Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

In the last month, we have had five days off from school because of snow and now it is seventy five degrees and sunny.  That is one thing I like about Oklahoma: if its cold, you know it will be warmer soon.  Even though its warming up, I am still in the mood for warm, comforting food. 

 One comfort food for me is definitely Indian food, with its rich flavors and tantalizing scents.  I found this recipe for chicken tikka masala while browsing tastespotting a while ago and finally got around to make it.  The version in the link is far too salty.  I made this version and had to add more cream in order to de-saltify it.  I am going to give you a version with far less salt and slightly less fat and you can then at more salt if you want.  This dish is very good over jasmine rice.  A little flatbread or naan wouldn't hurt either!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Prep:
1 cup plain fat free yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers

1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat a grill for high heat. You can use a griddle if you have one.

3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside.

Sauce Prep:
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup fat free half and half
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in tomato sauce and half and half. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.

2. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.  Serve over rice.

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