Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rosie Makes Chicken Tikka Masala.

I check out a lot of food blogs.
I'm always on the lookout for something different
or something that takes me out of my comfort zone.
And I like to try different cuisines

Recently, I found a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala
in one of my favorite food blogs,
I adapted my recipe from theirs.

It takes a bit of preparation,
but I think the result is well worth the effort.

I've been wanting to try more Indian dishes.
There are no Indian restaurants on the Outer Banks
and what few I've been to elsewhere always smell bad,
the food looks questionable,
but it tastes really good.
Go figure.

Anyhoos, when I saw this recipe,
I knew it was what I was looking for.
Hot and spicy.

The chicken is cut into bite-size pieces
and is marinated in a yogurt/spice mixture.
Then the chicken is sauteed and added to
a tomato cream sauce with a palette of complex flavors -
 garlic, onion, cumin, paprika, jalapeno, red pepper
and garam masala, an Indian blend of spices.

For the marinade:
8 ounces Greek yogurt
1-inch cube fresh ginger, minced
1 TB cumin
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp Garam masala
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients.
 Add chicken pieces.
Coat well.
Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

Minced ginger into the yogurt.

Add in the spices.

This is my own blend of garam masala.
Garam masala is not a spice in itself.
It's an elaborate and pungent combination of different spices
and is at the heart of most Indian dishes
and everybody has a recipe for it,
depending on the region and personal tastes.
Garam masala means hot (garam) spice (masala).

Rosie's Garam Masala
 2 3-inch pieces cinnamon stick
1/2 cup whole cardamom pods, preferably green
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/4 cup whole cumin seeds
1/8 cup whole coriander seeds
1/4 cup whole black peppercorns

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Spread the spices in a single layer in a pan.
Roast about 30 minutes,
stirring and turning the mixture several times.
Do not let the spices brown.
Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods.
Process all toasted spices to a powder.
Store in a jar in a cool, dark place.

 Toasted spices.

 Remove seeds from the cardamom pods.

Processed garam masala.

On to my bosoms.

One of these days,
I'll show you how to quickly bone a chicken breast by hand.
You don't need a knife.
And the less you handle any meat, the better.

That's marinade on the back left.
Chicken parts on the right, soon to be chum.

 Chum works.

Cut chicken into pieces and  ...

...  stir into marinade.

Ingredients for my sauce:
1 TB butter
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 hot red pepper, minced
1 TB hot paprika
1 TB garam masala
1 cup heavy cream
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Mince away!

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat
and add onion.

Garlic in.

Red pepper in.

Jalapeno in.

Saute ...
...  until onions are translucent.

Hot paprika goes in.

Garam masala in.
Stir to combine.

Add in diced tomatoes.
Stir and cook over medium low heat.

Add in the cream.
Bring to a boil,
then reduce to a bare simmer.
Cover and barely simmer for 30 minutes.

Taste test.
Keep warm over very low heat.

On to the chicken.
I heated oil over medium high heat in my iron skillet.
Add chicken pieces one at a time.

Saute about 5 minutes each side until lightly brown.

Add chicken to the sauce.

Stir to coat chicken.

Garnish with cilantro.

This chicken was fork-tender and oh-so-moist.
I'm not used to eating highly spiced foods,
so this was a treat for me.
I loved the complex flavors.
I loved the spice.
And this had just the right amount of heat.

Consider my Indian itch scratched.
For now.


Lea said...

I am admitting I've never tried Indian food. My brother LOVES it. But he likes things FREAKING hot. I do not. He keeps telling he'll find me something savory but not HOT. But seeing how he hit me in the head with a rubber mallet when I was five....I'm not sure I should trust him ; )

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Lea, you can control the heat here. It's still spicy as can be. I couldn't eat a steady diet of this, but once in a while it's a nice treat. Like I say, every now and then, I want "different."