Chicken Tikka Masala

It’s time to turn your beautiful, beautiful homemade Tikka Masala paste into a lovely curry which feels pretty proper and like a bit of an accomplishment. You could, of course, make this with prawns or something instead, you’d just need to add them to the sauce pretty well near the end and skip the oven stage. And you could use curry paste from a jar if you really wanted to.

This is a perfect recipe for a day at home when you have some time in the afternoon to get supper cooking for later on, and when you’re around to check on it every now and again.

You will need: 

1 tsp groundnut oil

1 onion

1 clove of garlic 

5 tbsp Tikka Masala paste, make your own or buy it in a jar, but you’ll enjoy it much better if you make it yourself

Greek yoghurt, I used about 2 tbsp for the marinade and 2 tbsp in the sauce, but use more if you’d like it milder or creamier 

1 can chopped tomatoes 

3/4 bottle passata 

1 stock cube dissolved in half can of boiled water

8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs. You could use breast if you like, but marinate for longer and cook for only around 10 minutes in the oven then serve as soon as the sauce is good and hot

Dash lemon juice 
  

  
1. Chop the onion, and cook on a medium heat in a little groundnut oil in a large saucepan. You’re aiming for the onions to take on a bit of colour as this will really add flavour to the sauce base. 

  
2. Turn the heat down a little. Grate in the garlic and then spoon in the curry paste. I used about 4 tsp of the paste as I don’t like things too spicy, but you can use as much or as little as you’d like. Obviously you could double this up if you wanted to make more sauce with double the tomatoes and stock. Allow this to gently cook out to let the flavours mature. 

 3. Add in the tomatoes, the passata and a little of the stock (prepare in the tin if using a stock cube), stir well, put a lid on the saucepan and allow to simmer. Check on this every 20 minutes or so, giving it a stir, turning the heat down a little, or adding more stock or water if necessary. 

  

4. Add another 3 or 4 tsp of the paste to a bowl, then add in 2 tbsp of yoghurt and mix well. 

  

5. Prepare the chicken. I find it easiest to do with a clean pair of kitchen scissors to remove as much fat and sinew as possible. One clean, cut eat thigh in half.

  

6. Add the chicken to the marinade and make sure each piece is well coated and then cover with cling film. You can prepare this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge if you like, and it’s best to allow the sauce to simmer for a couple of hours to really develop flavour.

  

7. When you’re ready to get cooking, preheat the oven to 180C fan, and spread the chicken out on a baking tray lined with tin foil. Bake for 30-40 minutes. 

  
 

8. Don’t worry if some of the marinade runs off and catches; just keep an eye on the chicken. When it’s ready, add to your sauce and allow to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until your accompaniments are ready. 

  
9. Add a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt, a couple of drops of lemon juice, and serve.

  
If you’d like some bread with that, check out my recipe for parathas

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