Chicken Tikka Masala

With our COVID numbers holding steady here in the province, the government has unsurprisingly extended their provincial health measures. This means another two weeks where I will have nothing but time on my hands.

With this extension, I would be lying if I said that this second lock down wasn’t starting to get to me. It is during a really inconvenient time of year. It is too dark to go for a run after work and the weather, although really nice for a January, prevents many outdoor activities.

If you remember from on of my earlier posts when all of this started happening, I am a big fan of Indian food and in particular, Masala dishes. With the morale in this household starting to waiver, I figured this weekend would be a good opportunity to make one. I also paired it with a local hefe by Fahr brewery that is worth the hunt if you can find it.

The Ingredients

The Marinade:
  • 800g of boneless/skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder (use less for less heat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
The Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp finely grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1.5 tsp garam masala
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 400g tomato paste
  • 1.5 tsp cayenne powder (adjusted to taste)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

The Recipe

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the marinade and stir in chicken to coat. Let marinate for 10 minutes up to overnight depending on your time available.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat and brown both sides of the chicken. Being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken all the way, this will be finished in the sauce. Once cooked, set aside.
  3. Melt butter in the same pan and add onions. Fry until they are soft. scraping the brown bits from the chicken off the bottom of the pan while cooking.
  4. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Then ass the garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Let cook until fragrant again. Only about 20 seconds.
  5. Pour in tomato paste, water, and salt. Let simmer until thick and the sauce becomes a deep red colour. This will only take about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in evaporated milk and brown sugar. Then add chicken back to sauce. Let cook for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling.
  7. Serve with basmati rice and hot Naan bread.

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