Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chicken tikka masala

Well, my blog reform lasted all of two days! I tried, I promise, but I was sent off to Kalgoorlie for work for the rest of the week. Determined not to let that stop me, I packed my personal laptop and my USB modem, only to find that the modem has no service in Kalgoorlie :(.

So, here's a post I've been saving up for a rainy day to tide you all (!) over while I put a post together on last nights pizza oven shenanigans.

On the way back from our impromtu lunch at Bills, I asked FH Alphie what he felt like for dinner (yes, I am one of those people who starts thinking about the next meal before I have digested the first...). Strangely, he requested butter chicken. I don't think he's ever even mentioned butter chicken before, I have never cooked it before, and I have never been a particular fan. So, I suggested a mild chicken curry instead.

I thought I would use this as an opportunity to try out one of the curry paste recipes from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food. I figured, if he was suggesting them to people who have never cooked before, it can't be that hard, and curry pastes have always scared me a bit (see previous post here).

Flicking through the curry section, the chicken tikka masala looked similar to most of the butter chickens I have seen before, so the decision was made. I made a double batch of the curry paste, hoping that it would freeze well.

As for the actual curry, I disregarded Jamie's recipe. For two reasons, I had underestimated the amount of coriander we would need, and we had run out, and FH Alphie was getting concerned about the number of chillis I was using.

FH Alphie rated it: 8/10

Chicken tikka masala
adapted from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food, pg 82 & 99

Tikka masala curry paste

  • 1tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1tsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tbs smoked paprika
  • 2tsp garam masala
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1tbs dessicated coconut
  • 2tbs ground almonds (I used whole almonds, because that's all we had, and it was fine)
  • 2tbs vegetable oil (as always, I used rice bran oil)
  • 2tbs tomato paste
  • 2 fresh red chillis
  • small bunch fresh coriander
Peel the ginger and garlic, and, this is the hard part, throw everything into a food processor and whiz until you get a smooth paste.

The curry
serves 4

  • 2tbs vegetable (rice bran) oil
  • a knob of butter (Jamie's term)
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup tikka masala curry paste
  • 4 chicken thighs, trimmed and diced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 4ooml coconut milk
In a large pot or frypan, cook the onions in the butter and oil for about 10 minutes, until soft and beginning to colour. add the curry paste, stir until fragrant. Stir in the chicken.

Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Stirring every now and then. You may need to add some more liquid if it looks too dry, so just keep an eye on it.

Serve with rice and pappadaums. And maybe some cooling yoghurt!


No comments:

Post a Comment