Apparently, Chicken Tikka Masala is one of Britain’s most loved dishes. Well, it certainly is tasty.
The origins of the dish are debated. It may at first glance appear to be a truly Indian dish, and some sources state it was created in Punjab in the last 50 years. However Glasgow, Birmingham and Newcastle are also amongst the claimants.
The first time we made this recipe was on one of the rare occasions that we were cooking for the whole family. We normally cook on weekdays, and Appi and Anoppi cook at the weekends. But for whatever reason we were cooking this day.
We were told that Mummo (S’s maternal grandmother) and J (S’s brother) were joining us for dinner, so we made enough for everyone only to discover that it would actually be the four of us… I hate when that happens.
But, despite having less people eating than we expected all the food disappeared pretty quickly! In fact, Appi was disappointed that there wasn’t even more!
All in all a successful dish, I think you’ll agree.
The recipe we use is an adaptation of one I found over at blogchef.net, which is a wonderful website full of delicious recipes! You should definitely check it out.
And whilst I remember… This recipe does, of course, contain tomato. I don’t like tomato. Not one bit. But I love this recipe; I could practically live on it. So, even if you don’t like tomato I would recommend giving it a try. I’m sure you won’t regret it!
Chicken Tikka Masala
3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
Butter (just a little, for frying)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/10 tsp cayenne pepper (that’s half of one of those little spice spoons, or to taste. I don’t like super spicy so I only put a very small amount.)
2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp grated ginger, approx (we freeze our fresh ginger in a plastic pot and grate it as necessary. Nice and easy. We even leave the skin on!)
1/2 tsp salt
Sauce: 1 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced finely
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
Dash of salt
250g/9oz tomato passata
200ml/7 fl oz double cream
In a large bowl combine all the marinade ingredients and mix well.
Cut the chicken into small pieces, about bite size, and put into the bowl with the marinade. Make sure the chicken is well coated in marinade, then cover the bowl in cling film and put into the fridge for one hour.
You can marinade for longer than that if you like, but the lemon juice can start to chemically cook the chicken – if you want to marinade for longer then leave the lemon juice out of the marinade and just add it in for the last hour.
After an hour put a large pan over medium-high heat. When it’s warmed up melt a little bit of butter in the pan.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, and discard the marinade. Put the chicken in the pan, turn the heat to high, and cook through. If it gets too liquid-y you may need to drain the excess liquid.
Alternatively, you could thread the chicken onto skewers and grill, or cook in the oven, whatever takes your fancy.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
Turning the heat down, add more butter to the pan and add the garlic. Sauté for about a minute.
Add 2 tsp each of cumin and paprika, and salt to taste. If the pan seems too dry, you may wish to add a little more butter.
Stir in the tomato passata and double cream. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce is nicely thickened, which may be much quicker depending how hot your pan got!
Add the chicken and simmer for ten more minutes.
Serve with rice (brown if you’re feeling healthy!) and garnish with fresh coriander if you like.
And that’s it! Hope you enjoy it.
PS, apologies for the picture quality… Oh, the things I would do for an SLR and some decent lighting…!