Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka works with any meat or veggies – like chopped chunky root veggies on kebab sticks or a nice middle cut of cauliflower steak or go firm tofu or seitan for a vegan alternative.
Tikka is deep red usually because of the rich red food colouring which is a power as averse to a runny food colouring, made from cochineal – but you could use either – I find the runny stuff goes pink, while the power turns it the right colour.
Leaving it as tikka is tasty enough or you could go the whole hog and turn the marinade in to a tikka masala sauce.
If it’s still dry outside try it cooked over coals for a more authentic tasting dish.
1 inch fresh ginger – peeled and grated
1 fresh red chilli – finely chopped or minced
2 cloves garlic – crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek – crushed / ground
pinch ground black pepper
250 g natural yogurt
1 tablespon vegetable oil
1/2 tin / 200 g chopped tomatoes
75 g ground almonds
100 – 120 ml double cream
30 g golden sultanas (or normal ones)
1 tablespoon leaf coriander – chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
Powdered red food colouring* (optional)
Mix all the ingredients for the Tikka paste together and marinate the chicken legs for a minimum of 20 minutes or preferable over night.
For just Chicken Tikka simply roast the legs off for 30 – 40 minutes until cooked.
For chicken Tikka Masala – Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
Shake the excess marinade from the chicken (reserve) and seal the chicken legs in the hot fat on both sides until golden.
Add the remaining marinade along with the tomatoes.
Add the food colouring if using.
Cook for a few minutes then add half the cream along with the almonds.
Cook on a gentle heat occasionally turning the chicken until cooked and tender, add a splash of milk if the sauce gets to thick before the chicken is cooked.
Add the remaining cream, sultanas and coriander cooking for a further minute or two on high to form a thick luscious sauce.
Serve with a sprinkling of garam masala (optional)
*Food colouring makes an authentic red coloured masala, but I never use it preferring a light coloured more natural dish.