It has been an exceptionally busy week. I haven’t been able to visit any of the blogs, including mine. I did try to sneak into a couple, but always being on the run means missing out half the fun.
It was a great weekend though, with some cousins visiting us all the way from Dubai. Lots of coffee, tea, early morning and late afternoon chatter, gossip sharing, anecdotes, revisiting memories by all – all in all, it was fun.
Blogging, I missed you!
Chicken tikka masala is a direct take off from Indian classical dish Butter chicken. Butter chicken is mostly made of whole chicken that has been baked in clay oven or ‘tandoor’, while chicken tikka masala is made of tandoor baked ‘tikkas’ or kababs. Chicken tikka was possibly a discovery of the British, who loved Butter Chicken so much that they not only took it back to Britain, but also made it its signature dish symbolizing its colonial roots. They also tweaked the recipe a bit on the way, making it more tomato based, and cooking with boneless meat – a concept quite alien to pre-indepenence India.
Even about 6 months ago, my younger son would eat anything if we called it butter chicken and it looked somewhat similar to it. He has become a bit smarter now, but Butter Chicken still stays his favorite dish. Of course, for him, there is no distinction between ‘Butter Chicken’ and ‘Chicken Tikka Masala’.
Soon I learned to develop a recipe which would not cause us heart attacks, literally, while retaining its fabulous flavors, if not the appearance. At first I experimented with milk and low fat cream. It didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. They I started using Evaporated milk. Bingo! I don’t even add cream anymore, and the flavors are as original as you can get.
Great flavors, with half the calories.
- 2 lbs boneless chicken pieces
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp. Tandoori chicken masala powder (I use Shaan)
- 1 tbsp. Chicken Tikka Masala powder (Shaan or any other)
- 1 cup hung yogurt
- 1 cup onion grated (water drained)
- 2/1/2 cups chopped tomatoes skinned, deseeded and chopped
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp cashew paste with milk
- 2 pods black cardamom
- 10 black peppercorns
- 2 Bay leaveshttp://www.thelady8home.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/DSC05740-1024×768.jpg
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- ½ cup oil
- 1 cup Evaporated Milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 Green chilies slit
- Coriander leaves for garnish
- First, slit the chicken with knife/fork. Rub lemon juice, turmeric, red chilli powder, ginger and garlic paste . Refrigerate at least 4 hours to overnight.
- Hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth so that the water drains out (about 4 hours to overnight). Then rub this curd well onto the chicken pieces. Keep the chicken for another 2 hours or till you are ready to grill.
- Wrap the chicken pieces in aluminum foil and then grill on slow flame in an over till well done. Save the excess marinade. You can also skewer the pieces and grill them. It cooks quickly – about 5 minutes each side, so keep a close watch and don’t let it burn.
- Soak the cashews in a little milk for 10 minutes and grind them into a paste.
- Heat oil, and fry the onions.
- Add bay leaves, peppercorns and black cardamom
- Next put the ginger and garlic paste and saute for a few seconds.
- Now add tomatoes and cook till they are soft.
- Stir in cashew paste, stirring continuously. The gravy will thicken at this point.
- Add the left over marinade and cook for a minute till the gravy looks well blended in.
- Mix in the evaporated milk and keep stirring.
- Once the gravy reaches creamy consistency, drop the chicken pieces.
- Add green chilies.
- Cover and cook on slow flame for 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle garam masala powder.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with naan or rice.
This post is linked to: Ladybug Blessings’ Hanmade Tuesday