I already know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering what a classic Indian recipe is doing on a primarily Southern cooking blog, right? Yeah, I thought so.
No, I haven’t changed my cooking style. But like all good cooks, I really enjoy exploring other food cultures on occasion. It’s so interesting to see how people around the world put together some of the same ingredients that I have in my pantry to make completely different, delicious recipes. So, when a blogging friend, Barbara from Creative Culinary, started a month-long event called Indian Food Palooza, I just had to jump on board.
It took me some time figure out just what I wanted to make for Indian Food Palooza. See, I must confess – I’ve never actually eaten Indian food before. Never even been to an Indian restaurant. But I’ve seen loads of recipes and found them all so intriguing. But wait…maybe I have kinda, sorta had Indian food. You know we use a lot of curry powder in the South. One of our grand old Southern recipes, Chicken Country Captain, is just full of curry. And every Christmas I make my mom’s recipe for Curried Baked Fruit. Maybe this isn’t so “out there” after all.
In researching recipes, I was specifically looking for something that used easy to find ingredients. I wanted a main dish, preferably something with chicken. When I found this Chicken Tikka Masala on The Pioneer Woman’s blog, I knew that it was the one for my contribution to Indian Food Palooza. The combination of spices reminded me a lot of Chicken Country Captain – an interesting blend of sweet, savory and spicy. The only thing I might change the next time I make this – and there definitely will be a next time – is to cut back on the garam masala. I think it pushed the recipe just slightly further into the sweet spectrum than BeeBop and I like.
Start by preheating your broiler to its highest setting.
Then season the chicken breasts with a sprinkle of salt, coriander and cumin. Coat chicken breasts completely with yogurt. Set the prepared breasts on an oven grill pan and cook for 5-7 minutes per side. The chicken should have blackened edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until slightly browned. Add the garlic, ginger, and salt to the onions. Sprinkle in the garam masala and, optionally, the diced chili. Add the diced tomatoes. Cook while stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the basmati rice – bring two cups of water to a boil, add the rice, the remaining two tablespoons of butter, and the salt. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
After the sauce has simmered for a while, stir in the heavy cream. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and stir them into the sauce. Add the cilantro and stir through.
Serve the Tikka Masala over the prepared Basmati rice. Sprinkle with additional cilantro and chopped chilis if desired.
Other tikka masala recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Chicken Tikka Masala from Indian Simmer
- Rasa Malaysia’s Chicken Tikka Masala
- Aayi’s Recipes Chicken Tikka Masala
- Tikka Masala from Seriously Good
- My Dhaba’s Chicken Tikka Masala
What I was cooking…
- One year ago: Baked Panko Onion Rings
- Two years ago: Chicken Jallop
- Three years ago: Burgers – Nana Style