Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala

I loooooove tikka masala.  I want to try other things when I go to Indian restaurants, but it's hard because I love it so much.  The most I really branch out is that sometimes I get paneer masala instead of chicken.  My two favorite Indian restaurants in the Seattle area are Chutneys and India Gate, in case you're looking for a recommendation. (Kelly--this is specifically for you.)  

My favorite thing about Indian food is dipping naan in the sauce.  But, naan is tricky if you don't have a tandori oven, which I don't.  Luckily my sister-in-law, Britney, discovered a recipe for green pea bread years ago which is the perfect substitution for naan.  Totally different than naan, but totally perfect for dipping in delicious sauce.  Man, I love green pea bread.  So simple, so delicous. I love it.  Recipe to follow very soon.   
On to the tikka masala . . .  This recipe was such a pleasant surprise.  This is by far my favorite tikka masala that I've made.  The key ingredient is garam masala.  Garam masala is a blend of spices and includes things like coriander, cumin, pepper, nutmeg, fennel.  This recipes calls for a lot, 3 tablespoons, so head on down to the Market Spice to buy an ounce or two.  This is the only way to buy spices.

I really love this recipe.  Enjoy!


  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • ground coriander
  • cumin
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 piece (approximately 2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 can (28 ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Season chicken breasts with Kosher salt, coriander, and cumin on both sides.

Coat chicken breasts completely with plain yogurt and set on a metal cooling rack over a foil lined baking sheet. 

Place about 10-12 inches below a broiler for 5-7 minutes per side. Watch carefully so as not to totally char the chicken. It should have slightly blackened edges. Remove from oven.

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat.

Add the onions and sauté until they are slightly browned.

Add garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook for a few more minutes. 

Add 3 tablespoons garam masala and stir well. 

Add tomatoes (inlcuding the juices).

NOTE:  I used two 14 ounce cans of tomatoes.  I think I would puree one of the cans next time so that it's a little more saucy.  I'd like it to be both saucy and chunky, if that's a possibility. 

Continue cooking and stirring, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it.

Add 1 tablespoon sugar to cut the acidity.

Add cayenne pepper if you want a little kick.  I'm a spice wimp and 1/4 teaspoon was perfect for me.  Adjust accordingly. 

Simmer on medium for about 5 minutes.

Add in 1 ½ cups of heavy cream.

Chop up your chicken breasts into chunks and stir them into the sauce.

Add a handful of chopped fresh cilantro and stir well.

Serve with green pea bread or naan.  Mmmmmmmm. 

I made this turmeric rice as well, but like it just as much with just plain old rice. 

Source:  Pioneer Woman


  1. I've got to make this soon. I feel like its almost paleo-ish. (Besides rice & bread of course)
    We might do a challenge with our gym - bleh

  2. The chicken, butter, and cream make it feel paleo-ish which cancels out the rice and bread, right?