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Chicken Tikka Masala


_For the marinade_

  • 2 chicken breasts cubed
  • 2 chicken thighs cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

_For the masala_

  • 1/2 large onion diced
  • 8 roma tomatoes roughly chopped about 1 lb
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek powder
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


To marinate the chicken

  • Combine all ingredients for marinade in a glass or other non-reactive marinating dish. Mix well. Add chicken pieces and stir thoroughly to cover all the chicken with the marinade.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2-6 hours.

To bake the chicken

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  • Place chicken pieces on a lipped baking sheet (may need to use 2 sheets). Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

To make the masala

  • In a large skillet add a tablepoon or 2 of vegetable oil and turn heat to medium high. Add chopped onion and sweat the onion until just translucent.
  • Add tomatoes and cashews and saute for 1 minute more.
  • Add water, ginger paste, garlic paste, chili powder, amchoor, salt and sugar.
  • Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. This will cook out the raw flavor of the tomatoes and create a mushy puree.
  • Remove from heat. Pour tomato mixture into a blender and blend until completely pureed. (Note- the cashews are pureed to help thicken and make a creamier sauce).
  • Return sauce to the original pot by pouring through a fine mesh sieve, using a plastic spatula to press through the solids. Discard the solids (seeds and skin).
  • Turn stove back to medium heat and bring sauce back to a simmer.
  • Melt in the butter and stir in the cream. Feel free to add water if the texture of your sauce is too thick or you need more volume.. don't worry if you add a little too much, you can always reduce it back down (I added about 3/4 cup additional water to mine, but it will depend on how much water you've lost as you've cooked it).
  • Finally, stir in the garam masala and the fenugreek powder.
  • Stir in the cooked chicken.
  • Garnish optionally with kasuri methi (also known as dried fenugreek leaves), crushed cashews, and a drizzle of cream.
  • Serve immediately with basmati rice or naan.