My husband introduced me to Indian food many years ago and now it’s one of my favorite cuisines. I wanted to create a version of traditional chicken tikka masala that you could throw together in about half an hour, making it more accessible for those busy weeknights.
This dish typically calls for marinating the chicken in a mixture of yogurt and Indian spices for a minimum of 2 hours. But if you don’t have the time (or you just forget to marinate your chicken in advance) I wanted a version that would keep the basic flavors of this dish intact, without the extra marinating step.
The result was a huge hit and my husband, who loves him some authentic Indian food, thought it was delicious and a totally acceptable substitute for “the real thing.” Serve it over a bed of basmati rice and you have a full meal. Enjoy!
|Quick and Easy Chicken Tikka Masala|| || |
- 4 tsp garam masala spice*
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- 4 tsp butter or butter substitute (I used Smart Balance)
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 4 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup heavy cream*
- Fresh cilantro for garnish, optional
- In a small bowl, stir together garam masala, salt, turmeric, and paprika. Add flour to a shallow dish or bowl. Sprinkle chicken with a couple of pinches of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. Set aside the rest of the spice mixture and the flour.
- Heat half of the butter in in a large skillet and cook the chicken until just done, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Melt the remaining butter in the same pan, using a spatula to scrape up all of the flavorful bits from the chicken on the bottom of the skillet. Add the onion and cook until translucent and fragrant, and then add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Add the remaining garam masala mix and 1 TBS of the remaining flour and mix until well-coated.
- Add the can of tomatoes and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened and fragrant, 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the heavy cream and add the chicken and any leftover juices from the plate. Allow to simmer an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve hot over a bed of basmati rice and garnish with cilantro.
1 TBS cardamom
2 ¼ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
Scant ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
* You can increase the heavy cream to ⅓ or ½ cup if you prefer a creamier sauce or want to mellow the flavor of the tomatoes. Taste your sauce while cooking and adjust as needed.
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