I had volleyball last night, so R was kind enough to document his preparation of dinner - chicken tikka masala. Before I left he asked, "ok - what part do you want me to photograph?" My reply: "when in doubt, take a picture". He took about 50 pictures.
Ever since working near Spitalfields Market in London, R made finding a good recipe for tikka masala and preparing it regularly a priority. Honestly, it is a bit time consuming. But, if you're in the mood for Indian food, it's worth it!
Update: I'm told that Tikka Masala was actually created in the UK.
1 cup yogourt (plain)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
4 tsp salt, or to taste
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers (I don't use skewers)
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
3 tsp salt, or to taste (I don't include)
1 eight oz. can of tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I don't include)
In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 tsp cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger and salt.
Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour
The directions, which I don't follow, say: preheat grill for high heat. Lightly oil grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 4 minutes on each side.
I put a bit of oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken in there.
BUT - before putting the chicken into the frying pan. I melt butter (actually, I use oil) in a heavy skillet (our wok, our skillet options are limited). Saute garlic and jalapeno for one minute.
Then season it with 2 tsp cumin, paprika and salt (again, I don't think it needs salt).
Stir in tomato sauce
Add cream. Here we used half and half. The cream I use varies...sometimes 18%. I know that heavy cream is closer to 36% fat, but I find 18% is sufficient. The cream and tomato may separate a bit, but the end product is good (in my opinion). Just note (I'm probably the only one that would make this mistake): even if it is with the best of intentions - don't use anything like Nutriwhip. It makes the recipe taste completely different and somewhat gross. Ah well, you live and you learn.
Simmer the tomato and cream mixture for about 15-20 minutes. Chicken is frying at the same time (time start of chicken frying with the 15-20 minute sauce simmer in mind).
After 15-20 minutes, add cooked chicken to sauce.
Simmer (or as R likes to call it, "soak") for another 10 minutes.
Serve with rice - basmati or jasmine...we use Italian. As long as it's fairly thick-grained rice.