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Recipe of the week: Chicken tikka masala

May 9, 2011

Chicken tikka masala is the dish most often ordered in Indian take-aways and restaurants across the world. This recipe it tremendously flavorful and it is sure to knock the socks off of anyone who takes a bite.

For the chicken
4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lemon, juice only
1/2 tsp red chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder
4 large cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
1 red onion
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

For the sauce
2 tsp tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, grated
1/2 tsp sugar
juice half lemon
4 tablespoons butter

1. Place the chicken in a ceramic dish.

2. Mix the lemon juice and chili powder and spoon over the chicken, coating well. Leave on one side for 20 minutes.

3. Roughly chop the garlic cloves, ginger and onion and grind in a food processor until smooth – feel free to add a spoon of yogurt to help it on its way.

4. Stir in the remaining yogurt, garam masala, cilantro and ground cumin.

5. Pour this yogurt marinade over the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a couple hours in the refrigerator. If you can, turn the chicken once while it’s marinating.

7. Make sauce.  In a large pan, whisk the tomato puree with chicken stock. Stir in the cream, cilantro, ginger, sugar lemon juice and cumin.

8. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add a little oil. Take the chicken out of its marinade and sauté for 5 minutes.

9. Now add the cooked chicken pieces and accumulated juices to pan with sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook on a low heat for about 8-10 minutes.

10.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with a stack of naan bread or fluffy basmati rice.

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