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One of the signature Indian dishes, Chicken Tikka Masala is very spicy traditionally. However, you can cut down on Cayenne Pepper, both in the marinade and the masala, to get a milder dish.

500b of boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks

Marinade for Chicken:

 

  • 2 heaping TBS plain yogurt (I use non-fat greek yogurt)
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or less if you want a milder dish)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp garam masala (an Indian spice blend available at most supermarkets and online)
  • a pinch of salt

 

 

Ingredients for the sauce ("the masala"):

 

  • 1 TBS vegetable oil
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 3 cardamom pods, smashed lightly (optional-not necessary if you have garam masala but I add it)
  • 2 cloves (optional-not necessary if you have garam masala but I add it)
  • 1 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1 large onion (preferably sweet), finely diced
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 TBS grated ginger
  • 1 TBS crushed garlic
  • 1 TBS ground cumin

 

  • Combine ingredients for marinade in a large glass bowl, add chicken and allow to marinate while you get on with the sauce.
  • In a large pot, heat oil and butter over medium heat and add the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Cook for 20-30 seconds or until lightly fragrant (do not burn!).
  • Add the onion and salt. Cook over medium heat and stir frequently. Cook until the onions are a light to medium brown color.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute over medium heat, or until lightly fragrant.
  • Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook until the fat starts to leave the spice paste (you will see little pools of liquid on the top or on the sides). Some of the liquid from the tomatoes should have evaporated leaving a thick mixture.
  • Add the chicken to the same pot and cook until the outside is no longer opaque. Add garam masala, brown sugar and enough water to cover the chicken. Cook covered on medium low for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is meltingly tender. The sauce should be the consistency of a pasta sauce. Add water or turn up the heat to reduce the sauce as necessary before going to the next step.
  • Turn heat to low and add cream. Check the seasoning. If it is flat, add more salt, garam masala, brown sugar or cayenne.
  • (Optional) Remove cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with Basmati rice or naan.

Not reviewed yet

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