Chicken Tikka Masala

The day I worked out why all the chicken tikka masala recipes I had tried to make fell very short of what I had become accustomed to in the UK, was truly a wonderful day! That “aha” moment is still etched on my taste buds! The missing ingredient and essential one to all sauce-based indian dishes is in the “base gravy”. Play around with the ingredients to suit your palate. More chili perhaps? less cream? We love this dish with nan bread, coconut rice, tarka dhal (yellow lentils) and anything else that takes your fancy! We also like to make a large batch. Delicious re-heated.

AMAZING CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA

Ingredients:

For the Base Gravy

5 smashed garlic cloves
1 lb of roughly chopped onions
1 lb of sliced carrots
½ can of peeled tomatoes
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
½ cup of cilantro stems
1 tsp galangal – You can also use fresh, dried or frozen (2 dried slices or 1 square inch of fresh)
1 tsp ground ginger – fresh, dried or frozen (2 dried slices or 1 square inch of fresh)
1 tsp sea salt
1 small red Thai chili
Water to top ingredients
1 tbsp of mild curry powder
1 ½ tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of cumin

For the Chicken Tikka
4 chicken breasts chopped into 1 inch pieces – marinated in 1 tablespoon of ready made Tandoori Chicken Paste (I like Patak’s) and ½ cup of whole milk plain yogurtor you can make your own as per my recipe (link pending)

For the Rest of the Recipe
2 tbsp of ghee
1 packet of creamed coconut powder
4 tbsp of almond flour
2 tbsp of coconut sugar – you can substitute with normal sugar
1 tsp of beetroot powder/crystals
1 tbsp of tomato paste
4 tbsp of heavy cream
Chopped cilantro and or sliced almonds

Instructions:

Follow the Steps in This Order
Make your base gravy
Make your Chicken Tikka
Bring it all together

For the Base Gravy
Place all the ingredients in a large pan
Cook on medium heat for an hour and 15 minutes – covered
When vegetables are cooked, add the curry powder, turmeric and cumin
Cook for a further 5 minutes
Take off the heat and let it cool down somewhat
If you used dried ginger and galangal, remove them from the pot
Blend all ingredients very well with a hand blender

For the Chicken Tikka
Combine the chicken breasts pieces with the tandoori paste and yogurt or use my Chicken Tikka recipe
Combine the chicken breasts pieces with the tandoori paste and yogurt or use my Chicken Tikka recipe
Grill in the oven 475°F or outdoor grill for 5 to 8 minutes until pieces are cooked through but still moist – no need to turn them

Bringing the Recipe Together
In a heavy pan, add your 2 tbsp of ghee
In a heavy pan, add your 2 tbsp of ghee
Add your packet of creamed coconut powder
Add the almond flour, coconut sugar, tomato paste, beetroot powder – stir and fry for about a minute
Add two cups of base gravy and mix well and cook for about 5 minutes
Add the cooked chicken tikka
Add more base gravy if desired
Add 1 tsp of ghee
Add cream, stir, warm up and serve topped with sliced almonds or chopped cilantro and a side nan bread and rice

Notes:
As the sauce is very rich and full of flavor, you can get away with making a chicken tikka using a store brand of tandoori paste. I still prefer to make my own however. It leads to a less spicy and richer dish.
The base gravy will keep in the fridge for a day or two but any longer than that, or frozen, it loses it flavor.

© 2014-2015 Caroline’s Family Kitchen and CarolinesFamilyKitchen.com

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