I’ve been working on this recipe for awhile, and though I still haven’t gotten it exactly the way I want it, it’s pretty good. The thing with Indian food is it’s tricky to get a perfect recipe because everyone has their own.  I have put this together based on what the nice people down at my local Indian restaurant have told me, the ingredients list on the back of a Tandoor Chef box, America’s Test Kitchen’s The Best International Recipe, and bits and pieces from the Food Network.I imagine I will make improvements to this as I make it through the years. Some of these spices are a little hard to find. Finding fenugreek leaves was a several month quest for me. However, my blogging friend Kamran at the sophisticated gourmet told me they are also called “Methi,” so if you are trying to find them, you can look for them under either name.Don’t be afraid to go into an Indian market and ask lots of questions.

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons good paprika
  • 2 teaspoon chicken curry masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 4 ounce can tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 serrano pepper, thinly sliced, with ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

In a skillet set over medium-heigh heat, cook onions in the oil until just beginning to brown on the edges.  Stir in spices and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.  Add in tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir to deglaze the pan and transfer to a crockpot.  Stir in garlic, ginger, hot pepper, fenugreek leaves, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cover, and cook on low for 4 hours.  While it cooks, prepare the chicken.

  • 1 pound chicken tenders, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon good paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken curry masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Toss chicken and spices together and let marinate in fridge for 2 hours, or overnight.  Stir 1/2 cup plain yogurt in and allow to marinate for another hour. Place chicken on a piece of parchment paper set on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.Stir chicken, 1 cup of yogurt, cream, and cilantro into the crockpot.  Allow to cook for about 20 minutes more.  Serve withfresh naan, cranberry mango chutney, and brown basmati rice.

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