Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala with Red Quinoa

My whole house smelled of India as I made this dish last night and it was lovely.  My cutest cousin, Jennifer, came over for dinner last night so I wanted to make something special.  I got this recipe from one of my best buds, Vicki.  I'm lucky that she even shared the recipe with me because it is the best chicken tikka masala recipe ever!  I paired the chicken tikka masala with hearty red quinoa because Indian food tends to be on the heavier side so I wanted to make the meal healthier with the quinoa instead of something starchy like rice or naan.

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
Makes 4 servings

For marinade:
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons each: ground cumin, freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, salt
1 piece (1/2 inch long) ginger root, minced
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes

For sauce:
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno chili, minced with seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, paprika, garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For marinade, combine yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, red pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, salt, and ginger in medium bowl or food-safe plastic bag.  Stir in chicken; marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

For sauce, heat canola oil in large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and jalapeno; cook 1 minute.  Stir in coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala, and salt.  Stir in tomato sauce. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes and stir frequently. Stir in cream; simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat grill to medium-high (or heat broiler).  Remove chicken from refrigerator.  Grill or broil chicken, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Add chicken to sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.  Garnish with cilantro.

Red Quinoa Recipe
Makes 2 cups

1 cups red quinoa
2 cups water

Rinse quinoa several times in water.  Put quinoa in a medium pot and add water.  Bring water to a boil and turn down to low.  Simmer the quinoa covered for 20 minutes.

Make sure to rinse the quinoa well before you cook it and take out any little stones if you see any.  When the quinoa is done cooking, you should see the little white tails come out.  It is one of my favorite grains.

I love all the different spices used in this dish.  It makes the dish so complex but the flavors marry incredibly well together. 

The yogurt helps to tenderize the meat. 

More spices went into the sauce....  

When you cook the spices in the hot pan, the heat really brings out all the aromas and perfumes your whole kitchen.  I used my Le Creuset griddle to grill the meat over the stove while Jennifer was helping me make the sauce.

When you add the tomato sauce to the jalapeno and garlic mixture, you cook it down so the tomato sauce caramelizes slightly.

The heat in this dish is so good!  This is going to be one of my new favorites.  It is delicious.


Kathy said...

Looks so good! Indian food and quinoa, what a great combo!

Monica said...

it was soooo yummy! can't wait til you move here so we can do dinners together!

vicki said...

this dish is scary good. glad you tried it out mons! btw Kathy- its a rendition of the Ruxbin masala sauce;)

Monica said...

@vicki: thanks for giving me the recipe!! it's seriously one of my favs. i lurve it!

Karista's Kitchen said...

Monica, Love this recipe! I've been looking for a good Tikka Masala recipe and I just found it. Thanks!

{Oh Sweet Escape} said...

Karista, you have to try this and let me know if you like it or not! =) I also have a recipe for Indian stew that I think you will love too.

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