My take on Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is supposed to be the nation’s favourite curry, but I think it is a pretty insipid and bland sort of thing. However, the idea of curries made with meat previously cooked in a tandoor is quite appealing. A lot of restaurants do such things and they are pretty tasty. I wonder if it is a good way of using up chicken and lamb tikka that has been prepped but not used?

Anyway, I marinated some skinned but bone-in chicken thighs in a marinade of yoghurt, Kashmiri chilli powder and garlic paste, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander and dried methi leaves for about 24 hours in the fridge.

I part roasted the chicken in a 220 C oven for about 15 minutes and set it aside. While this was cooking I made a sauce with onion, garlic and ginger paste fried in rapeseed oil with ground cumin and coriander until the oil began to separate out, to which I added chopped tinned tomatoes, tomato purée and the marinade with some water.

This was cooked until all nicely thickened and when the oil was beginning to separate out on top.

To the sauce I added the chicken and left it until it was time for dinner.

I gently reheated the chicken in the sauce while some basmati rice was cooking.

I also made a spinach side dish. I heated some oil in a wok and added mustard and kalonji seeds until they began to sizzle and pop. Then I fried sliced onion and chopped garlic and ginger until coloured. Then I added a teaspoon each of turmeric and garam masala, some chopped fresh tomatoes and a washed bag of spinach leaves. This was stir-fried until the spinach was very wilted.

A garnish of chopped coriander completed the dishes.

I also made some flatbreads to accompany the meal. These were made with a basic white bread dough, enriched with yoghurt and flavoured with kalonji seeds, which were cooked on a flat griddle on the hob.

You would probably drink lager with this in a restaurant, but we had a bottle of chilled Languedoc rosé wine, from Sainsbury’s Winemakers Selection. Not outstanding, but a pleasant easy-drinking Summer wine.


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