" dinner and at more times to fulfill "quick mid week" cravings !
But lets accept, if this recipe is not creamy and buttery, it ain't no good.

Here you go to re-create the "Food that touches your soul" !!
I make it in two steps
1) Chicken tikka (Grilled Chicken)
2) Buttery tomato-ey sauce

Chicken Tikka (serves 6-8)
Boneless Chicken 3 Lbs (Cut into 1 inch cubes)
Ginger - Garlic - Green Chili Paste (10-12 Garlic Cloves, 3-4 Inches Ginger Root, 4-5 Green Chili)
1 Cup Yogurt (Hung Yogurt, Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream)
Salt - 1/2 Tbsp
Turmeric - 1/2 Tbsp
Shan Chicken Tikka or Tandoori Chicken BBQ Spice Mix (Can be bought from any Indian Store)
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Oil

1) In a big bowl, mix yogurt with ginger-garlic paste. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.  Add in the chicken. Refrigerate the marinade for 3-4 hours at least (Overnight is best).

2) Grill the meat to perfection
     You can put the meat on skewers, if grilling on an outdoor grill.
  • Charcoal Grill - Until cooked and charred from outside.
  • Oven - Bake it on 350F for 30 mins and Broil for 5 mins to get the charring.
  • Gas Grill - Cooking time may vary as per the grill and temperature.
Chicken tikka is ready to be served with lemon wedges and some green chutney. It is a great appetizer or kebab to serve with drinks.

The Sauce
1/2 Small Onion or 1/4 of a Big Onion (Onion quantity should not be increased, Tomato needs to dominate)
3 Green Chili
6-7 Medium Ripe Tomatoes
4-5 Cashews soaked in water (Optional)
Whole Spices - 4-5 Black Pepper corns , 1 small cinnamon stick , 2-3 Cloves, 2-3 Cardamoms
Butter 1/2 Stick
Half and Half  Milk - 1.5 Cup  or Heavy Whipping Cream 1 Cup
Paprika or Red Chili Powder - As per taste
Sugar 1 Tbsp
Coriander Powder 1/2 Tbsp (Freshly Ground enhances the flavor)
Salt to Taste
Chopped Coriander/Cilantro Leaves

1) Puree Onion, Tomato, Green Chili and Cashews.

2) On a heated non-stick pan, add butter and whole spices. Fry on low heat for a minute or until fragrant.
Optional: If you don't like whole spices in your food,you can take out the whole spices from the pan at this point using a spatula.

3) Add the onion and tomato puree to the pan. Add butter as you cook. :D (more the better)
Cook until sauce thickens up, about 10-12 mins on medium heat.

4) Add cream to the sauce. Cook the sauce until it starts bubbling. Add chicken tikka to the sauce.
    Cook on very low heat for few minutes and wrap the sauce around the chciken.

5) Taste the sauce and add salt and paprika if needed. Add sugar and coriander powder, this kills the tanginess from tomatoes and enhances the flavors. Cook until sauce thickens to the consistency you like.

6) Add  Kasoori Methi (Dried fenugreek leaves) to the sauce and stir.

Garnish with a dash of butter and fresh cilantro leaves.

Serve Hot with Butter/Garlic Naan or Rotis.


Rashi said...

Great post Hitashi...and yummy recipe..Keep up the good work!! :)

Ally said...

Absolutely love this recipe! Always a big hit. Thanks!

the dead blue bird said...

Just finished eating this! It was easy to make, delicious, and it have me the chance to get to use spices I wouldn't normally play with. Thanks!

Hitashi said...

Thanks, I am glad you liked it.

Hitashi said...

Thanks, I am glad you liked it.