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Authentic Chicken Tikka Masala

 
Chunks of chicken are infused with an aromatic spice mix and then chargrilled before adding to a luscious creamy tomato-based curry. This much-loved Chicken Tikka Masala is as authentic as it can get.



Do you ever crave for that glorious Chicken Tikka Masala that you order at your favourite Indian restaurant? I swear this recipe is just like that, only fresher, healthier and cheaper! I spent hours of research and experiments into formulating the perfect chicken tikka masala for you guys. And finally, I have nailed the flavours. I do not like to oversell my recipes but I am seriously blown over how incredible this one is. Even my husband was wowed over how restuarant-ish it tastes!

And the best part is that there's a calorie-rich, oozing-with-cream version and a healthy, not-compromising-on-any-taste version (see notes). I have made both ways and I really cannot tell the difference. Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients, everything is already in your spice cabinet! Put on your aprons and get cooking people!

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g boneless chicken (cut in cubes)
FOR MARINATION
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp oil
FOR CURRY
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 2-3 whole black pepper
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika powder
  • 2 medium tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 1 tsp fenugreek leaves
  • 50g butter

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all the ingredients of the marination and rub it over the chicken pieces. Leave to marinate for at least 2 hours and if you have time then overnight is best.
  2. Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil in your normal/grill pan. Cook the chicken pieces. Put aside when done.
  3. In another pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Add the cumin seeds, cloves, whole black pepper, green cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Stir till the oil is infused with their flavour. It's optional but since I find these strong, at this point I take out the cardamoms, bay leaf and cinnamon stick from the pan.
  4. Now add the onions and ginger garlic paste. Saute till the onions are translucent.
  5. Then add in the tomatoes and all the spices; cumin powder, red chili, paprika, salt and turmeric. Cook till the tomatoes are mushy and oil seeps from the side.
  6. Now pour in the water. Bring to boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, and put the mixture aside to cool.
  7. Then add it to the blender and pulse till smooth. The curry will achieve a thick consistency now.
  8. Put the curry back into your pot, keep the flame on medium-low and add the cream. Simmer till the curry starts to thicken.
  9. Add in your grilled chicken. Sprinkle the fenugreek leaves and add butter. Cover the pot and leave on low heat for 2 mins.
  10. Serve with some naan or rice!

NOTES

  • For the healthy version: 
  1. Use olive oil.
  2. Substitute cream with equal amount of evaporated milk.
  3. Skip the butter, it doesn't affect the taste a lot.

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