Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

i've always said that if i ever won the lottery, i would travel. that's such a broad idea of traveling. there are many, many, many countries i'd like to see. however, i'd love to spend a month in india. to be fair, i don't even know much about india, apart from what i learned in World History and what i've seen in movies. maybe it's one of those things where one feels a rightness in something unknown: you don't necessarily know when a cake has come out right, but it feels perfect, or having just completed a difficult test that you studied for and leaving the classroom just knowing you did well. that's how i feel about visiting India.

until i actually win the lottery, i make do with eating indian food. chicken tikka masala is one of my favorite indian dishes, with it's tangy spices and tender chicken. it's usually my go-to dish when i go out for indian, unless there's a pre-fixed menu or i'm feeling adventurous.

it's been so cold lately, i decided to make use of some spices i had hanging out in my pantry. i didn't have all the necessary ingredients, but i made an adequate attempt at it. it sure has been keeping me warm this week, what with temperatures dipping into the 30s again.

chicken tikka masala

Chicken Tikka Masala
adapted from Food & Wine and Grace Parisi

cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons pure chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cayenne and turmeric. Season with salt and pepper.

the recipe calls for A LOT of different steps and use of some other ingredients that i didn't have. the next evening, i basically cut up the chicken, threw all the ingredients into a pot, added water, cooked on low til sauce had thickened. a very, very lazy way of cooking but it suited me.

today's song: Tyler Ramsey, Worried


  1. It's really terrible that I'm half Indian and cannot make Indian food. My mom can---and she's not Indian at all---but she can make anything. Thing is, I'm so sensitive to spicy foods, I hardly even eat it. That's probably part of the problem. Sigh.

    ANYWAY: Love the way you improvised on the ingredients. My kind of cooking.

  2. Thank you, Lan! You're the best. I love Indian food and I love the improv.

  3. Awesome to come back and see a spicy and tasty Indian dish! I just took a friend to the Indian grocery today as she wanted to try her hand at Indian cooking. Looks really delicious!

  4. I love this. I love curry. I love spicy food. I love I love I love!

    ps--thank you for the birthday wishes!

  5. I do the same thing when I make butter chicken. Add all the ingredients together and let it simmer. Seems like such a waste to toss away the marinade.

  6. shannalee -- i had no idea you were 1/2 indian! you know what tempers the spiciness? yogurt. i like spicy food but i still want to be able to taste it and yogurt helps curb the sting.

    aj -- thanks and welcome back! you call it improvising, i call it laziness. :)

    meeso -- isn't there something so wonderful about indian food? i just love it, i finished the last of it last night for dinner and it still tasted wonderful after a few days!

    monica -- spicy food is just so lovely on a good day, isn't it? and indian food always hits the spot for me.

    wc -- i've always thought that about the marinade, when the recipe called to scrape off as much of it as possible and then bake, all i could think about was, what happens to the rest???

  7. That's a good idea about the yogurt. Making a mental note!

  8. tigerfish, thanks so much for stopping by. it is a great dish, one that i hope to make more often. :)

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Thank you, Lan! You're the best. I love Indian food and I love the improv.