Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Tikka Masala

I've become addicted to this meal.  I love Indian food.  The spices are so rich and flavorful.  Making a dish from scratch sounds more intimidating than it actually is.  There is an art to it.  I've had it come out particularly dry OR nice, thick, and juicy.  

McCormick makes pre-measured spice packets now, with different recipes attached to the back.  Yes, the price for a pinch of six spices is a bit high.  But, this is an easy way to sample a recipe without buying full bottles of each spice.  I've tried to make most of McCormick's spice packet recipes.  The Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my favorite meals.

I'll try to give you their recipe here, with notes from me along the way:

You will need:
*NOTE:  I go heavy with all of the spices, lots more than recommended amount.
2 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 tsp. Garam Masala (This is part of McCormick's Gourmet Collection)
1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1tbsp. cornstarch ( I never use it to avoid the carbs, but it will help thicken it up)
1/3 cup heavy cream ( I probably do 1/2 cup easy, but I don't use cornstarch)
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. lemon juice ( I probably do 3 tbsp.)
1 medium onion, chopped (I use two)
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained ( I also add a couple of fresh tomatoes that I cut up)
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (I use 2 very large chicken breasts)
Now, the ingredients I have here give me enough to split it into more than one meal...about one breast per sitting...but I have lots of sauce...which is what I prefer.  One breast is super filling since you serve this over rice.
Cooking Directions:

1-Melt butter in large nonstick skillet on medium heat.
2-Add chicken, onion and lemon juice; cook & stir 10-minutes until chicken is no longer pink.
3-Add spices 1-5 plus the salt if you aren't going to use cornstarch.  Hold the salt if you are.  Cook and stir for 1 minute.
4-Stir in tomatoes until well mixed.
5-Stir cream into cornstarch and salt until smooth.  ( I just add the cream directly minus cornstarch).
6-Gradually stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, stirring frequently, simmer 5-minutes or until slightly thickened.  (I cover mine in a dish on the stove and let it simmer for awhile, making sure it doesn't get dry).
7-Serve with cooked rice or naan bread.
You can buy basmati rice in the store, but good luck finding good naan bread anywhere.  I just eat it without naan.

I recommend you try it.  It is so tasty, especially if you cook it a few times and get a feel for it.  Your house will smell like Indian food though.  This is NOT for the meat and potato type.  But, you all know that.  Have fun!!

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