My Favorite Meal of the Week – Chicken Tikka Masala

So if you saw my post last Wednesday, you’ll know I love the restaurant Rasika here in DC. And I’ve now tried to replicate the two dishes I always order there – palak chaat and chicken tikka masala. And as amazing as I thought my palak chaat was, this was to die for!! I’ve also learned in the process of making this dish that it is semi unhealthy (sometimes it is better to be ignorant). But, hey, every once in a while this dish is worth it. So amazing!

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Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (try this trick, microwave for 10 seconds and skin peels right off)
4 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
4 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala (your local grocery store likely will not have this, but any spice shop will)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
6 cardamom pods, seeds squeezed out and then crushed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups heavy cream (here’s the unhealthy part, and next time I’m trying coconut milk)
3/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish
Rice for serving (the usual is basmati, but I did brown rice)

1. In a small bowl, mix garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin. In a separate bowl, whisk yogurt, salt and half of the spice mixture from above. Add the chicken and make sure to cover all sides. Cover the chicken and chill in the fridge for 4-6 hours. You can also cover the other half of the spices and leave them in the fridge.

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2. When the chicken is done chilling, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat on the stove. Add the onion, tomato paste, cardamom, and chiles. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Onion will become soft and tomato paste will darken. Add the rest of the spices from earlier and continue cooking for another 4 minutes.

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3. Add the tomatoes (with all the juice from the can). Use your spatula to crush the tomatoes. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat, and continue cooking, stirring frequently until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pot while cooking to loosen any stuck bits.

4. Add cream and simmer for an additional 30-40 minutes.

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5. While the pot simmers, preheat your broiler on high. Place a metal rack over foil on a baking dish with sides. Place the chicken on the rack and broil for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken blackens in spots (don’t worry if it’s not cooked through, it shouldn’t be).

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6. Cut the chicken into small squares and add to the pot on the stove. Continue cooking and stirring for 8-10 minutes. Check the chicken, and once white all the way through, remove pot from heat. Serve over steamed rice, with cilantro for garnish.

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Pictured below with the palak chaat from my post last week.

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This dish only gets better with time, so feel free to make ahead or to save lots for leftovers.

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