Chicken Tikka Masala
with cauliflower / carrots
This Indian take-out favorite is surprisingly easy to make at home. It's worth the extra time to marinate the chicken in a spice mix which will help build layers of flavor even in a short cook time.
Smarts: Like most Indian curries, this one will taste even better after a day or two in the fridge.
- Onions, medium - 1 , chopped
- Carrots - 8 oz , chopped
- Ginger (opt) - 2 tsp , grated
- Garlic - 3 cloves , chopped
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb , halved
- Indian Spice Mix (ingredients listed separately) - 3 tsp + 3 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp
- Tomatoes, crushed (28 oz / 794 g) - 1 can
- Cauliflower florets, frozen - 6 oz
- Coconut milk, light - 1/2 cup
- Cilantro - 2 Tbsp , leaves torn
- Lime juice - 2 tsp
- Coriander, ground - 2 tsp
- Garam masala - 2 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Cumin - 1 tsp
- Turmeric, ground (opt) - 1 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
Make spice mix - Combine coriander, garam masala, salt, cumin, turmeric and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Season chicken - Slice chicken breasts in half and tenderize with a fork. Coat chicken in first portion of spice mix. Let chicken marinate in spices for at least 20 minutes and up to a day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Heat a Dutch oven with oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side to get it started cooking (don't worry if it's not cooked through). Set aside.
To heated pan, add butter and then carrots and onions. Saute until onions start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in ginger (if using), garlic, and second portion of spice mix. Saute for 1 minute more.
Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and cauliflower (no need to defrost it first). Bring to a simmer.
Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces and return it to pan. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, ~15 minutes.
Add coconut milk. Continue simmering for 5 minutes more to let the flavors develop.
While masala simmers, chop cilantro.
Stir lime juice into masala. Taste and add some salt, pepper or more lime juice if needed.
Serve masala with cilantro on top. Enjoy!