The ultimate comfort food to dive into this weekend! This dish brings all the flavour that you would expect from any great curry. It's not a dish that can be rushed, so grab a drink and take a look! The proof is in the eating.
First things first. This recipe has featured on the blog already back in September of 2015. So in case you are thinking, "umm, I think I've seen this before". Well, you have and you've seen it here. That was the year I started by blog and lets just say my photography skills we at a minimal. Not that I am tooting my horn to say they are great now. I am always learning. Anyway, the photo of the recipe didn't do it justice. And no, I am not about to redo all of the photos from that year. I think I posted about 200 recipes that year, so it might take me a while. However, every now and again when I do make a dish I love, I redo the photos if I see fit. This time, it was screaming out for a little makeover. So makeover it was.
Speaking of makeovers, I am in the serious need of a box of hair dye. You probably all don't need to know these things, but when a woman hits a certain age, hair dye becomes her new best friend. And by her, I mean me. When did I get this old? And why do I still feel like I am 25? You know the saying, you are only as old as you feel? Yea, well I hate to burst the bubble, but 4 plus 5 is a real number and that's the real age. And I don't mean nine, I think you know what I mean. Anyway, the roots don't lie!
Why am I talking about this? Oh, now I remember. Last night, or yesterday evening, my almost 16 year old said "let's go on a run". What? Who's she talking to, me? I looked over my shoulder to see if there was someone behind me. Surely, she wasn't talking to me right? You see, my daughter has reached an age where the possibility of being seen in public with her mother is earth shatteringly embarrassing. And I think I'm cool. Apparently not.
Turns out she was talking to me and we did go on that run. In the rain. In the wind. In the cold. Yea, that was a fun way to spend a Friday night. All I could think about was my cosy fire, Netflix and a chilled glass of wine. But running around in the rain verging on dark it was.
Which finally brings me to my hair. Rainy night equals wet hair that resulted in far too many 45 year old roots showing off. Hair dye coming up today.
Right, now enough about the state of my hair and my exciting Friday night. You know me, I always got to get a little gab session in before I crack on with the food.
Make this chicken dish! I really don't know what else to say about it, but it is a must make dish. I first made this dish I don't know how many years ago. Oh yes, I remember it was October 1999. See I do remember. I also remember I was in Norway for a few months and cooking became my new best friend because I didn't really know anyone. Another story for another day.
I was given a recipe by a friend to try out and I had all the time in the world, so I attempted Chicken Tikka Masala. I also remember reading a James Patterson book cover to cover one day during those few months.
Okay, the chicken. Anyway, the recipe was a bit lengthy, involved with more ingredients that I thought possible. But I got on with it anyway. A quick trip to the local Spar and I was back home in no time at all with my very pricey chicken and all the essentials to get on with the dish.
Some hours later and a very messy kitchen, chicken was done and it was worth the work and the mess.
Over the years, I have played around with that recipe and made it what it is today here in front of you. I think this is the best possible version of that original recipe.
So, here's what you really need to know about this recipe. It takes time. Don't plan it for an evening when you are just getting in from a long and exhausting day at work. Plan it for a day when you feel inspired to cook, have the time and the ingredients.
First, this chicken really needs marinading to get the most out of the flavour. I have made it in the past with a quick marinade and although it was good, it wasn't great. So marinading the chicken is key. It can be done in as little as say 3-4 hours. Which might seem like a long time to hang around, but it's a step you would do in advance and then come back to it later. I have even marinaded this overnight. So, if that works, do it that way.
In the recipe below you will see that I put the chicken on skewers and seared them on the barbecue before adding it to the sauce. Ok, this really isn't essential because it adds a step that many people will find a bit of extra work. However, if you have easy access to a gas barbecue, fire it up. It gives the dish that extra flavour that resembles a curry from say a tandoori oven. No lie! In the event you are not going to take on that step, here's what you do.
Heat a large skillet over high heat and add a little olive oil. Sear the chicken in batches, You want to brown it so you don't want to crowd the pan. So, just sear it long enough till the outside of the chicken starts to brown. then remove it from the pan and add it to the sauce. Then finish it off as you see in the recipe below.
That really just about sums it up. The rest is pretty self explanatory in the recipe below. Next time you feel like a curry, try this one and it won't disappoint!
Happy cooking friends!
Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 6 / Prep time: 30 minutes / Marinade time: 4 hours to overnight / Cook time: 1 hour
For the Chicken:
4 large chicken breast, cut into good sized pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
1 small pot (125 ml) of Greek yoghurt
1 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
2-3 Garlic cloves, crushed
2 Teaspoon of ground cumin
1 Tablespoon of garma masala
1 Tablespoon of sweet paprika
For the Sauce:
2 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Large onion, roughly chopped
1 Teaspoon of cinnamon
1 Tablespoon of paprika
A few cardamom pods, (6-8)
1 Teaspoon of dried cloves
1 Inch piece ginger, grated
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 Teaspoons of garam masala
1 or 2 small dried chillies, finely chopped up
1 Large can (500 grams) of whole or chopped tomatoes
1 Cup/240 ml of vegetable stock
1/2 Cup/120 ml of heavy cream
2 Tablespoons of tomato puree
1 Teaspoon sugar
Coriander leaves to serve
First marinade your chicken. Add all the marinade ingredients to a large bowl and coat chicken completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours up to overnight. Remove chicken from the fridge about 1/2 hour before cooking.
Split the cardamom pods open and take out the seeds. Add the seeds to the paprika, cloves and cinnamon. I used a pestle and mortar to grind the seeds into the powdered spices. Set aside.
Make the sauce. In a large skillet set over medium to high heat add the olive oil and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned and soft. This will be about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, ground spices, and chillies. Stir and cook for a few more minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, sugar and the tomato paste. Leave this to simmer until it reduces, about 30 minutes. Once it has thickened, transfer it to a blender until you have a smooth consistency. Pour it back in the skillet and leave over a very low heat and cover the pan.
Put the chicken on large metal skewers and grill them on a barbecue for about 5 minutes per side. This will not cook them completely. I did this to give the chicken extra flavour. Remove chicken from barbecue and take it off the skewers. Add the chicken to the sauce and coat completely. Cover the pan and let it cook for a further 10 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked. Add the cream and garam masala to the dish now and stir well. Taste the sauce and if you find it a bit bitter, add a touch more sugar.
Can be served immediately or even a few hours later. Goes great with Basmati Rice and Nann Bread.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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