Friday, April 15, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala is the most popular restaurant dish in Britain. Its orgins are disputed, some argue it was created in India, while others argue it began in London restaurants in the 70s. Regardless, this is an excellent dish to try if you are interested in experimenting with Indian-style cuisine but want something simple. Indian food is not my favorite, but I wanted to use Indian spices as inspiration for a healthy, spicy dish. The sauce is rich and flavorful, with notes of spice and sweet. Tender sweet potatoes and chickpeas compliment the complexity of the sauce. Full disclosure: this is not a traditional style recipe. This is just my interpretation of this dish that can be put together quickly for a tasty dinner. Don't be turned off by the long list of ingredients, this dinner can come together in 30 minutes and basically involves throwing ingredients into a pot.

Traditionally, this delicious dish is made with butter, cream and coconut milk and served over jasmine rice. I decided to create a leaner version that's packed with protein and filling fiber. In order to cut the heat and add a creamy texture, I added non fat plain Greek yogurt. Additionally, I added chickpeas and sweet potatoes and omitted the rice. You could also serve this over brown rice, quinoa or barley if you like. I bought some quinoa flax bread at Whole Foods and used that to scrape up all the tasty sauce.

Full recipe and photos after the jump.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25-35 minutes

1lb chicken, cut into 1" pieces
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 seranno chilies, deseeded and chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup low sodium veggie broth
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1" chunks
1/2 cup chickpeas, soaked or 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like the heat)
2 tbsp plain low fat greek yogurt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Step by Step Instructions:
1. Brown chicken in olive oil 2-3 minutes, remove

2. Sautee garlic, onion, ginger and chilies until soft, 3-5 minutes on medium

3. Add chicken cook additional 2 minutes

4. Add sweet potatoes, saute 2 minutes

5. Add tomatoes, broth, curry, garam masala, cumin, cardamom, tumeric, paprika and cayenne

6. Cover and cook on medium 10 minutes, until potatoes get soft

7. Add chickpeas and cook, covered, additional 5 minutes

8. Stir in greek yogurt

9. Serve with bread or over a whole grain of your choice

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