Tikka Masala

Along with developing a new menu to guide our grocery and eating habits, we’ve been search for and testing a few new recipes.

I got this recipe from In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita. After watching him make it on TV, seeing that it looked pretty simple and flexible, I decided to give it a try. I got all the necessary spices at the Bulk Barn and I was pretty much ready to go, as most of the other ingredients are ones I usually have on hand. 

Here’s the recipe as adapted from this one from In the Kitchen:  


2-3 chicken breasts (boneless)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup whipping cream (35%)**

Basmati rice for serving


Cut chicken into 1 1/2 inch cubes and season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add chicken and cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.

Clean pan, add more oil. When warm, sweat onion, garlic and ginger for 2 to 3 minutes. Add cumin, turmeric, chili powder and cardamom and let the spices heat while stirring. Add lemon juice and cook for another minute.

Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add chicken back to pan. Continue to cook add whipping cream**. Simmer until sauce is thickened.

Serve over rice and garnish with plain yogurt.

** What neglects to be mentioned in the In the Kitchen recipe is that you should not substitute whipping cream for regular coffee cream. The high fat content in whipping cream (or the yogurt if you choose to use that instead of cream) is what keeps it from curdling when added to the warm pan. If whipping cream isn’t an option for you, you can temper your regular cream before adding it to the pan. This is done by adding, in several small additions, teaspoons of the juices from the pan to the cream while stirring vigorously, then adding this to the pan while stirring.  

Overall, I was pretty happy with how this dish turned out. It was hearty, easy to make (once I figured out how to avoid curdling), makes great leftovers for the next day. It’s also very flexible, in terms of spices and flavours, so you can tweak it to taste. This recipe is definitely going to be added as a regular to our menu.



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5 responses to “Tikka Masala”

  1. Tom R says :

    Also, you can dry roast the spices in the pan until brown. Even better that way.

  2. Tom R says :

    I will cook it too. One small tip: buy whole spices and grind them yourself. Cumin and cardamom taste so much better, plus you know for sure what you are buying. I just bought this mortar and pestle set, cast iron: http://www.typhoonplus.com/ProductInfoPages/38800.html

  3. Valerie says :

    I love cooking (and, sometimes baking), with cumin and cardamom. This looks delicious!

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