Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Chicken Tikka Masala ~ The Brainy Gourmet Way!

I like cooking Italian and from time to time, I like to explore other foods. 

The origin of the dish is unclear. One explanation claims that it originated in an Indian restaurant  in Great Britain likely coming from the British Bangladeshi community which supposedly ran a lot of the Indian restaurants in the United Kingdom some time agoIt did not take long for its transformation into western cooking...being fast, frugal and full of flavor!

Chicken Tikka Masala is chunks of chicken marinated in spices and yogurt, that is then cooked in a tandoor oven, and served in a Masala ‘spicy’ sauce. Will you need to buy a tandoor oven? No. All you have to be is brainy which means improvise. However, for this dish, there are ingredients that you will need to buy: either boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs and rice if you don't have on hand. Also, small potatoes, skinned, diced and pre-cooked which are an important part of the original recipe. You can of course use leftover potatoes, diced and added to the pot. The zesty sauce usually includes tomatoes and or tomato paste, plus heavy cream or yogurt and various spices. The sauce or chicken pieces (or both) are colored orange by using turmeric powder and paprika powder.

Take a deep covered skillet and saute on med. heat your chicken (cubed or small pieces) in 4 tbs of olive oil and 2 tbs of salted fresh cream butter. Once browned, add one small can of tomato paste (or chopped tomatoes) and 1 tbs of organic honey or agave nectar. Turn up the heat to med high and stir until all chicken is coated with the sweetened tomato paste. Then, add either 1/2 cup of heavy cream or yogurt. Stirring until you have a creamy sauce covering your chicken. Now add your spices: 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp of coriander and paprika plus dried herbs: mint and parsley. Of course, if you like turmeric, add more to taste. You should add your pre-cooked (left over) potato bits to the chicken and sauce; simmer on low heat for at least 18-20 min. 


Prepare rice and serve!

~ Tutti a Tavola! 

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