Recipes: Chicken and Vegetable Tikka Masala

A dish ubiquitous in Indian restaurants around the world, Chicken Tikka Masala has a disputed origin. While no doubt derived from the cuisine native to the Indian subcontinent, it is also among the United Kingdom’s most popular dishes, and there are multiple claims to its invention. Zaeemuddin Ahmad, an Indian chef at Delhi’s Karim Hotel, which was established by the last chef of the last emperor of the Mughal Empire in India, said that royal chefs frequently prepared the dish. A popular British origin story is that Ali Ahmed Aslam, a Pakistani chef and proprietor of the Shish Mahal restaurant in Glasgow, invented the recipe while improvising a sauce to suit the British craving for meat with gravy. Food historians in the UK say the dish was probably invented in Britain by Bangladeshi chefs, who ran most Indian restaurants. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said in 2001 that the dish was “a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences.”

Recipe courtesy HonorHealth Virginia G. Piper Center.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 1 pound skinless/boneless chicken breast
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoon evaporated skim milk (lower fat option for heavy cream)
  • 1 tablespoon flour of choice (wheat, chickpea, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon pressed/crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Non-stick cooking spray

FOR THE VEGETABLES AND MASALA:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large carrot sliced on a bias
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1” cubes
  • 2 cups of cauliflower pieces
  • 1 large garlic clove crushed
  • 1 fresh red chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (no added salt)
  • 1 ¼ C evaporated skim milk
  • Chicken from above recipe
  • Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  1. Rub lemon & salt over chicken, cover & refrigerate 20 minutes.
  2. While marinating, combine yogurt, evaporated milk, and flour and beat until blended & smooth. Add and mix remaining ingredients, pour over chicken and rub in well. Cover and chill 4-6 hours or overnight.
  3. To cook chicken, preheat broiler on high, line broiler pan with foil and cover foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Place chicken on foil and cook for 4 minutes. Turn chicken over, baste with reserved marinade and cook an additional 4 minutes. Turn and baste chicken one more time on each side, approximately 4 minutes apart.
  5. Cook for an additional 5-6 minutes to ensure marinade is cooked well and internal temperature of chicken at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove chicken from oven and let sit 5 minutes before cutting.

FOR THE VEGETABLES AND MASALA:

  1.     Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet, add carrots, bell pepper, and cauliflower. Cook until soft about 5-8 minutes.
  2.     Remove vegetables from skillet into a large bowl. Set aside.
  3.     Add a second tablespoon of oil to skillet and heat. Add garlic and chili, cook and stir for one minute.
  4.     Add cumin, paprika and pinch of salt and pepper and cook for an additional 30 seconds while continuing to stir seasonings.
  5.     Add tomatoes and milk to skillet, reduce heat to low and let simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently until sauce thickens.
  6.     While sauce thickens, take chicken that was set aside and cut into bite-size pieces. Once sauce is thickened, add vegetables and chicken back into skillet and heat until all ingredients are heated through. Adjust seasonings as desired to taste.
  7.     Garnish with cilantro and serve over basmati rice. To increase your whole grains, serve over brown rice.

Yield: 4 servings

 

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