I am so excited about this post. For real, guys.
As some of you may know, I am completely obsessed with Indian food. I may or may not have made an Indian feast for Dave and myself this weekend, and now everyone gets to benefit by way of living vicariously via the foodporn displayed below. Please hold back your stomach growls and salivation, people. It’s only photos.
Anyway, I have been attempting to make a restaurant style version of Chicken Tikka Masala for years. Just ask my roommates in college. Some of the attempts were decent. Most were kinda weird versions of tomato soup with chicken. Don’t worry, I never made the horrendous overly creamy and sugary versions like they have the UK and Canada. (No offense guys, but those dishes are just bizarre). In addition, I’ve eaten a few varieties of Chicken Tikka Masala in my day as well. Hands down, the the weirdest version was at a restaurant in Austin, Texas that literally tasted like chicken in a bowl of BBQ sauce. I do not kid.
Anyway, through many trial and errors, samplings, and about 15lbs of weight gain, I somehow managed to find the closest recipe to TRUE Chicken Tikka Masala. My personal favorite for best Chicken Tikka Masala is at a restaurant called Madras-Masala in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Even living hundreds of miles away, I still cannot quit you M-M!!
Now, if we’re honest, this is not a true Indian dish. This is a European bastardization of an Indian dish. There is some folklore about a chef in India trying to appeal to the masses of British people taking over their country. The story goes that a British person sent their dish back to the kitchen at a restaurant because it was too “dry.” The Chef then simply covered it in tomato sauce and cream and sent it back to the table, and the British person loved it. Go figure. Who knows if this story is true, but I think we all can agree: Chicken Tikka Masala is completely awesome.
So the secret ingredient that I’ve been search for is methi seeds. I don’t understand how, but this secret ingredient really takes the curry over the edge. Methi leaves are also used in the recipe, but do not substitute for the seeds. You will thank me.
To take the chicken over the edge, you want to engage in double- marinating. Basically what this means is marinating the chicken first with lemon juice and salt, and then second in a yogurt-spice combo. It’s really really good.
Garnish with cilantro (or don’t if you have an aversion, like my mother). Definitely serve with some basmati rice and naan or paratha.
The Ultimate Chicken Tikka Masala
_For the Chicken_
_For the Sauce_
To prepare the chicken
To prepare the sauce