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Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is probably one of the most popular Indian dishes in the world. It is full of flavor and colour. You will find it on specialty sections on the menu in every Indian restaurant. The irony is that this dish has very little to do with authentic Indian cuisine. That is why there is no standard recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. It is simply chicken chunks, marinated in a spice and yogurt mixture, then roasted or grilled and served in a tasty masala ("mixture of spices") sauce which forms the body and soul of the world's most popular dish.

Ingredients:

  • 500g boneless chicken - cut into 4-4½cm pieces

Marinade:

Sauce:

  • 1½ tablespoons oil (or ghee)
  • 1 onion sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds (black)
  • ¼ teaspoon kalongi (nigella) seeds
  • 1-2 green chillies* finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ginger crushed
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • 400g can diced tomatoes in tomato juice
  • ¼ cup pouring cream**
  • 2 teaspoons soft brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce Blend
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
  • salt to taste

* Look for green chillies rounded tips they are not as hot as those with a pointed tip.

**Use the same amount of coconut cream instead of pouring cream if you wish.

Preparation:

  1. In a bowl, stir the Chicken Tikka Masala Marinade Blend into the yoghurt, add the chicken pieces and coat well. Cover and marinate in a refridgerator 6-8 hours or overnight.
  2. Skewer the marinated chicken pieces and cook under a grill or on the barbeque for about 8-10 minutes on each side. During cooking, brush with oil when the coating turns a bit dry.
  3. Heat the oil (or ghee) in a large saucepan, add the mustard and kalongi seeds. When the seeds start popping, add the sliced onion and sauté over medium heat until golden brown. Then add the crushed garlic & ginger, chopped green chillies, sugar, and the Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce Blend and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato puree and diced tomatoes and cook for 20-25 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. When the masala sauce is ready, add the cooked chicken pieces (but not the drippings), lemon juice, salt and Garam Masala and simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chopped mint & coriander.
  6. Serve with Naan bread and Basmati rice.

Preparation: 30 minutes (plus time to marinate)     Cooking time: 50-60 minutes

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