Tikka masala chicken is one of the most iconic dishes of Indian cuisine, but its origin is a mystery.
Like most famous dishes, many have claimed authorship, including famous British restaurants. Currently, there is no certainty who was its creator. Since no one has been able to provide convincing evidence of having invented it.
There are several interesting and fun theories surrounding its creation. The most widespread version tells that it was created by Bangladeshi chefs. Who cooked in the United Kingdom, and tried to adapt their recipes to British palates.
Another theory of savings and recycling suggests that it originated like kebabs. In other words, a chef mixed some leftovers of food seasoned them, and so the chicken tikka masala emerged. There are others who claim that the famous dish was created in British India.
Whatever the case may be, it has gained much-deserved world fame. Tikka masala chicken has become one of the most popular dishes in Indian cuisine. Competing with tandoori chicken, at the heart and appetite of diners.
In South Asian cuisine, particularly in India, the word Tikka is used to describe a mixture of spices and yogurt used to season meats. The surnames masala tells us about the delicious spices that go with these dishes.
This harmonious combination is not indifferent to anyone, and its preparation is simple. To make this delight at home, you only need to fry some vegetables, mix with the yogurt and spices, and marinate the chicken in cubes for about three hours. Then you have to fry the chicken, add some more ingredients to the sauce, cook a little until all the flavors merge, and voila.
Obviously, the quality of the spices you use is crucial to the recipe, particularly the garam masala. You must be demanding with the aroma and freshness of the garam masala. If you don't have Garam Masala on hand, here we will explain how you can mix some spices to get your own homemade garam masala.
How to prepare the garam masala seasoning?
All garam masala are different, each cook or expert hand has their touch to make their own garam masala. This spice blend, native to India, has no specific formula.
In any case, here we propose our version.
- 2 tbsp dry coriander
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-star anise
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 6 cardamom seeds
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- A pinch of nutmeg.
For the preparation, place the coriander, the cumin seeds, the anise star, the cinnamon stick, the crushed cardamom seeds and the peppercorns in an ungreased frying pan. Brown them over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Remove them when about fifteen minutes have passed and then put them in your electric grinder together with the rest of the species and grind them until you obtain a fine powder. Keep your garam masala in an airtight glass container.
What to serve with Chicken Tikka Masala?
When you taste a bite of the chicken tikka masala you feel an explosion of flavors difficult to explain in your mouth. As soon as I taste the first bite I can't stop eating it, and I don't like to combine its flavor with other strong or highly spicy flavors.
So, the most recommended is to go with the chicken tikka masala with mild flavors, which does not distort your perception of taste. Without a doubt, the best accompaniments are white rice and pita bread.
If you wish, you can add a little coriander on top or a few drops of lemon to intensify the flavors. But with the contours, the simpler and more neutral, the gastronomic experience will be more pleasant.
Tikka Masala Chicken
Indian / Main course
Tikka Masala style chicken. Chicken breast in tomato, pepper and yogurt sauce with lots of garam masalas
600 g. chicken breast
1 cup white onion
3/4 cup red bell pepper
2 cups greek yogurt
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp coriander
1 unit ginger root, about 2.5 cm
3 unit garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp black pepper
2 unit green cardamomo seeds
1 tsp paprika powder
Peel the garlic and crush it in the mortar. Peel the ginger root and finely grate it. Very carefully remove the coarse fibers from the ginger.
In the mortar, crush the cardamom seeds. Remove and discard the hard crust, reserve the rest.
Place the chicken breast on the cutting board, and cut it into cubes about 3 cm in diameter. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Reserve it in a covered container while preparing the rest of the marinade.
Peel the onion and cut it finely into squares, as small as possible. Wash the red bell pepper, place it on the chopping board, and remove the stem with a sharp knife. Remove the light-colored seeds and veins from inside the bell pepper. Then cut everything into small pieces.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of oil. And when the pan is hot, add the onion. Cook, stirring until the onion becomes transparent. Then add the cut pepper, and cook for about three minutes more. Finally, add the chopped tomato.
Add spices, cumin, grated ginger, coriander, garam masala, paprika, cardamom seeds and mix well. Turn off the stove.
Place the marinade just made on the chicken cubes, and stir in half the yogurt. Stir well so that all the chicken is impregnated with the sauce. Cover the container again and leave it to marinate in the fridge for at least three hours. If possible for you, it is much better to leave it to marinate overnight.
When the marinating time is over, remove the chicken cubes from the sauce and leave to drain for a few minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a large, heavy-bottomed cauldron, with the remaining two tablespoons of oil, turn on the stove to full heat and add the drained chicken cubes little by little.
Brown the chicken on all sides. You can do this procedure in batches to ensure the chicken is golden brown.
When all the chicken cubes are well browned, return them all together to the cauldron. Add the remaining sauce that remains from the marinade, the rest of the yogurt, and if you want the chicken to be soft, half a cup of broth.
Cook covered for about ten minutes until sauce thickens. Try salt and rectify if necessary.
Add a little ground coriander on top and voila.
You can go with this dish with basmati rice or pita bread.