Indian Dinner :: Chicken Tikka Masala

indian dinner - meal copy

When it comes to picking a place to celebrate a special occasion, my go-to is “Indian food!”  I fully realize that I’ll be wearing elastic pants for the following week, but I also know that the Chicken Tikka Masala, Peas Pulao and Onion Kulcha I order will be worth every bite.

In the past, I haven’t attempted to recreate any of my favorite Indian dishes at home. Mostly because the calories and fat typical in my favorites made me think I’d have to install a defibrillator under the kitchen sink as a precaution.

Recently, though, I came across a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala in Cuisine at Home that made me reconsider.

indian dinner - chicken

The recipe calls for chicken thighs vs. breasts, which are higher in fat. But having experimented with both, trust me – go with the thighs. Per serving, there are 324 calories and 15g fat here.  The calories aren’t bad at all for an entree, but if you offset the fat grams with a healthy side dish or two, you’ll be fine.

And, I still consider this Indian dinner a “treat.”

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Indian Dinner :: Chicken Tikka Masala
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. garam masala
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. coriander
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1½ tsp minced garlic
  • 1½ tsp minced ginger
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (15 oz. - preferably Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  1. For the marinade, combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, salt, garam masala, cumin, coriander and cayenne; set aside.
  2. Pierce chicken in several places, then transfer to a large bowl. Pour marinade over chicken; toss to coat. Cover chicken and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat broiler with rack 6-8 inches from the element.
  4. Remove chicken from bowl; discard marinade. Transfer chicken to a broiler pan; broil 8 minutes. Remove chicken from broiler; transfer to 4-6 quart slow cooker.
  5. For the sauce, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion and cook until just beginning to brown, 5 minutes. Add garam masala, garlic, ginger and serrano; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minutes. Deglaze the pan with tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits on bottom of pan. Transfer mixture to slow cooker; stir to coat.
  6. Cover slow cooker and cook chicken on low-heat setting until tender, 3 hours. Transfer chicken to a serving platter; set aside. Whisk cream into sauce; season with salt and black pepper. Pour sauce over the chicken and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Here’s my take on Peas Pulao – a great side dish to go with this recipe. The Onion Kulcha? Still working on that.

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