Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala

I finally had a chance to visit one of the biggest Indian grocery story in the Bay Area - Bharat Bazaar in Fremont. It's about a mile from my house. I've heard that it's really big and they were right! I spent about 1 1/2 hour slowly walking through the aisles to make sure I don't miss an item to check out. I came out with more spices and some raw rotis, chapatis and naans and some Indian snacks. This week, I decided to try and cook more Indian dishes so I did my research on a few recipes I've been eyeing on. The first one is Chicken Tikka Masala. I borrowed the recipe from another blogger who adapted it from Cook's Illustrated Magazine September/2007 Issue. I did make a few substitution because I didn't have some of the ingredients.

For the chicken tikka:
1/2        tsp ground cumin (I USED 2 TEASPOON WHOLE SEED CUMIN)
1/2        tsp ground coriander
1/4        tsp cayenne pepper (I USED POWDERED RED CHILI PEPPER)
1           tsp salt
2           lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat*
1           cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2           Tbsp vegetable oil
2           medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2tsp)
1           Tbsp grated fresh ginger

For the masala sauce:
3           Tbsp vegetable oil
1           medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4cup)
2           medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp)
2           tsp grated fresh ginger
1           fresh serrano chili, ribs and seeds removed if you cannot take the heat
1           Tbsp tomato paste
1           can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes (I USED 2 BIG ROMA TOMATOES AND MINCED THEM)
2           tsp sugar
1/2        tsp salt
2/3        cup heavy cream (I USED REGULAR MILK)
1/4        cup cilantro leaves, chopped (I OMITTED THIS)


Cut up the chicken in cubes. Mix cumin, coriander, cayenne yogurt, oil, garlic, ginger and salt in a small bowl. Marinate the chicken with the mixture and refrigerate for 30 to 60 mins or longer. 

Make the sauce:  Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, stir occasionally and cook until light golden, 6 to 8 mins.

Add garlic, ginger,  and garam masala to the mixture, stir frequently, until fragrant for about 3 mins.

Add chile tomato paste minced tomatoes, sugar and salt, bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15mins, stirring occasionally.

Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.  

Broil the chicken:  While sauce simmers, adjust over rack to upper middle position (about 6" from heating element) and heat broiler.  Put a foil baking sheet in a deep pan.  Spread chicken in the pan. Broil chicken for 10 to 15mins. Flip chicken half way through cooking time.  Chicken is done when it reaches about 160F and is slightly charred. 

Let chicken rest for 5 mins and then stir into warm sauce. Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve with basmati rice or naan/roti.

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