I recently went to a local Indian restaurant that opened up in town where I ended up ordering Chicken Tikka Masala which came with some basmati rice and naan. It turned out to be a little on the sweet side and the naan was an embarrassment- a thin and small piece of pita bread that supposedly passed for naan. No pictures survived the incident haha. If I ever go back, I’ll have to order another dish to see if another menu item will be able to redeem themselves.
A few weeks later, I decided to recreate the meal and take a shot at making homemade naan too. The meal was a success. The Tikka Masala was rich and silky with an acceptable spice level. The creamy tomato sauce was perfect for scooping up with naan. Sooo the naan. The joy I felt was indescribable after seeing the naan rise on my cast iron pan and that first fluffy soft bite sealed the deal. The best part about it was that I was able to use it in other dishes even breakfast. The naan recipe will be coming soon so keep posted this weekend!
Chicken Tikka Masala
Printable Recipe Here
For the Marinade
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
For the Tikka Masala Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
- In a medium bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients: the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and salt. Mix in the chicken with the marinade and refrigerate for an hour. If you are patient or have some extra time, you can refrigerate it for 4 hours or overnight.
- Cook the chicken on a grill or in an oven or pan and set aside. I used an indoor grill and it took about 15-20 minutes to cook it because of the heavy marinade. Timing will vary based on the size of cuts and cooking method.
- To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and garlic until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes over medium heat.
- Season with the garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and paprika. Stir to combine and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the tomato sauce.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and heavy cream. Simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce thickens over low heat. Add cooked chicken and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve with rice and chopped cilantro.
-If you do not have garam masala I suggest checking the ethnic foods aisle at your grocery store or going to your local Indian grocery store. I ended up making my own garam masala and I found it to be a good substitute for me. Recipe can be found here. You can click on the serving size and change it to 5 otherwise you will have some extra garam masala.
-One of the key parts to making a sauce is taste, taste, taste! Always taste it after adding spices and adjust it to your own liking.
-Double the recipe for a larger serving size. Be careful with spices though because the ratio does not apply to them. Best option would be to add spices slowly and taste as you go.