Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chicken tikka masala....

So it's over, all the festive mood has evaporated, no more puja planning, no more discussions about whose wearing what....yes I need to wait a year for the next Durga Puja. For a change, after quite a long time, this year I had a great time during the puja. It had become a yearly ritual for me to complain and to be depressed during these five days. Asking every single minute to myself why I'm thousands and thousands miles away from the city of joy.  I know I can never ever compare Kolkata durga puja to our Austin durga puja but still this year I enjoyed every single moment, laughed and above all didn't cry alone being not in Kolkata during the puja. Thanks to my Austin friends, who have become my extended family now, without whom life would have been dull.

I thought I would post something special for this puja, even I made some narkel narus i.e. coconut laddoos. But didn't find time to write and post, may be some other time.

And for this special post my friend Sayantan gave me a beautiful image of Goddess Durga to share with you all. I got so busy with the Durga puja preparation this year that I could not share it on time. Thanks Sayantan for this beautiful image.

You can visit Sayantan's facebook page The Glamor Factory to view some more of his breathtaking photography. 

So here I'm after a small little break, posting a recipe, which is popular world wide, Chicken Tikka Masala, the so-called national dish of the British. There are many theories and stories regarding the origin of this dish. I do not plan to add to it but would rather jump directly to the recipe.

Chicken Tikka Masala is simply boneless chicken pieces marinated and cooked in tandoor, then cooked in a spicy creamy tomato based gravy. To marinate the chicken you can use homemade tandoori masala or store bought, whichever suits you. I didn't use any food color, used kashmiri red chili powder and turmeric powder to bring the bright orange color to the dish.

Things needed to make Chicken Tikka Masala:

For the tikkas:
  • Chicken breast: 2
  • Lime juice: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Black pepper: 1/4 tsp
  • Yogurt: 3 tbsp
  • Garlic paste: 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste: 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder: 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 tsp
  • Nutmeg powder: 1/8 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves): 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard oil: 1 tbsp
  • Green bell pepper: 1 small
  • Onion: half

For the gravy:
  • Onion (chopped): 1 cup
  • Garlic (chopped): 1 tsp
  • Ginger (grated): 1 tsp
  • Tomato: 3 large
  • Cumin seed: 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 2 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder: 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
  • Honey: 1 tbsp
  • Oil to cook
  • Fresh cream: 3-4 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Steps of making Chicken Tikka Masala:

1. Wash and pat dry the chicken breasts. Cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Cut the bell peppers into large cubes. Cut onions into triangles.

2. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients listed for tikkas. Mix them well. Marinate the chicken pieces, bell peppers and onions in that. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hrs.

3. Take out the marinated chicken from refrigerator 1 hour prior cooking. Preheat oven to 400F or 200C.

4. Put chicken pieces, bell peppers and onions alternately in skewers. If you are using wooden skewers then soak the wooden skewers for minimum 1 hrs in water before threading the meat. No need to do that for metal skewers.

5. Cook the chicken pieces for 10-12 mins at 400F, turning in between. Broil the chicken pieces for 2-3 min or till few charred black spots appear on them. Instead of using oven, you can use a griddle or tawa or thick pan to cook the chicken. Or an outdoor grill is also a good option for grilling the chicken.

6. Take out the chicken from oven and keep aside.

7. In a deep pan heat oil (2 tsp), when the oil is hot add chopped onion and cook till it turns red. Add chopped garlic and grated ginger, cook for 1-2 min. Add finely chopped tomatoes. Deseed and finely chop the tomatoes, make sure you are using fully ripe tomatoes. Cover and cook till tomatoes are done. Switch off heat, let it cool down. Make a smooth paste of this onion-tomato.

8. In a pan heat oil, when the oil is hot add the cumin seeds. As the cumin seeds turn brown and the freshly made onion-tomato paste. Add coriander powder, red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder, cook for 5-6 min. Add the cooked chicken pieces and garam masala powder, cover and cook for 8-10 min over low heat. Stir in between. If you find the gravy is drying  up too much, then add few tablespoons of hot water. Add the bell peppers and onions, mix gently.

9. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly. Add honey, garam masalam powder and mix well. Add fresh cream, mix well, switch off heat, serve hot with naan bread.

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  1. That just look sooo yummy and tempting, I can Paneer tikka masala in the same way .. Delicious !!

  2. Chitrangada ,Glad u enjoyed Durga pooja this time.Totally understand that feeling of being alone.
    I feel so awkward to see shocking skulls decorated all over here when our family at home would be doing poojas.
    Awesome chicken tikka masala !! u make me hungry for lunch in the morning itself.

  3. The color of the dish looks so vibrant and nice. I just pinned it. Can't get enough of tikka masala.

  4. 100 out of 100 for presentation and photograph:-)

  5. Delicious, love the presentation n props :-)

  6. Hi Chitrangada,
    I love reading your blog. You have a great aesthetic sense and wonderful photography skills. A treat for the eyes.