Chicken Tikka Masala – Recipe

The key to making a good chicken curry is to cook the sauce and the chicken separately.   The sauce often requires a much longer cooking time than the chicken which means that by the time the sauce is done, the chicken is over-cooked. By cooking them separately, you can control the cooking time for the chicken and thus make sure that is not dry and over-cooked. The marinade ensures that the chicken is flavorful. I do the same when cooking fish curries.


For the marinade:

Juice of 2 limes
6 Chicken breasts, Skin removed
2 teaspoons Paprika
2 ½ teaspoons Cumin seeds, Whole
1 teaspoon Coriander seeds, Whole
1 Onion, Roughly chopped
4 cloves Garlic, Chopped
6 centimeters Fresh ginger, Chopped
3 Fresh green chillies, Deseeded and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Garam masala
150 grams Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil

For the sauce:

1 ½ teaspoons Tomato puree
400 grams Tomatoes, Skins removed, and chopped
4 centimeters Fresh ginger, Peeled and grated
1 teaspoon Lime Juice
1 teaspoon Caster sugar
70 grams Unsalted Butter
150 milliliters Cream
1 handful Fresh coriander leaves, Roughly chopped
2 teaspoons Garam masala


Chicken Tikka Masala

For the marinade:

1. Cut the chicken into large chunks, about 4 cm each. Combine the juice of two limes with the paprika and rub into the chicken. Set aside to rest.
Fry the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes until fragrant. Blend these into a fine powder using a pestle and mortar or a spice blender.

2. Put the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and chillies into a food blender and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the yogurt, garam masala and coriander and cumin powder.

3. Pour the stirred mixture over the chicken pieces and mix through ensure that every piece of chicken is well coated. Cover the bowl with cling film and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

For the sauce:

1. Combine chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, coriander leaves, grated ginger, lime juice, sugar and garam masala in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the tomato mixture. Heat and add cream. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

2. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Shake each piece to remove most of the marinade. Drizzle the chicken pieces with oil and fry on a hot griddle pan until the chicken is just cooked through and has a nice char.

3. Add the chicken to the sauce and simmer for about 3 minutes. Serve piping hot with some naan bread.


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