Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Recipe: Chicken Tikka Masala (Plus Two Side Dishes)

It had been a while since I last had dinner at my Indian family's house, so I was seriously craving for Indian cuisine. I thus declared last night Indian Night at our household! (Belated Happy Diwali!)

Found a recipe at, but made do without cilantro--the supermarket was all out. Boo. I thought there was too much salt in the original recipe, so I cut it by about a third. Also, the chicken is supposed to be grilled, but since I still don't have my own grill (double boo), I just lightly fried it. This is quite spicy, so if you're not a fan of the burn, you might want to take it down a notch by cutting all spices in half.

Chicken Tikka Masala


1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1-2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat a grill for high heat.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side. (Note: I lightly fried the chicken in a bit of oil instead.)
  4. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. (Note: Make sure to scrape the spices from the bottom of the pan.) Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. (Note: I only simmered it for about 10 minutes.) Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. (Note: I only simmered it for about 5 minutes.) Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serves 3.
Because it's so spicy, you'll want a lot of starch to sop it up. Aside from rice, I prepared two side dishes (shown in the photo above): a simple potato dish which I got from my BFF Madhuri, and a super-refreshing cucumber dish that I got from some forum and modified.

You Say "Po-tah-to"


1 clove garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 small-ish potatoes, cubed
Juice of half a lemon
Curry powder
  1. Saute garlic and pepper in a bit of oil until garlic is lightly browned.
  2. Add potatoes, lemon juice, salt, and curry powder. Mix well.
  3. Cook for five minutes. Done!
Cool as a Cucumber


1 cucumber, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together. You can add cilantro if you've got it.
  2. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Nice and refreshing!


  1. Chicken tikka masala is my favorite Indian dish!!!! Paired with buttered Naan! But I don't cook though. Haha!!

  2. i love this one too. but i only get to eat it way back when i was in Dubai. miss it!

  3. This looks yummy. Will try this out next weekend. :)


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