We had Tuesday off so I took out some chicken for our typical grill experience. While I was at it I decided to prep food the next meal and chucked up a few of the breasts for this dish. Well, one thing led to another and I wound up making this along with a few grilled breasts. The result was spectacular. Rumor has it this is not even an Indian dish as in native to the country but a British invention. Well done I say! The secret was marinating the chicken and grilling it. I did not use skewers at all but I used a grill basket and simply gave it a few shakes. wow, this was good. I used half Greek yogurt and cream to cut the calories down a bit but it was very savory served with Naan. Made a great lunch the next day too.
Recipe: Chicken Tikka Masala
Marinating the Chicken:
3-4 boneless chicken breasts, skins removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
250g thick natural yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Skewers, If using wooden skewers completely submerge them in water for approx. 30 minutes. This will hinder them from catching fire while grilling.
250g canned cocktail tomatoes (I used a can of San Marzanos, go big)
250g heavy cream (try 50/50 yogurt/cream)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 red chilies, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika powder
1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
Handful of coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper
Mix all of the ingredients for the marination in a large bowl. Thoroughly mix until the chicken is nicely coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
On the next day, either prepare your charcoal grill or heat up the grill function of your oven to high.
Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers, discarding the marinade. Grill the chicken evenly on all sides, until juices run clear – approx. 5-6 minutes.
To prepare the gravy, heat a large skillet to medium and melt the ghee/clarified butter. Saute the garlic and chopped chilies until fragrant. Sprinkle the ground cumin, paprika powder and a pinch of salt. Saute for a further minute or two until the mixture turns into a paste-like texture.
Pour in the canned tomatoes, scraping the bottom of the skillet to deglaze it and to release any bits stuck to the pan. Simmer uncovered for approx. 10-15 minutes on low heat until the sauces begins to thicken, then add the grilled chicken pieces and cream. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, thickening the sauce further and to heat the chicken and cream through.
Serve sprinkled with fresh chopped coriander leaves and with steamed Basmati rice, fresh naans and pickles.