In the spirit of a New Year I decided that I need to spice up my meals - try something new and finally test some recipes that I have been saving for months now. Well there's no better way to spice things up then with Indian food! I am a fan of Jamie Oliver and when I saw him make this Chicken Tikka Masala recipe I could almost taste it, the colours jumped out of the screen at me and I couldn't wait to make it.
I have never made an Indian meal from scratch so I was a little nervous but as you can see from the picture I think it turned out very well if I do say so myself : )
One thing that I did that was different from the recipe was that I strained the sauce just before serving, it made for a smoother mouth feel which I prefer but it is not a necessary step.
I am going to continue to try new recipes this year and I hope they all turn out as well as this one did.
Ingredients for the Meat Rub
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
1 heaped teaspoons garam masala
3 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
3 heaped tablespoons natural yoghurt
450 g skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 fresh green or yellow chillies
Ingredients for the Sauce
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
bunch fresh coriander
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1 level teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons ground almonds
400 g can of plum tomatoes
1/2 chicken stock cube
150 ml boiling water
400 g can light coconut milk
Directions - Marinate the meat
I didn't have any fresh chilies so I used dried red chilies and ground them with the cloves, cumin, paprika and garam masala before toasting the spice mixture in a pan for 1 minute to bring them back to life.
Place the spices in a medium sized bowl and grate in the zest of 1 lemon, squeeze in all its juice, crush in the garlic, peel and finely grate in the ginger, and add the yoghurt and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
Cut the chicken breasts into 5cm chunks, then massage all that flavour into the meat. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. Broil the meat for 20 - 30 minutes (until cooked through and browned around the edges).
Directions - For the Sauce
Peel the onions and garlic, then finely slice with the red chillies and coriander stalks (reserving the leaves for later).
Put it all into a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat with a lug of oil and cook for around 20 minutes, or until golden, stirring regularly.
Add the ground coriander, turmeric and remaining paprika and garam masala. Cook for 2 minutes, then add and toast the almonds.
Pour in the tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube and add 150 ml of boiling water.
Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for a final 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, then season to perfection.
Strain sauce before adding cooked chicken pieces (optional).
Before serving add fresh coriander leaves and a drizzle of yogurt or cream. Serve with Basmati rice and toasted Naan bread.