The Best Chicken Tikka Masala
A great British favourite, this chicken tikka masala is full of tantalising fragrant flavours. It is even better when made a day ahead, so the flavours can develop all the more – delicious!
Serves 2 large portions/4 small portions
Prep time: 20 minutes (plus up to 24 hours to marinade)
Cooking time: 40-45 minutes
For the tikka marinade
4 tsp lemon juice
110g Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, peeled & grated
2cm fresh root ginger, peeled & grated
½ tsp chilli powder
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized portions
For the curry
4cm fresh root ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 green cardamom pods
2cm cinnamon stick
250g vine tomatoes, blended to a fine puree
1 tbsp tomato puree
250 ml water
Salt, to taste
100ml single cream
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1 small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Basmati rice cooked as per packet instructions or Indian breads
1. For the marinade, mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and add the chicken. Cover the dish and place in the fridge overnight or for 24 hours).
2. For the curry, in a food processor blend the garlic and ginger with a splash of water to make a paste, set aside.
3. In a large pan or wok heat the oil with half of the butter and add the cardamom pods, cinnamon and cloves. Allow the whole spices to sizzle for 15-30 seconds and then add the ginger and garlic paste. Cook until the moisture begins to evaporate. Now add the tomatoes and tomato puree and cook for 20 minutes until the paste releases the oil.
4. Preheat the oven to 240°C/Gas mark 9.
5. Cook the paste for a further 6-8 minutes until the paste begins to deepen in colour, stirring often. Pour in the water, bring to the boil. Now pass the sauce through a sieve to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and set aside.
6. Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the fridge and place on a foil lined baking tray. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is slightly charred. Remove from the oven, the chicken will finish cooking in the sauce.
7. Heat the remaining butter in a pan and add the sauce, salt and a good splash of water simmer for 3-4 minutes. Now add the chicken, cream, sugar, chilli powder, paprika and garam masala. Allow the sauce to simmer for 4-5 minutes until the sauce is lovely and creamy adding more water if necessary. Taste the curry and adjust the flavour with more salt, sugar or cream.
8. Serve with basmati rice or Indian bread and a sprinkling of coriander.