This chicken tikka masala is absolutely to die for. It takes sometime and does have a long list of ingredients but I promise you that you will love it.
You can use chicken thighs or chicken breast for this recipe. Whatever you prefer is fine. Personally I prefer thighs as I find that they are more flavorful.
Please note that you will need to marinate your chicken for a minimum of four hours so keep this in mind before you start this recipe.
This is what you are going to need to make this exquisite and exotic chicken tikka masala recipe:
2 pounds (about 1 kilogram) boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you can use breast if you prefer)
FOR THE MARINADE:
4 tsp. of grated fresh ginger (peeled)
8 garlic cloves – minced
2 tsp. garam masala
4 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. cumin
1 ½ cups of plain, full fat yogurt (not Greek)
3 tsp. salt
Mix the ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric and cumin in a bowl. Place half of this mixture in a small container with a lid and place it in the fridge for later.
Mix the yogurt with the salt and the remaining spice mixture. Mix it well.
Rinse and pat dry the chicken thighs and place them in a large bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken and mix it well to coat all the pieces. Cover the bowl and marinate for a minimum of four hours and up to overnight.
FOR THE CURRY:
3 TBS of ghee (or 2 TBS unsalted butter and 1 TBS oil)
2 dry red chili pods (you can use arbol)
6 cardamom pods or 1 tsp. cardamom powder
1 small onion – chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
1 – 28 oz. (794 grams) can of finely diced or crushed tomatoes
1 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
2 cups cream (473 ml)
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
Smash the cardamom seeds with your knife to release the seeds. Chop up the seeds with a knife.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on a rack inside a roasting pan. Do not wipe the marinade off the chicken but do get rid of the excess in the bowl. Allow it to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes. The chicken will not be fully cooked and that is fine. It will finish cooking in the curry.
Remove the chicken from the oven and chop into pieces. Set it aside.
Melt the ghee in a deep skillet or wok and add the onions, chilies, cardamom and tomato paste. Mix it and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and the paste starts browning. Stir occasionally.
Add the remaining spices that you made for the marinade (ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric and cumin). Cook for 4 to 5 minutes stirring constantly.
Add the can of tomatoes with all of the juice. Mix well, bring to a simmer, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool down a bit. Blend it. Remove the chili pods if you do not want it to be spicy.
Return the blended sauce to the skillet and add the chopped cilantro. Add the cream and mix well. Cover the skillet and simmer the sauce, on low heat, for about 30 minutes.
Add the chopped chicken and mix it in. Simmer the chicken in the sauce for about 10 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt. Serve and garnish with some chopped cilantro. Enjoy this delicious chicken with some steamed rice and a piece of Naan bread.