Cooking with Little Miss Ling: Chicken Tikka Masala

Last night I dreamt I was in a Bollywood movie. I’ve never even seen a Bollywood movie, unless you count Bend it Like Beckham or Bride and Prejudice.

I blame the delicious smell of chicken tikka masala that has lingered in our apartment since making it for dinner on Thursday. It’s messing with my head.

Chicken Tikka Masala

500g chicken breast or thigh, chopped

1/2 inch ginger, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 cup yoghurt

Spice mix
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 teaspoon ground cardamom pods

4 1/2 cups basmati rice
4 red capsicums
12 cashews
2 brown onions
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons tomato ketchup
3/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons dried Fenugreek leaves, crushed
chilli powder
tomato paste
1 bunch coriander, finely chopped

  1. Marinate the chicken in the marinade overnight.
  2. Cook the basmati rice.
  3. Halve 2 red capsicums and blacken the skin under the grill. Place the blackened capsicums in a sealed container until cool enough to handle. Peel the blackened skin from the capsicum and place the remaining flesh in a blender.
  4. Meanwhile, heat pan over high heat and toast the cashews. Place the toasted cashews in the blender.
  5. Dice 1 brown onion. Add oil to pan and sauté  the onion over medium high heat until golden and softened. Place the onion in the blender.
  6. Puree the mixture until a paste is formed, adding water if necessary.
  7. Sauté  the chicken in the marinade over medium high heat until the chicken is just cooked through. Remove from pan.
  8. Dry roast the spice mix in the pan over medium heat until aromatic. Add the oil and butter.
  9. Roughly chop the remaining onion and 2 capsicums. Add to the pan and sauté  until slightly softened. Add the paste from the blender and mix through. Stir in the tomato ketchup and the cream. Add the dried Fenugreek leaves and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
  10. Return the chicken to the pan. Season with salt and chilli powder to taste. Add tomato paste, cream and water until your desired colour and consistency is reached. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove the pan from heat and stir through the coriander. Serve with the basmati rice.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Recipe adapted from Can’t Live Without.