Monday, May 9, 2011

Tikka (I'm in heaven) Masala

Indian food lovers, it's your lucky day.  This is so easy to make and so rich and delicious you'll wonder how it could be that simple.  It does take quite a few spices, but most of them you will already have.  You will have to track down some garam masala, I know World Market carries it.  But you can also go into the Asian section of your local grocery store, buy the pre-made spice packet for Tikka Masala.  Just be sure you buy a dry spice mix not the pre made sauce.  I also made a wonderful rice pilaf to go with that is really delicious by itself.  You could make it as a side dish or with another chicken dish.  Don't let this ingredient list scare you away.  Your mouth and tummy will be disappointed if you do!

What you'll need:

For the Marinade:
1 cup plain greek yogurt
Juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or less depending on your spice taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 pound chicken tenders

Mix everything together and pour into a gallon zip lock bag.  Add chicken and mix around until well coated.  Marinate for 1 hour to over night.  Longer the better.

For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno minced (optional, if you like spice)
2 teaspoons ground coriander (you can find in the mexican spices)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
3 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can tomato sauce 
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup cilantro chopped

Cook chicken.  The ideal way is to thread the meat onto skewers and grill on high for about 5 minutes on each side.  If you don't want to get the bbq all messy from the yogurt sauce, cover a cookie sheet with tin foil and baked at 350 for about 25 minutes, flipping once half way. Set chicken aside. Once cool enough to handle, cut into larger bite side chunks. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add flour and mix into butter, it will be a thick paste.  Add garlic and jalapeno and stir for 1 minutes. Add spices (coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala & salt), tomato sauce,  mix until well combined and begins to bubble.  Add half and half. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens.  Add chicken and cilantro.  Serve over basmati or pearl rice, or make the rice pilaf.  Recipe in following post.

So I made this about a week ago for just Kam and I.  It wasn't a good night.  The dinner turned out amazing, but in the middle of cooking, I grabbed my camera to shoot something along the way and the neck strap got hooked onto one of my drawer handles and when I stepped forward it pulled out of my hands.  It landed hard, lens down, onto the little rug and bent the zoom part of the lens slightly to one side so it wouldn't turn to zoom in and out.  I cried.  Kam managed to loosen it up enough so that it is in working order again, but it's hard to rotate now.  But it works, and thats all that matters.  Kam tried to make me feel better by saying accidents happen, its just a lens, it can be replaced, but I was still really upset with myself and I dropped my #1 tool.  I use that camera so much that almost breaking it really put it into perspective how much I love my little nikon d60.

So I gave the dinner another shot and made it for my parents the other night.  They have never had Indian food before, so I thought maybe they would like to try it.  My mom loved it and I don't think my dad knew what to think.  He ate his whole serving, and even stuck his fork in the bowl for one more bite, but I'm not sure he would request it again next time they are over.  Egg fu yong all the way Pappa Woody.  But he ate it, so he must have liked it a little.  As for Kam and I, we LOVE LOVE LOVE this dish.  Highly recommend the rice pilaf to go with it.  Enjoy!


  1. Soooo good! I love Tikka Masala and it indeed is simple to make! I haven't made any indian food since being back in WA..thanks for inspiring me to start making it again :) Ohhh and try serving it with Naan next time if ya feel like it..i feel it is the only way to properly complete an indian meal...haha

  2. So sad about your camera :(