There are literally hundreds of food choices that make up the Indian cuisine. India, a nation that has undergone a widespread diaspora of peoples and cultures, boasts of a high-quality cuisine that has evolved from many food influences. It is best known for the creative blend of spices and local vegetables brought in from different parts of the country. There is a wide array of viands or dishes in every region, therefore making Indian cuisine variable depending on the place. Interesting, huh? On this site, we will learn Indian recipes in no time!
Today, we are going to cook the famous Chicken Tikka Masala. Perhaps the most popular to outsiders, the Chicken Tikka Masala, is always a favorite restaurant dish. Contrary to popular belief, the dish originated in Kerala, Southern India, and not in Scotland, UK. It is a variant of the European chicken curry which makes use of roast chicken dipped in creamy, mix-spiced, original blend tomato paste.
There is no standard recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala, however, universal ingredients include the following:
3 chicken breasts
4 Tbsp olive or groundnut oil
5 cardamom pods
a 5cm cinnamon stick
1 ½ onions
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 large tomato
1 tsp tomato purée
5 fl oz water
Salt to taste
Yoghurt or 1 tin coconut milk, if desired
Fresh coriander to garnish
After preparing the ingredients, chop the tomatoes and onions finely and set aside. Cube the chicken breast into bite size pieces (“tikka” means bite size, by the way!), and season with a little salt.
To make the masala paste, mix or blend ginger and garlic with cumin powder, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, garam masala and paprika. After these preparations, we are set to cook this sweet, succulent recipe!
To get started, put oil into a pan over medium heat. When it’s boiling, add a cinamon stick and cardamon, and take them out after a few seconds. This flavors the oil, which gives the wonderful aroma of the dish. Next, add the onions and stew until brown. Add the masala paste and stir for a minute. Masala or “spices” is a vital word in all Indian cooking as it’s used as the signature element for the Indian cuisine.
After adding the masala, add the tomatoes and tomato purée, and stir until thoroughly blended. Once done, pour in water and bring to a gentle simmer. Whisking constantly, taste the sauce and season with salt if necessary. Once you get the desired taste, add the chicken cubes and mix well into the masala paste. Simmer for ten twelve minutes, stirring after every few minutes, until the chicken is cooked and tender. To check if done, pierce the chicken with a sharp knife. It must go straight through and come out clean.
The sauce should be quite thick now, clinging to the chicken cubes. If you desire more than curry sauce, add either one small tin of coconut milk or one medium size cup of yogurt. Mix well and simmer for another five minutes, then place on a serving dish. Decorate with fresh coriander leaves.
There you have it, the sumptuous Chicken Tikka Masala! To learn Indian recipes is fun especially if you love spices, the Indian people and the culture they belong to.