31 January 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala with Saffron Rice Pulau

Chicken Tikka Masala, the chop suey of Indian cuisine.

Ah yes, that's right sadly: not actually of Indian origin, Chicken Tikka Masala is in fact a British creation. But incredibly tasty, I must say, and a nice introduction to the flavors and spices of India for the uninitiated. It is still right behind butter chicken and tandoori in my list of "favorite Indian dish". Even though it's not really Indian. Er, but you know what I mean. Whatever.

Essentially, it is a rich, tomato-based sauce mellowed with some cream and fragrant with garam masala, coriander, and cumin. Then you toss in chicken steeped in garlicky yogurt marinade. Good stuff. Chicken Tikka Masala is as comforting on a winter evening as any American beef stew; just serve over basmati rice with a side of naan. This version is good, but still missing "something" from what my local place can make. I'll keep tinkering, maybe add more heat or some cardamom. Until then, try this one...

Chicken Tikka Masala

6 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 in. fresh ginger, peeled
2 or 3 fresh red chilis, seeded
Olive oil
1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
3 Tbsp. garam masala, divided
Generous 3/4 c. plain yogurt
4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
1 Tbsp. butter
2 medium onions, sliced very thin
2 Tbsp. tomato purée
1/3 to 1/2 c. cashews or almonds, ground very fine in a food processor
1/2 c. heavy cream
Fresh cilantro, chopped

If you're using a mini-chopper, use it to finely mince the garlic, ginger, and chilis. Alternately, you can grate them on the smallest teeth of a grater, or chop with a knife.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, remove from the heat immediately and add them to the garlic mixture (once mustard seeds start popping, they will pop all over the place, so watch carefully and remove from heat as soon as the first one goes "pop." Toss a lid on that sucker too, so you don't lose all the seeds!)

Add the paprika, cumin, coriander, and 2 Tbsp of the garam masala. Put half of this mix in a large bowl, add the yogurt, and stir in the chicken, making sure to coat all sides with the marinade. Let it sit for about a half-hour.

Melt the butter in the large saucepan and add the sliced onions and remaining half of the garlic-spice mixture. Cook gently for at least 15 minutes. Do not brown the onions; you're trying to soften them up and mellow the spices. Add the tomato puree, ground nuts, 2 1/2 cups of water, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir well and bring to a gentle boil. Let the sauce reduce and thicken slightly (about 5 minutes), then reduce heat to low.

Cook the marinated chicken on a grill or under the broiler, until just cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, add the cream and remaining 1 Tbsp of garam masala to the sauce and bring it up to a boil, then add the chicken. Check the seasoning, adding salt or cayenne pepper if desired. Top the chicken with cilantro and squeeze lime juice over the top. Serve with basmati rice or Saffron Rice Pulau (below).

Saffron Rice Pulau

1/4 tsp. saffron threads
1/4 c. hot water
2 Tbsp. butter
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 c. basmati rice, rinsed well
1/3 c. raw cashews

Put the saffron threads in the hot water and set aside to steep until serving time.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the cinnamon, cloves, and cumin seeds and stir, 1 minute. Drain the rice well, then add to the pot and stir-fry until the grains are coated and the rice begins to smell fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves. Just before serving, pour in the saffron water and stir well to combine.

To garnish, roast the raw cashews in a 350 degree oven until light golden, about 8 to 10 minutes (watch carefully, nuts burn quickly). Top rice with nuts and serve alongside Chicken Tikka Masala.


Snooky doodle said...

yummmmmmyyyyy i love chicken tikka masala however I ve never cooked it so far. thanks for posting the recipe I m gonna try it looks so so good :)

Nemmie said...

Do it Snooky! :)

Anonymous said...

Casino Gambling tyuueooru
Online Casino Game
Once you come across the lists, check out each website one after another in order to figure out the one you're actually looking for.
[url=http://www.nhgaa.org/]Web Casino[/url]
Last but not least, prior to participating in any of the online casino websites no matter it's freely accessible or it requires a certain amount of money to get started with, make sure that you have gone through their ?Terms and Conditions? in a thorough manner.
http://www.nhgaa.org/ - Online Gaming Casino
You should also check out the software that these online casino websites are using.

kimberly sayer said...

The chicken tikka masala is a dish of chicken tikka masala sauce served in broth.costa rica fishingThere is no standard recipe for preparing the Chicken Tikka Masala, but most of the variants containing tomato sauce (using mashed potatoes or even ketchup) with cream or coconut milk and various spices.

Unknown said...

Wow I am so stoked...my 4yrold son and I along w/ my mother want to see the show so bad...I am convinced that my little boy Dylan is BEP Biggest fan...some kids pretend to be firemen,Doctors and Police Officers...NOT my Boy HE pretends to be Apple, Will or Taboo and lucky me...he always makes me Fergie! turnstile

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Well don't know whats going on but its not a Good way to do this. in my opinion we have to look again about this issue seo services,jergens natural glow,Pt cruiser accessories,Archipelago Lotion,Floor Covering Garage

mindfree said...

What a great blog. I spend hours on the internet reading blogs, about tons of different subjects. I have to first of all give kudos to whoever created your website and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an post. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only a few posses and frankly you have it. The combination of informative and quality content is definitely extremely rare with the large amount of blogs on the internet.Thanks Dwarka Restaurants

Unknown said...

Mera Pakistan
good blog.........

Decimal to fraction said...

A perfect info source for souvenirs from Vienna Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic - Weight Loss Best Exercises - Weight Loss Best Exercise - Weight Loss Best Exercises For Men - Weight Loss Best Exercises For Women

Unknown said...

I read your post and I must admit it offered some very useful insight on the topic being discussed.
Being able to get so much useful information in one place definitely enhanced my knowledge.
causes of weight loss

free google sms said...

will over all WordPress is just so great.Online CNA Classes

Unknown said...

Nice post. Its very interesting and meaningful.todd english cookware Best Price

Mohtasham said...

awesome blog man, the things you have mentioned above are really informative and are

examples of your awesome writing skills and a good blog, marvelous work done home exercises home exercise equipment push ups

david thomas said...

your articles are always informative and cool for learning, they always increase my knowledge just wanted to appreciate you and say thanks for sharing them with us chicken biryani recipe sms hindi friendship sms sms jokes

Mohtasham said...

its a pleasure reading all these informative things. I really appreciate your mindset man, please tell me how can i contact you, because your articles are always informative and cool for learning, they always increase my knowledge chicken biryani recipe sms hindi friendship sms sms jokes latest sms winrar free download

Anonymous said...

I have to confess that I have eaten Chicken Tikka Masala so many times when I had a girlfriend that used to make me this for a special night before we ordered some love pills on online pharmacy, but I have not had it with Saffron Rice Pulau, I would love to though

Mohtasham said...

good informative blog, I always read your blogs whenever I get free. Keep on updating it with new stuff, I love your work. latest sms l how to make chicken biryani l tandoori chicken recipe