One of the most popular Indian dishes in the U.S. and the U.K., masala usually involves several steps including marinating and grilling the chicken before simmering in a curried tomato cream sauce. Authentic Indian Chicken Tikka Masala (the word “Tikka” in Hindu means pieces or small bits) is prepared with pieces of chicken, marinated with spices and yogurt and grilled over a charcoal fire to give it a lovely smokey flavor.
The chicken tikka masala known today is a curry(sauce) dish in which roasted chicken chunks (tikka) are served in a rich orange, creamy, lightly spiced, tomato-based sauce. The origins of chicken tikka masala are disputed. Some say it was created for the Mughals in the pre-British India era and another legend has it that chicken tikka masala was actually created in the U K in the 1960s. While I won’t get into that, I will say that it’s one of my favorite dishes, but the original dish has plenty of ingredients and takes time.
But look, Eating Well has simplified it to a one-skillet dish and lightened it by increasing the vegetables, omitting the butter and using less cream. Serve with brown basmati rice. Also notice that the garam masala, shown in the list of ingredients below , is a blend of spices used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin and coriander. This seasoning can be found already blended. It takes the place of many spices, saves time and is available in the spice section of most supermarkets. Today its easier to prepare, with less calories per serving and is every bit as delicious as the original.
Makes: 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 4 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, undrained
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Stir together garam masala, salt and turmeric in a small dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. (Reserve the remaining spice mix and 1 tablespoon of the remaining flour.)
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the reserved spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon flour and stir until coated. Add tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in cream. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.