Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Chicken Tikka Masala

This takes a bit of effort and wasn't very spicy but it was flavourful. I think the chillies I used just weren't very hot!

Chicken Tikka Masala (from The Times)
(Serves 6-8)

1 level tsp ground cloves
1 level tsp ground cumin
1 heaped tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 heaped tsp garam masala
3 lemons
6 garlic cloves
1 thumb-sized piece ginger
6 heaped tbsp natural yoghurt
800g skinless boneless chicken breasts
3 fresh green or yellow chillies

For the sauce
2 onions, finely sliced
4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1-2 fresh red chillies, finely sliced
1 bunch coriander, slice the stalks and chop the leaves
1 level tbsp ground coriander
2 level tsp turmeric
1 heaped tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 heaped tsp garam masala
6 tbsp ground almonds
2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
 2 x 400g tins of light coconut milk

Put the cloves, cumin and 1 heaped tsp each of paprika and garam masala into a small pan and toast for 1 min, then tip into a large bowl. Finely grate in the zest of 1 lemon, squeeze in all its juice, crush in the garlic, peel and finely grate in the ginger, and add the yoghurt and 1 tsp sea salt. Cut the chicken breasts into 5cm chunks, then massage all that flavour into the meat. Skewer up the chicken chunks, interspersing them with lemon wedges and chunks of green or yellow chilli, but don’t squash them together too much. Place on a tray, cover with clingfilm and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

Make the sauce. Put the onions, garlic, chilli and coriander stalks into a large saucepan on a medium-high heat with a tbsp of oil and cook for 20 mins, or until golden, stirring regularly. Add the ground coriander, turmeric, paprika and garam masala. Cook for 2 mins, then add and toast the almonds. Pour in the tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube and add 300ml boiling water. Simmer for 5 mins, then stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for a final 20 mins, stirring occasionally, then season.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, drizzle it with a little oil, then grill on a hot barbecue, in a hot griddle pan or under a hot grill, turning until it’s very golden and gnarly on all sides. Slice the chicken off the skewers straight into the sauce, reserving the lemons. Simmer for 2 mins while you use tongs to squeeze some jammy lemons over the curry, to taste. Swirl through some more yoghurt, sprinkle with the coriander leaves, and serve with parathas or rice.

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