March 25, 2011

Yes, snow is still on the ground in many parts of the country, and we’re expecting an inch on Sunday (seriously?), but I’m ready to fire up the grill.

I made these indoors, on my grill pan. What can I say. It was raining…

One of my favorite quick grilled meals is Chicken Tikka Masala. Use this basic marinade and sauce to make up your own tikka masala – yes, with chicken, but also with tofu, beef, pork or lamb. It’s easy, you probably have most of the ingredients already, and when you add my Indian spiced broccoli and potato, and lentil daal, you’ve got a complete dinner, ready in a flash.

If you have a few extra minutes, you can even make flatbread. You’ve got the grill on, anyway!


Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4

4 long bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 c yogurt
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 tsp grated fresh garlic
Pinch of salt

1 T canola or olive oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 T finely chopped jalapeno
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika (hot if you want more heat)
4 oz tomato paste
1/2 c yogurt
1/4 c creme fraiche
1/4 c chopped cilantro

Combine the yogurt, lemon juice and spices, ginger and garlic. Marinate the chicken pieces for an hour.

Preheat the grill, or a grill pan on the stove, to high and brush the grates lightly with oil.

Skewer the chicken pieces and grill for about five minutes per side, until there are pretty grill marks and the juices are running clear.

In the meantime, heat the canola oil in a saucepan and add the garlic, jalapeno, cumin and paprika and cook quickly for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, yogurt and creme fraiche. Cook at a simmer for 15 minutes, until it thickens a bit.

Remove the chicken from the skewers and add it to the sauce. Cook for 5-8 minutes more.

Stir in the cilantro.

Serve over rice or with flatbread – the sauce is so good you don’t want to miss a drop.


19 Responses to “chicken tikka masala”

  1. Liz the Chef

    I love simple recipes that work every time and that can be easily prepared. Thanks, Cathy. Somehow, though, this post did not appear in my email, as usual. Just a heads up…Saw you on fb.

    • Cathy

      Good question – I’ve actually made this with every kind of yogurt. I like the results best from premium – not necessarily Greek – whole milk, plain yogurt. I’ve made it with low fat, and with Greek, and with low-fat Greek. Whatever is in the ‘fridge. Lately, I’ve been making whole milk yogurt myself.

    • Cathy

      It’s so beautiful here today (Saturday) it’s hard to believe rain/snow/wind is coming tomorrow. I picked an armload of daffodils, just in case.

  2. norma823

    This is such a great recipe. I always though it would take longer.

    It is so cold today in New York..20’s when last week in was in the 60’s…

    SO glad I found your blog.

  3. Linda

    You’ve inspired me. It has been a long time since I’ve cooked Indian food. Also, I just hate it when my gas barbecue runs out of gas in the middle of cooking something. Why do I never think of lugging out my cast iron grill and finishing off my half-cooked food on the stove top…. Tikka Masala it is!

    • Cathy

      Running out of propane is one of the few things that will bring me to tears in the kitchen. 🙂 Actually, the last time that happened, it was Thanksgiving and I had planned to cook the turkey on the grill.

  4. Fast Alice Glass

    So funny I just made the same dish the other night… Something about spring makes me want spicy food. I love that you used creme fraiche, it wasn’t in the recipe I used and I wouldn’t have thought of it but I bet it was awesome.
    Fast Alice

  5. Zubair

    I am a vegeterian and use almost similar recipe with extra firm tofu. I had better luck with marinating the tofu with greek yogurt and using ancho chilli powder and a 1/4 tsp of coarsely chopped fenugreek seeds to give it an extra zing (my moms recipe).

  6. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle

    A friend just posted after making the same dish…well, I’m sure NOT the exact same because it wasn’t your recipe. She wasn’t nuts over results…I’m sending her here! I made tikka masala a couple of months ago; it was so easy and so good…and now seeing it twice in one day…so on my schedule for tonight. Thanks!

  7. sara

    Lovely! I’ve always wanted to make this dish but I’ve never actually done it…yours looks wonderful!



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