Friday, March 4, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

I have kitchen issues. And no, this time it doesn't involve my fridge (although I did get that business cleaned out). I have a small tendency to buy things (or ask for them as presents) I don't have room for in my kitchen. Such as a second bowl for my stand mixer, or a dutch oven, or... well, you get the idea. It's not that I don't use these items, I just don't really have a place to put them. It's so bad that we don't have any actual food in our kitchen cabinets. Only dishes. That's what our little stand-alone pantry is for.

Except then I did this:

And that doesn't even include the little turn-style-thing-a-ma-jig I have on the counter. I counted them this morning... 63 different spices. This doesn't even include extracts and doubles of spices I have. Who on earth needs that many spices? Apparently I think I do.

Send help.

Or better yet, you can follow in my footsteps and buy some spices you normally wouldn't use and put them to work in this fantastic popular Indian British dish. (What, don't believe me? Wikipedia it.)

Chicken Tikka Masala
Adapted from: Eat Live Run

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into one inch cubes

wooden skewers
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup cream (heavy or whipping cream will work)
2 tablespoons lime juice

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Once it is hot, add coriander and cumin seeds and toast for 3-4 minutes.

Transfer seeds to a blender and pulse for 30 seconds or until mostly ground. Add yogurt and next 9 ingredients (through ginger) to the blender. Blend for 30 seconds, or until the mixture is smooth.

Place the chicken in a medium bowl, and cover with the marinade. Stir until all the chicken is coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (up to overnight).

Preheat broiler. In a large bowl or pan, immerse wooden skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes. This is to prevent burning while the chicken is cooking. Line a pan large enough to accommodate the skewers with foil and set aside.

Once skewers have be soaked thoroughly, slide on 3-4 pieces of chicken onto each, then place in the foil-lined pan. Broil the chicken for about 6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, warm 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté about 5 minutes, or until starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and sauté another 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and cream. Reduce heat slightly, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir the cooked chicken and lime juice into the sauce. Serve over hot rice.

Serves: 6

Indian-inspired food is not typically something Adam and I eat, so this dish really kind of came out of the blue. I still don't know why I decided to put it on the menu for the week, but am I ever so glad I did. We typically tend to shy away from Indian and Thai foods as many of the recipes call for coconut or coconut milk. Lucky for us, this recipe didn't (although I'm sure you could easily sub out the cream for coconut milk if you wanted to).

Both Adam and I really enjoyed this random change of pace, not to mention the dish itself! The flavors are very warm, a little spicy with just a hint of almost sweetness and cinnamon. While I'm not sure this cuisine will be regularly making it to our table, it's definitely a good start.

Nutrition Facts - does not include rice
Amount per serving
Calories 315Calories from fat 103
% Daily Value
Total Fat 11.4g18%
Saturated Fat 3.0g15%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 105mg35%
Sodium 908mg38%
Total Carbs 13.2g4%
Dietary Fiber 2.2g9%
Sugars 8.0g
Protein 39.3g
Vitamin A 26%Vitamin C 38%
Calcium 13%Iron 11%


  1. I totally have the same spice/kitchen problem... :( I have like 3-4 bags of herbs de provence, and a million chilli and cinnamon things as well. Chicken looks great! I love the calorie info as well!

  2. Haha! My kitchen is the same way... Your pantry looks so organized... Want to come organize mine?

  3. Look at all those spices! So organized haha...this chicken dish looks so good!

  4. We do order Indian take-out every once in awhile but I've never attempted to make it at home. I'm also adverse to coconut and coconut milk. You make me want to try it.

  5. That spice collection is absolutely impressive. I love chicken tikka masala though the last one I had was an absolute disappointment. Thanks for the recipe

  6. I think your spices are so super organized. I love it and am a bit jealous. I probably have the same number but they ARE scattered across the counter. I really should get on that.

  7. Looks delicious! I love all Indian food so this looks for the spices - I'm exactly the same! After reading how many you had I was tempted to go and count mine but I think it best that I don't actually know!!

  8. yum! can't wait to try. my hubby loves this!

  9. I love the sound of the whole thing! I can practically smell the spices from here. Awesome, awesome!!!

  10. Okay, I'm not alone, then... thank goodness! Could you come over and organize my spice rack and my spice cupboard? and my quatrillion pots and pans? :))

    On a different note, I love chicken tikka masala... I have never made it at home so this recipe might change that.

  11. I have a lot of spices too since I discovered Penzeys. We don't have one here so I tend to stock up when the opportunity presents itself. This usually leads to over buying in case I don't have another opportunity. I love chicken tikka marsala and would love to try making it myself.

  12. Yummy! I have read a lot of recipes on tikka masala but haven't tried it...your pantry is uber-organized. I refuse to organize mine because I know I will find 6 different containers of sesame seeds or something.

  13. it looks great...nowadays i m in a diet so 315 calories also can be ok:) i like your foods to see calories , i m searching too much nowadays low calories , delicious foods in internet but it s such a hard to find;)

  14. Ask an Indian about curry powder that we in the US and Europe use and they look confused. A British convention that we use cause it is easy. You can make it yourself and it definitely make a difference. I love Indian food so I am glad to see you taking it for a spin.


  15. delicious combination
    looks wonderful

  16. I have been bad at commenting lately, I apologize. =)

    Can you believe I've never tried chicken tikka? Hmm. We might have to put another one of your recipes on our list for dinner. We made the kung pao and loved it. I know there's something else but I can't remember to save my butt. Darnit.

    Thanks for the wonderful idea! I hope you're doing well!

  17. I think all of us foodies can sympathize with wanting more kitcheny stuff than we have room for - my bedroom closet is used to handle the overflow from the kitchen. LOL.



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