My entire house is alive with the aroma of Indian spice and my fingers smell of fresh cilantro. I almost wish I were about to walk in the door for dinner... it's amazing in here. My latest experiment, chicken tikka masala, is bubbling away on the stove, imparting scents of cinnamon, cumin and other spice while freshly chopped cilantro floats through the now-heavy air. I can't wait to eat. It's 9:30 and I misjudged time... and must go to bed soon, but I have to try at least a small helping. My sauce and rice have a few more minutes though, so I wanted to start writing first, before my hunger consumes me and my brain goes entirely to food!
The first time I experienced this mean was in New Zealand, and while I don't have naan, I think it's an awesome first attempt for cooking from scratch instead of a pre-made sauce... that said I haven't taken a bite yet. Oh well. I've gone to Indian restaurants several times, which has only served to further enamor me of this awesome meal. So I decided to google the recipe and settled on a 4.5/5 star rated option from allrecipes.com. The recipe is below and I'll talk some about my substitutions.
Okay, enough waxing poetic about this awesome food. I loaded up a small dish, and took a few pictures, then dug in. Little explosions went off in my mouth -- man this has some good kick to it; I might do with a little less jalapeno next time, but this is killer. Filling and good. I made a few substitutions to the recipe below; shortly after declaring that I had all the ingredients I realized that I forgot to buy heavy cream, but I substituted with evaporated milk and it turned out just fine. The yogurt mix that coats the chicken is really thick, so given how much I hate the idea of cleaning the grill (another chore for Klark), I placed my kebob skewers (there were actually 8 - I used four chicken breasts instead of three) on a tin foil on the grill. Also, both places that call for salt, I used one teaspoon of Nu-Salt instead of 3 of salt... and it works just fine to enhance the flavor, just like salt does. So although All Recipes says this is a dish very high in sodium (also using GINORMOUS servings, by removing the salt, using no-salt-added tomato sauce, and all fresh other ingredients, I have actually made it into a reasonable amount of sodium and an amazingly tasty dish. Amazingly tasty, delicious recipe that will become a keeper!! Highly recommend you all try it (if anyone is actually reading).
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 long skewers
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat a grill for high heat.
- Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
- Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.