I was never a fan of Chicken tikka masala because most times Ive tried it in restaurants the chicken is way overcooked and tasted like rubber to me. The reason behind this is tikka masala uses Chicken breast meat and it being a lean meat tends to dry out if not cooked correctly.
The Chicken for this recipe is first cooked in a tandoor and then added to a spiced sauce to give it the chunkiness plus the roasted flavor and texture.The reason why foods cooked in a tandoor are so flavorful is because of a process called Maillard Reaction in which foods cooked above 212F go through a chain of chemical reactions and creates a browned, flavorful “crust” on the outside of the food and creates meaty and earthy flavors. Now Im sure most of us don’t have tandoors at home but I demonstrate an easy way to cook the chicken in a similar fashion using the oven.The secret to a succulent piece of chicken breast is in the marination.
Did you know this recipe is as famous in UK as it is in India? This dish is probably one of the treasures taken by Britishers from India along with the Kohinoor Diamond.Every Indian restaurant in the US also serves this dish on their menu.
Im doing this recipe on the request of a follower of my blog.Id love to hear such requests from my viewers.Lets jump in and take a look at how I cook it.
|Preparation time||40 minutes|
|Serving Size||1 serving|
|Calories Per Serving||Approximately 150 per serving|
1/2 cup thick yogurt
3 1/2 teaspoons chicken tikka masala powder ( I love love love the Aachi tikka masala brand and I absolutely recommend it)-
4 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
salt to taste
juice of half lime
2 red or green bell peppers chunked
2 tomatoes diced
5 green chili(adjust according to your spice level)
1 1/2 onion ( 1 onion in chunks and the remaining 1/2 diced)
1/2 teaspoon shahi jeera
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1.In a bowl take the yogurt, 3 teaspoons of tikka masala, 1/2 teaspoon and 2 teaspoons oil, add a little salt to your taste and mix well.
2.Chunk the chicken, bell peppers and onions in equal size pieces and Coat them with the yogurt marinade prepared in the previous step and place in refrigerator for 2 hours to marinate.
3.Soak your skewers in water and preheat oven at 400F.Now put the chicken on skewers alternating with onion and bell pepper and place it in such a way that the ends rest on either ends of a baking pan and pieces hang into it. Bake for 22-25 minutes depending on your oven. You can stop here if you are looking for Chicken tikka appetizer or proceed to next steps if you are looking for a Chicken Tikka Gravy.
Note: this image is for paneer tikka, Im just posting it to show you the setup.
4.While the skewers are baking, in a pan on the stove take the remaining oil and add shahi jeera, diced onions, turmeric powder and green chili and saute till soft.Add the remaining ginger garlic paste and roast for a minute.
5.Add the diced tomatoes, salt and cook till soft.( If you have marinade left over from the chicken you can add it add this point)
6.At this point you can choose to keep the gravy chunky if you like but I prefer a silky smooth gravy so I grind the mixture to a smooth paste in a blender after it has cooled down.
7.Transfer the mixture back to pan, add sufficient water to adjust gravy consistency and adjust the spice and salt.If you need more spice add the remaining half spoon of tikka masala powder and add the chicken, bell pepper and onion from the skewers, mix gently and simmer for 5 minutes.
You can serve this with Yogurt or Cilantro chutney and a dash of lime.
This recipe gives a spicy curry , adjust the quantity of tikka masala to your spice level.
Indian restaurants add cream to tone down the spices, you can add one or two teaspoons of cream after you take it off the heat if you like, I haven’t used it in this recipe.
Roasting the chicken in the way demonstrated above as opposed to cooking them on a pan ensures that the heat reaches all around the chicken pieces and gives a deep roasted flavor and crust, still keeping the pieces moist and succulent.
Alternatively you can also grill the skewers if you like or if you have a tandoor even better.
Make sure your bell peppers and onion pieces are as big as the chicken or you will end up burning them before the chicken is cooked completely.
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