Chicken Tikka Masala

Indian food is my new obsession! I’ve just recently started experimenting with it trying to get through an awful New England winter. What could possible warm you up better than a bowl of hot and spicy curry?! Well, OK. A shot of hard liquor for sure 🙂 but alcohol aside, Indian food is amazing in winter, it’s a perfect comfort food! I only wish I experimented with it sooner. Better late than never! I’ve made this coconut curry quite a few times and wanted to try something new. After my recent visit to Boston’s Mela restaurant (in short, food=good, service and atmosphere = meh), I was obsessed with making  chicken tikka masala.  And because it snowed here on April 1 (very funny, Mother Nature!), I had to do something to make myself feel better. And it did.

This is a combo of different recipes I found online and it turned out PERFECT. Way to change a boring and dry chicken breast into an exquisite entree! Just like any stew, it tastes even better the next day. This dish is pretty spicy (but not Ineedwaternow! burning hot), if you want to make it milder, add less jalapeno. If you like more spice, add some chili powder. To check if  jalapeno is spicy, I use a little crying  test – smell the chopped jalapeno: no tears = it’s not spicy -> add more; crying and swearing -> use less 🙂

Ingredients (for 4-6 servings)

1.5-2 lbs. chicken

For marinade:

1 cup 2% plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt, just because it’s the best)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

Black pepper


For sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

1 tablespoon corn starch

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika (I used Spanish smoked paprika, YUM!)

1 teaspoon garam masala (sold in supermarkets, I found it in Whole Foods)

1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)

1 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons cream fraiche

Black pepper


Handful of chopped fresh cilantro for garnishing

I just love how all these spices look together!

1. Chop chicken breasts into ~1in. cubes. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, add to chicken and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. You can marinated this overnight.
2. In a thick-bottomed pot, melt butter on medium heat, add garlic and jalapeno and cook for about 1 minute, stirring.  Add coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala, salt and black pepper. Stir well, add chicken cubes and cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Add tomato sauce and corn starch, simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4. Stir in milk and cream fraiche, simmer for another 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and add more salt/spices as needed. Serve over rice, garnished with cilantro. Bon appetit!


7 thoughts on “Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. made it – fantastic!!! I skipped jalapeno for a milder version, but still it was soooo good! thanks for the recipe!

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