CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA (for six)
For the marinade:
28 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup plain yogurt
1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon ginger
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground red chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 small onions, finely diced
1-1/2 tablespoons garlic, finely grated
1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
1-1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
14 ounces tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili (optional)
1 teaspoon ground red chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon brown sugar
¼ cup water, if needed
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, to garnish
1. In a bowl, combine chicken with all of the ingredients in the marinade. Let marinate for at least 1 hour, overnight if possible.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When sizzling, add chicken pieces in batches of two or three, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until browned for only 3 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm. (You will finish cooking the chicken in the sauce.)
3. Melt the butter in the same pan. Fry the onions until soft, about 3 minutes, while scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
4. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute, until fragrant, then add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Fry for about 20 seconds, until fragrant, while stirring.
5. Pour in the tomato sauce, chili powders and salt. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and becomes a deep reddish brown color.
6. Stir the cream and sugar through the sauce. Add the chicken and its juices back into the pan and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling. Pour in the water to thin the sauce if necessary.
7. Garnish with cilantro and serve with fresh, hot basmati rice.
adapted from cafedelites.com