Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala is a popular Indian dish that is so full of flavor and so easy to make. Tender chicken is marinated in spices and yogurt, then cooked in a tomato sauce with spices for a classic Indian flavor.

Servings 4 -6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into large cubes
  • 5 ounces (2/3 cup) plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion cut into large pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-14 oz can tomato sauce (pureed canned tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoon fresh cilantro optional, chopped

Instructions:

  • To a large bowl add the yogurt, garam masala, coriander and 1/2 teaspoon salt, mix well.
  • Mix in the raw chicken pieces to the yogurt, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours remove from the refrigerator.
  • To a large saucepan add the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the grated ginger, garlic, cumin, fenugreek and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Stir the spices into the onions until well mixed and cook for 1 minute, stirring often.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a few seconds while stirring.
  • Add the chicken and yogurt that has been marinating, stir.
  • Add the milk and tomato sauce, mix well.
  • Simmer on low heat uncovered until sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked and tender, about 15 minutes. Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Serve over basmati rice and garnish with cilantro with a side of naan bread.

Naan

Servings: 6 naan

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (not instant active dry yeast or rapid-rise yeast)
  • 3 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Heaping 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted salted butter, for brushing on finished naans

 

Instructions:

  • In a medium bowl, dissolve the active dry yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar with 3/4 cup 100 degree water and let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar, flour, salt and anise seeds (if using). Set aside.
  • Once the yeast is frothy, add yogurt and olive oil and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and mix the dough together.
  • When the dough is about to come together, dust your hand with flour and knead gently into a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  • As soon as it comes together, stop kneading.
  • Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to it and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let sit in a warm place for 1.5 hours until doubled in size.
  • Fill a small bowl with about 1/2 cup flour. Dust a work surface with some of the flour and dump the dough on top. Sprinkle some of the flour on top of the dough and on your hands. Shape the dough into a long rectangle and cut into 6 equal portions, dusting with more flour as necessary so the dough doesn’t stick. Roll each portion of dough in the bowl of flour to keep them from sticking.
  • Warm a large cast iron or heavy nonstick pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Using a rolling pin, roll one of the dough balls into an oval shape about 1/8-inch thick (it should be about 9 x 4 inches). Pick up the dough and flip-flop it back and forth between your hands to release any excess flour; then gently lay the dough in the dry skillet and cook until the top is bursting with air bubbles and the bottom is golden and blackened in spots, a few minutes. Flip the naan and cook about 1-2 minutes more until the the bottom is lightly browned and blistered in spots. Remove the naan from the skillet and brush with melted butter. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining naans, adjusting the heat lower if necessary as you go (I usually find it necessary to lower the heat to medium after the first naan). Serve warm.

Biryani

Ingredients:

  • 3 large shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound large shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 7 cups cooked basmati rice)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro and/or mint, roughly chopped
  • Yogurt and chopped toasted cashews, for serving

Directions:

  • Put a rimmed baking sheet in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 475 degrees F.
  • Add the shallots, drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter and season with salt; spread in a single layer. Roast until softened and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Butterfly the shrimp: Peel the shrimp; make a deep cut down the center of the shrimp’s back from head to tail without cutting all the way through. Remove the vein with the tip of the knife. Open the shrimp along the cut so it lies flat. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Combine the remaining 5 tablespoons melted butter, the ginger, garlic, curry powder and garam masala in a separate large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the spice butter to the shrimp; add the paprika, season with salt and toss. Add the rice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup herbs to the remaining spice butter; toss.
  • Add the shrimp to the baking sheet with the shallots and spread in a single layer. Top with the rice mixture in an even layer and drizzle with 1/4 cup water. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake until the rice is hot and the shrimp are cooked through, 16 to 18 minutes.
  • Stir the shrimp and rice together with a fork. Season with salt and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup herbs. Top each serving with yogurt and cashews.

Kheer

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup Basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose water (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts

Directions:

  • Bring the coconut milk, milk and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan.
  • Add Basmati rice, and simmer over low heat until the mixture thickens and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the raisins, cardamom and rose water, and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Ladle into serving bowls, and garnish with almonds and pistachios.