Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

This is one dish that can be found on every Indian restaurant menu. Grilled chunks of chicken wrapped in creamy tomato sauce.  The perfection comes from the combination of yogurt, spices, tomatoes and cream.  Chicken Tikka Masala is hugely popular in U.K also so much so that in 2001 it was declared as British national dish.

There are many recipes and versions of Chicken Tikka Masala. My version probably looks different than many other recipes but this is the one that I’ve made my own by adding red, yellow bell peppers and onions to the gravy to give this dish a distinct flavor.

The taste is unbeatable The right balance of warm spices, tang of the yogurt, acidity from the tomatoes and richness from the cream makes it irresistible. Delicious, melt in mouth and easy to pull together.

Preparation time : 1 hour
Cooking time :  45 min
Total time : 1 hour 45 min
Serves : 3 -4

Ingredients

Boneless chicken breasts – 500 grams, cut into cubes

Marinade for Chicken:

1 tablespoon Ginger & Garlic paste
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/8 cup vegetable oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

For Gravy

3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole black cardamom
3 cloves
1/4 stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped fine
1 tablespoon ginger & garlic paste
3 medium tomatoes,finely chopped or puréed
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin. Powder
Paste from 8 – 10 cashew nuts
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves ( kasoori methi)
1/4 cup cream (optional)
1/2 medium size Red bell pepper, cut into cubes
1/2 medium size yellow belle paper, cut into cubes
1/2 medium size green bell pepper, cut into cubes
1/2 medium size red onion, cut into cubes
Coriander leaves for garnishing

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Directions

Chicken:

Place chicken pieces in a large bowl. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the chicken pieces. Mix well to coat all the pieces. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F.

Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard the marinade. Place the skewers on a roasting pan. Make sure the chicken pieces don’t touch the bottom of the pan. Grill 10 minutes on each side.

Remove the chicken pieces from the skewers and set aside.

Gravy

Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a pan over medium heat. Add black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Saute for 30 seconds and add chopped onions. Cook the onions till golden brown on the edges. Add ginger garlic paste. Cook for 30 seconds before adding chopped/pureed tomatoes. Now add all the remaining dry spices, mix well, cover and let it cook on low flame for 8-10 minutes or until the oil separates from the masala.

Remove the lid and add the cashew paste, mix well. Now add the grilled chicken pieces to the masala along with 1 cup of water. stir to coat all the chicken pieces, cover and let it simmer for 10 more minutes on medium low heat.

After 10 minutes, remove the lid and add the chopped vegetables. Cover and cook for additional 5-7 minutes till the veggies are crisp tender. Add cream if using and turn off the heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with Rice, chapati or Naan.

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