After watching Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Nation, our mouths were salivating at her chicken tikka masala, a dish that doesn’t have a lot of respect but I really like, especially with a little extra kick.
The recipe is split into 2; first the chicken tikka, which is marinated pieces of chicken (I used breast) cooked on skewers in a tandoor oven, or under the grill in a normal oven, which is what I did. Ideally you marinate the chicken for 4-6 hours, I prepared mine on Monday night to cook on Tuesday evening.
First, leave the chicken in bowl with 3 tbsp of lemon juice and salt for 20 minutes, then add all the below ingredients and refrigerate until time to cook.
1 tbsp root ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
6 tbsp cream
½ tsp garam masala
I was out of ground cumin so used cumin seeds instead, which were really nice when cooked.
So when I got in yesterday evening I made my massala sauce by warming coconut oil on a medium to low heat and frying sliced onion until soft (around 7 mins). Then I added:
– 6 crushed garlic cloves and 1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger.
After leaving to cook for a minute, add the rest of the spices
– 1 tbsp ground coriander
– 1/2 tsp turmeric
– 1 heaped tsp chilli and a little extra for luck (this turned out to be too much)
– 2 tsp paprika
After a moment of heating the spices, mix in 4 tbsp of yoghurt, 1 tbsp at a time to make sure it doesn’t curdle.
Then, add 2 medium chopped tomatoes (or 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes), leave in the pan until they soften a little then add 350ml of chicken stock and a little salt, bring to the boil and simmer for 20minutes with the lid on.
In the 20 minutes while the massala is simmering cook the skewered chicken tikka under a grill, with the little sunflower oil brushed on top.
Once cooked, put the chicken tikka in the massala with half a tsp of garam massala and eat.
As I was worried about mine not being spicy enough I deviated from the suggested 3/4 tsp of chilli powder and added 1 heaped teaspoon and a bit, which was way too much. Even after adding some cream to mellow the flavour I was still sweating a little eating this! The learning point is not to be to heavy handed with the chilli powder, keep tasting and only add more if needed – oops!