Chicken tikka masala is chicken tikka, chunks of chicken marinated in spices and yogurt, that is then baked in a tandoor oven, and served in a masala (spice mix) sauce.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Yield: 4 servings
For the marinade:
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbs. lime juice
2 tbs. garam masala
1 tbs. Raja Tandoori Masala powder
1 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced
1 tsp. fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
For the sauce:
3 cardamom pods
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 inch piece peeled ginger root, minced
3 tbs. cooking oil
1 tsp. red chili powder
2 tsp. garam masala powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. turmeric powder
2 tsp. coriander powder
2 tsp. Raja Tandoori powder
32 oz. crushed tomato sauce
1 tsp. sugar
2 whole green chili, slit in half (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbs. cilantro chopped for garnish
2 tbs. roasted almond powder (can also be omitted for those with food allergies)
Salt to taste
1. Mix all marinade ingredients and pour over chicken in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
2. Bring chicken to room temperature before broiling.
3. Broil chicken on a greased baking sheet in the broiler over high heat until nearly cooked through (4-5 minutes on each side), then transfer to a plate and set aside. You'll want the chicken to finish cooking in the sauce. Discard the remainder of the marinade.
4. Heat the oil and add the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves until they start to release its aroma (15-20 seconds)
5. Add the diced onions (and sliced green chilies if you are using them) and allow them to soften and slightly brown. Add the minced garlic and ginger and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Note: do not let the garlic and ginger burn as garlic tends to get bitter.
6. Add all the spice powders: red chili, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and garam masala stirring frequently until it browns slightly (15-20 seconds)
7. Add the canned tomato sauce, salt to taste, stir well and bring to a slow simmer
8. Add the sugar and almond powder, mix well, cover and bring to a simmer (5-7 minutes)
9. As sauce is simmering, cut chicken into 1 – 1 ½ inch pieces. Add chicken, and cook for another 10 minutes.
10. Add heavy cream, remove from heat, taste for salt and allow to stand and thicken for 5-10 minutes.
11. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over white rice.