Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chicken Tikki Masala with Turmeric Rice and homemade Naan Bread

Chicken Tikki Masala

My Indian food knowledge is pretty low and I am not ashamed to admit it. They have to use more spices that any genre of food out there and it's pretty crazy. The only thing I really know how to make is curry even though it's really good, doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of their cuisine. So in my daily searching I found this recipe for chiken tikki masala and it looked pretty good. It calls for an ingredient called garam masala which basically means hot mixture and contains all these wonderful spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, pepper, anise and cloves.

So if you are looking for something unique then this is the dish for you. The rice is interesting but when you mix it with the braising liquid from the chicken it's insanely good. Not to mention the homemade naan bread might be the best thing I have ever made. Now all this takes a lot of time and should be a Sunday dinner. I took the original recipe and modified it a little bit and I was really happy with the result. If you have any questions or need some pointers please let me know.

Kitchen Notes
* Garam masala can be found in specialty grocery stores, just ask around.
* You can use chicken breasts, thighs or whatever you want for this dish.
* Cayenne powder is optional but add it if you want some heat.
* As soon as you put the lid on the chicken, start the rice.
* The Naan bread can be made ahead of time then warmed up in the oven later.
* If you don't want to use naan bread then you can find it or something similar at your local grocery store such as pita bread.
* Makes 4 big servings.

** Chicken Tikki Masala **

- 8 - 10 chicken legs Chicken Breasts
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 2 inch piece ginger, minced or grated
- 3 Tbsp garam masala
- 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- Kosher salt for seasoning

The Process
1. Season the chicken with the coriander, cumin and some kosher salt. Then heat a large pot over medium high heat and add the oil. Then add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Remove from pan as they get completely browned and set on a plate.
2. Add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan. Then add the onion and saute for 4 minutes making sure to scrape up all the pieces from the bottom. Add the ginger and garlic and stir to combine then cook for 2 more minutes.
3. Add the garam masala, tomatoes, sugar, optional cayenne and stir together and bring to a simmer and then add the cream. Season with salt then add the chicken pieces to the pot and make sure to cover them with as much sauce as you can.
4. Turn heat down to low, put a lid on it and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
5. Serve with turmeric rice and fresh naan bread (both recipes below).
6 Enjoy!

** Turmeric Rice **
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 1/2 stick butter, melted
- kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup frozen peas

The Process
1. Combine all ingredients except the peas in a rice cooker and cook until it pops. Add the peas and close the lid for 5 minutes. Season with kosher salt.
2. Enjoy!

** Naan Bread **

- 1 packet or 2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup white sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons warm milk
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- 3 - 4 cups bread flour plus more for dusting
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 stick butter, melted

The Process
1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the water and 1 tablespoon of the sugar then sprinkle in the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Put the bowl on in the mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add the rest of the sugar, milk, egg and salt then turn it on low. Slowly add three cups of the flour to the dough then turn the speed up to medium low and let mix for 6 - 8 minutes. If the dough seems really doughy, then add more flour. If it's really dry add a little more water. You want it to look like a pizza dough ball. Remove from the stand mixer and place in an oiled bowl covered with a damp towel for 1 hour.
3. Punch the dough down and roll out onto a floured counter top. Cut with a pizza cutter into even sized portions then roll into balls. Set on a oiled baking sheet at least 2 inches from each other and cover with the same towel for 30 minutes.
4. Take each ball on a floured counter top and roll into a thin circle. Place in a stack on plate. Now you're ready to cook them. Combine your butter and garlic too.
5. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium. Oil the grill and add the dough circles. Brush the uncooked side with the butter and when the bottom is done, about 2 minutes, flip them (you will see little bubbles popping up all over). Brush the other side with the butter and a sprinkle of salt. Cook for another 2 minutes or until you get some good grill marks on them. Remove from the heat and place on a plate covered with a towel to keep warm or in the oven on low.
6. Repeat until all circles are cooked.
7. Enjoy!


  1. this is an great dish man im telling you you have tallent!. another good option to the tumeric rice i think woule be a curried rice with is the same process just switch to curry..i make a really good curried artachoke heart and veggie soup with pepperd chicken in it..:) if ya want the recipe for it i will give it to you!

  2. Thanks dude and good call on the rice because in all honesty I didn't really like it. You should definitely email me that recipe my friend I would love that. The naan bread on here is the bomb dude.