Chicken Tikka Masala is a popular dish that originated in India and has since become a favorite all over the world. This delicious and aromatic dish is made with marinated chicken that is baked or grilled and then cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce with a blend of aromatic spices. It’s typically served over basmati rice, making it a satisfying and filling meal that’s perfect for a cozy night in.
The marinade used for Chicken Tikka Masala is made with yogurt, lemon juice, and a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Marinating the chicken in this mixture infuses it with flavor and helps to tenderize the meat. Once the chicken is cooked, it’s then added to a creamy tomato-based sauce that is flavored with a blend of aromatic spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom, giving the dish its signature flavor and aroma.
Whether you’re a fan of Indian cuisine or looking to try something new and delicious, Chicken Tikka Masala is a must-try dish that’s sure to please. So why not take your taste buds on a flavorful journey and discover why this dish has won over the hearts and taste buds of people all around the world?
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Cooked basmati rice, for serving
- In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and stir until well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the chicken pieces on the sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and slightly charred around the edges.
- In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom to the skillet and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, until it has thickened slightly.
- Stir in the heavy cream and continue to simmer the sauce for another 5-10 minutes, until it has thickened to your liking.
- Add the baked chicken pieces to the skillet and stir to coat them in the sauce. Simmer for a few more minutes to heat the chicken through.
- Serve the Chicken Tikka Masala over cooked basmati rice. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.
Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect Chicken Tikka Masala:
- Use Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast: The chicken breast is the best cut of meat for making Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s tender and cooks quickly, making it perfect for this dish.
- Marinate the Chicken: Marinating the chicken in yogurt and spices is an essential step in making chicken tikka masala. It will help to tenderize the chicken and infuse it with flavor.
- Use Aromatic Spices: Chicken Tikka Masala gets its distinctive flavor from a blend of aromatic spices. The most common spices used in this dish are cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom.
- Bake or Grill the Chicken: To achieve that smoky flavor in the chicken, it can be baked in the oven or grilled on a barbecue. This step will give the chicken a nice char and add depth of flavor to the dish.
- Make the Sauce Creamy: The sauce for Chicken Tikka Masala is typically made with tomatoes and cream. To make the sauce extra creamy, use heavy cream or coconut cream.
- Garnish with Cilantro: Chopped fresh cilantro adds a fresh and vibrant touch to the finished dish. It’s often used as a garnish for Chicken Tikka Masala.
What are some common side dishes to serve with Chicken Tikka Masala?
There are many side dishes that go well with Chicken Tikka Masala. Here are a few ideas:
- Basmati Rice: Basmati rice is the most common side dish served with Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s a fragrant, long-grain rice that complements the dish perfectly.
- Naan Bread: Naan bread is a traditional Indian bread that is great for soaking up the sauce in Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s soft, fluffy, and has a slight tangy flavor.
- Raita: Raita is a yogurt-based dip that is often served alongside Indian dishes. It’s made with yogurt, cucumber, mint, and spices, and adds a cool and refreshing contrast to the spicy flavors of Chicken Tikka Masala.
- Samosas: Samosas are a popular Indian appetizer that can also be served as a side dish with Chicken Tikka Masala. They’re crispy, fried pastries filled with spiced vegetables or meat.
- Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables, such as cauliflower, eggplant, or carrots, can be a great complement to the spicy and rich flavors of Chicken Tikka Masala. Roasting the vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and adds a nice texture to the meal.
- Chutney: Chutney is a condiment made with fruits, vegetables, or herbs that is often served with Indian dishes. It adds a sweet and tangy flavor that complementsthe flavors of Chicken Tikka Masala. Mint chutney or tamarind chutney are common choices.
What are some vegetarian options for side dishes?
If you’re looking for vegetarian options for side dishes to serve with Chicken Tikka Masala, here are a few ideas:
- Vegetable Biryani: Biryani is a popular Indian rice dish that is often mixed with vegetables and spices. It’s similar to basmati rice, but has a more complex flavor profile due to the addition of various spices and vegetables.
- Aloo Gobi: Aloo Gobi is a vegetarian Indian dish made with potatoes and cauliflower. It’s a flavorful and hearty side dish that complements the spicy flavors of Chicken Tikka Masala.
- Saag Paneer: Saag Paneer is a popular Indian dish made with spinach and paneer cheese. It’s a creamy and flavorful side dish that goes well with Chicken Tikka Masala.
- Chana Masala: Chana Masala is a vegetarian Indian dish made with chickpeas and tomatoes. It’s a hearty and flavorful side dish that pairs well with the spicy flavors of Chicken Tikka Masala.
- Papadum: Papadum is a thin, crispy Indian bread that is often served as a side dish or appetizer. It’s made with lentil flour and can be seasoned with various spices.
- Cucumber Salad: A simple cucumber salad with a tangy dressing is a refreshing counterpoint to the spicy and rich flavors of Chicken Tikka Masala. You can use cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and a variety of other vegetablesto make the salad.
These are just a few vegetarian options for side dishes that can be served with Chicken Tikka Masala. You can also experiment with different flavors and textures to find the perfect combination that suits your taste.
In conclusion, Chicken Tikka Masala is a flavorful and aromatic Indian dish that has won over the hearts and taste buds of people all around the world. This dish is typically made with marinated chicken that is cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce with a blend of aromatic spices. It’s typically served over basmati rice, making it a satisfying and filling meal that’s perfect for a cozy night in.
When looking for side dishes to serve with Chicken Tikka Masala, traditional options include basmati rice, naan bread, and samosas. However, there are plenty of vegetarian options that can also complement the dish, such as vegetable biryani, aloo gobi, saag paneer, chana masala, papadum, and cucumber salad.
By following the tips provided for making Chicken Tikka Masala and pairing it with the right side dishes, you can create a meal that’s full of flavor and sure to impress. So, whether you’re a fan of Indian cuisine or just looking to try something new and delicious, Chicken Tikka Masala is a must-try dish that’s sure to delight your taste buds.