Our family likes Indian food! Sadly, there isn’t a restaurant anywhere close to us 😦 On the bright side, we are learning to make a few Indian dishes well.
Our kids always ordered Chicken Tikka Masala when we lived in a community with Indian restaurants, so we’ve given that a try. The results are surprisingly positive!
This meal does require advance planning. It’s not something we can do unless we have a full day to work on it. The day begins with marinating the chicken in a yogurt-based sauce. The original recipe (which we have modified heavily), has me grilling the meat on skewers. Which is fun. But messy, time-consuming, and not-quite-convenient. So I baked it on a broiling pan, which worked beautifully.
While the chicken is marinating, but before it’s time to cook it, we have to start the naan. Naan was the first Indian food that I ever made. Perhaps it isn’t exactly Indiana Naan, but it’s close enough to please everyone in our family. Our first recipes were based on a mix from Nirmala’s Kitchen. We came up with a pretty good facsimile, but it took a long time to mix the dough, as well as to roll and bake the naan. I found a naan which a reviewer had converted to a bread machine recipe, and we’ve tried it several times. I think we’ve “finalized” our recipe, now. Yogurt and egg are the two most interesting ingredients. This dough is quick to get started, and then the bread machine does the hard work. We roll the dough into individual disks, let them rest, then cook in an iron skillet. We love naan!
I forgot the rice last night. Oops! No worries- everything simmered nicely while we cooked the rice. I should have gotten it ready to cook before I started the sauce, then turned it on about 1/3 of the way through sauce cooking.
The last, and most rewarding, step is preparing the tikka masala sauce. By this point, all of the chopping, measuring, and pulling out ingredients is complete. Most of the dishes can even be washed! Start out browning onion, garlic, and a jalapeno in some olive oil and butter.
Add the Garam Masala seasoning. This is where our family has to be very creative. To avoid coriander and cardamom, which make some of us very very sick, we mix up our own spices for garam masala. We’ve finally gotten a mix that pleases everyone, including going very easy on the cinnamon.
The smell is heavenly! Simmer for 2o minutes, add the chicken and simmer 10 more. (Or until the rice is ready.)
Voila! A tasty, crowd-pleasing dinner. We all gave dinner thumbs up.