Thursday, January 17

adventures in tikka masala

My friend Keri has, over the years, introduced me to many international foods, almost all delicious, and most when we were young and I was single. 

Indian is by far my favorite ethnic cuisine.  And thankfully, much of it is gluten free.  It is not, however, free to eat it at our favorite local restaurant, so I have been experimenting with new recipes at home.  This is one we have made over and over.

Chicken Tikka Masala (adapted)

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken (any cut is fine), cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup yogurt (I have used both dairy and plain coconut with success)
1 T lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper (but only if you want it super hot - the black pepper really heats it up well)
1 tsp salt
1 T fresh ginger (I use a microplane)

Mix all of that together and marinade for at least 1 hour. I usually make a double batch and freeze 1/2 for another time.

The original recipe calls for skewering the chicken and grilling it, but I have never made it that way - I bake it on skewers or on a baking sheet until it's done.

Saute in a large skillet:
1 T butter (or coconut oil)
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded (or not) and minced fine
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (1 large or 2 small)

When tender, season with
2 tsp paprika (smoked is delicious)
2 tsp cumin
any additional salt you wish to add

Then add the following and simmer until sauce thickens slightly.
8 oz tomato sauce
1 cup cream (I use unsweetened full fat coconut milk)

Add cooked chicken and garnish with 1/4 cup or more of chopped fresh cilantro.

I serve this with cumin/basmatti rice:
saute 1 T cumin seeds (NOT the ground cumin from the above recipe) in 1 -2 T coconut oil until fragrant, add 1 cup basmatti rice and saute a bit longer (not long enough to brown the rice).  Add 1 tsp salt and 2 cups water, bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a low simmer until all water is absorbed.  Add fresh citrus juice if desired (lemon or lime).

We don't share this with our kids.  It's an at home date night kind of thing.  Not that they wouldn't eat it - just because we don't WANT to share.  *grin*  Let me know if you try this!

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