As the famous saying goes, hard work pays off in the future but laziness pays off now. It’s grey and miserable out so I blame spring’s seeming reluctance to appear for my sloth.
Right now there are several things I’m putting off, including looking for decent excuses 😉 I can’t even think of anything decent to blog about right now and have been spending far too much time following the news and sorting through the freezer.
Still, I’m trying to get more proactive. Including with blogging. So for now I’ll post my recipe for chicken tikka masala, which is best with some nice fresh naan. It took a lot of trial-and-error to get right, at least for my own tastes. It’s definitely not a weight-watcher’s dish and the trick is to get the right balance of spice, tomato and cream.
First, take four large chicken breasts, skinless but still attached to the bone. I then make deep slices almost right through, an inch apart. Afterwards I make a rub: 1 Tablespoon Tandoori Masala mix (this one was MDH), some chili-garlic sauce*, a teaspoon of grated ginger, 2 cloves garlic, about a teaspoon of paprika, some smoked salt, a wee bit of lemon juice and some red food colouring. For the latter I use the powered stuff that can be found at most Asian grocers and a little goes a long way. Afterwards I let it sit for about an hour, than bake in the oven at the usual 350F. Once it’s done I might put it under the grill for a bit until the outmost edges are a bit charred. Carcinogenic, but tasty 🙂
While that’s marinating and so on, onto the sauce. The first thing is to boil two sliced onions, a tablespoon of grated ginger and garlic, and a teaspoon of salt in enough water to cover. Let it cook for about an hour or so, then put into a deep bowl to cool. In the same pot, melt several teaspoons of butter, a bit of oil (so the butter doesn’t brown – or you can use ghee), then add some paprika and turmeric and cook for a bit. Then I blend the onion mix until it’s smooth, add it back to the pot and then put in a similar volume of crushed tomatoes. I let that simmer for a while, then take about half of it out and set aside so that the next curry is that much quicker to prepare.
With the remainder I add some chili-garlic sauce (all depends on how hot you like it), a dash of curry powder, ground coriander, cumin, cardamom and cloves – going especially easy on the latter two. Next I stir in some fresh chopped coriander leaves and a bay leaf. It’s good to let it simmer for a while so that the spices blend.
Once the chicken is done I let it cool a bit, remove the flesh from the bones and chop into large cubes, then toss into the pot. Once it’s cooked for about ten minutes or so, I stir in some whipping cream to taste, heat some naans, then serve.
And now I’m hungry. More procrastinating.
*I use the chili-garlic sauce that comes in a jar with a green lid and can be found in most grocery stores these days.