Citizens, observant members of TFD Nation will notice that this recipe despite being “Indian” does not have a Hindi or other Indian translation in the title as all others here on TFD do.
There is an easy explanation – it isn’t really an Indian dish at all, but actually British (more specifically Scottish!)!
Some claim the dish to have originated in a Glasgow curry house in the 1970’s through the ingenuity of a Pakistani chef, though there are others who say it was invented in London by a Bangladeshi chef.
A specific version of the Scottish explanation recounts how a Pakistani chef, Ali Ahmed Aslam, proprietor of the Shish Mahal restaurant in the west end of Glasgow, invented chicken tikka masala by improvising a sauce made from yogurt, cream and spices.
When a diner complained about a plate of chicken tikka that had been left in the tandoor oven too long, the chef combined canned tomato soup with cream, added a few Indian spices, and poured it over the dried-out tikka.
The dish became so popular in Britain that former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook once claimed it had displaced Yorkshire pudding and fish and chips as the “true national dish.”
However, perhaps because it is not an authentic Indian dish, Indian cookbooks all but ignore chicken tikka masala, and they never re-create the taste and texture we get in a restaurant.”
Well – if this is indeed the world’s most popular Indian dish, it’s high-time it received the blessing of TFD’s full attention! This is my take on the classic, incorporating all the proper techniques and with my unique genius spicing blend!
This deserves your most diligently delicious study, Citizens – you’ll thank me (as you always do!). 😉
Battle on – The Generalissimo
August 20 2019 update – be sure and check out how to make a proper British Indian Restaurant (BIR) curry here!
Chicken Kebab Marinade:
2 lbs. Skinless boneless chicken breast cut into 1″ pieces
1 cup Whole-milk Yogurt (not Greek-style)
½ tbsp. Cumin powder
½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp. Ground Cardamom
½ tbsp. Hot Paprika
½ tbsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 tbsp. Salt
½ tbsp. Degi Mirch (Kashmiri red chili, preferred) or sweet Paprika
½ tsp.Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp. Lime Juice
1″ fresh peeled Ginger, minced into a paste
4 large Bamboo Skewers
2 tbsp. Ghee (Clarified Butter)
½ cup finely chopped Onions (almost puréed)
4 Garlic cloves, minced (almost puréed)
1″ peeled Ginger finely chopped (almost puréed)
Hirshon Tikka Garam Masala Spice Blend, made from:
½ tbsp. Cumin powder, from freshly dry-roasted and ground seeds
⅛ tsp. Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Fennel powder, from freshly dry-roasted and ground seeds
¼ tsp. Cardamom powder, from freshly dry-roasted and ground seeds
2 tsp. Coriander powder, from freshly dry-roasted and ground seeds
½ tsp.Turmeric powder
¾ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp. Ajwain powder, from freshly dry-roasted and ground seeds (optional but strongly recommended)
1 tsp. Nigella powder, from freshly dry-roasted and ground seeds (optional but strongly recommended)
2 tsp. Degi Mirch or use sweet or hot Paprika, as you prefer to your spice tolerance
1 ½ tsp. Salt
1 cup Tomato puree
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup Cashews, ground to a paste or just use commercial cashew butter
Minced Cilantro for garnish
Chicken Kebab: Mix all ingredients except chicken. Add chicken and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Remove chicken from marinade. Thread chicken on skewers.
Line a baking pan with Aluminum foil, shiny side up. Put chicken in the pan. Baste the chicken generously with the marinade.
Pre-heat oven to 450º F. Bake chicken for about 10 minutes. Turn over the chicken. Baste Chicken again with the marinade. Bake another 10 minutes or till done.
Tikka Masala . Heat Ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sauté onions until clear. Add garlic and ginger. Continue sautéing.
Add Garam Masala powder. Sauté another two minutes. Add tomato puree. Bring to a boil. Simmer about 10 minutes.
Stir in cream and cashews. Simmer on medium heat till you have the consistency of a thick gravy. Add pre-cooked chicken and stir to heat the chicken through
Garnish with minced cilantro and serve immediately with naan (preferred) or rice!