How To Make Chicken Tikka Masala

Indian cuisine has come a far way in the past few years; not only it has crossed boundaries and become popular in the west, but it also has a taste that makes one crave for more. The Indian platter has a lot to offer to all people all over the world. The subtle and sophisticated use of spices and herbs creates an aromatic experience in cooking. I share a passion for cooking and love the way food has an effect on people. Chicken tikka masala is a very popular dish among many cultures and here is a step-by-step process to let you master it right in the comfort of your home.

There are two steps that follow in making this dish -- firstly the marinating, and second the sauce (gravy in authentic terms).

Ingredients for the marinade: 

  • 1 tablespoon tikka masala
  • Red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 150g yoghurt
  • 2 chicken breasts each cut into 5-6 large chunks
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for the gravy:

  • 5 oz. tomato paste
  • 10 oz. tomato puree
  • 4 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp green chilies
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • 8 green cardamom
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Don't forget the magic ingredient -- salt

Directions: 

  1. The first step is to mix all the ingredients of the marinade with the chicken, cover and leave it overnight in the fridge. Chicken has little flavour of its own and you want all the juices of the various herbs and spices to be absorbed.
  2. Preheat a conventional oven to 220ºC or a fan-assisted one to 200ºC. The authentic way is to find yourself a tandoor as the smell and aroma of the charcoal will give an aromatic flavour.
  3. Wipe the marinade off the chicken and place, piece by piece, onto a baking tray. Glaze it with butter for the desired effect. Remember you are baking it for about 12 to 15 minutes. Keep checking that it is slightly charred, but not cooked through (as it will be taken care of while cooking in the curry sauce).
  4. For the sauce, you de-seed and chop green chilies. Put tomato paste and tomato puree in a pot and add approximately 4-1/4 cups of water.
  5. Add ginger and garlic paste, green chilies, red chili powder, cloves, cardamom, and salt to the sauce. Cook over low heat until reduced to a thick sauce.
  6. Strain through a strainer and bring to a boil. Add butter and cream. Keep stirring to avoid it from sticking it. Finally add the tikka pieces and cook for another 5 minutes and you are done.

Finally remember presentation is everything; if your dish is appealing to the eye, half your battle is already won. Suggested garnishing would be finely chopped coriander in a platter and a final touch of lemon slices and slit chilies would nail it.

 

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