Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Deepavali!

Deepavali always reminds me of my high school best friend, Santa. I found this photo of us when we were 14 years old.

Unfortunately, we have lost touch. I remembered her mother was an excellent cook. Santa has 6 sisters and no brothers. I used to spend my school holidays in her home and her mum will make me tosai and chicken masala when I was there because she knew I love it. During my working days as a Secretary to the Managing Director with a French company, I used to wear sari to work quite often. I had five sets of sari of various colors. To me, sari is one of the most elegant attire for a woman. Ladies who would like to know how to tie a sari, click on the pic and it will bring you to a video tutorial which is very easy to follow.

Today is Deepavali and I wish to dedicate  this chicken masala which I cooked some time ago, but did not post it yet, to all my Hindu friends and readers.  I wish you all a Very Happy Deepavali.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe adapted from Meeta Kurana


Marinating the Chicken:

3-4 boneless chicken breasts, skins removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
250g thick natural yogurt
1 tbs fresh ginger, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 cup curry leaves
1 onion, cut into six portion
Salt to taste

Skewers, If using wooden skewers completely submerge them in water for approx. 30 minutes. This will hinder them from catching fire while grilling.

Tomato Gravy:
250g canned cocktail tomatoes
250g heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 red chilies, finely chopped
2 ts ground cumin
2 tsp paprika powder
1 tbs ghee or clarified butter
Salt and pepper

 Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Thoroughly mix until the chicken is nicely coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

On the next day, either prepare your charcoal grill or heat up the grill function of your oven to high.

Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers, discarding the marinade. Grill the chicken evenly on all sides, until juices run clear – approx. 5-6 minutes.

To prepare the gravy, heat a sauce pan to medium and melt the ghee/clarified butter. Sauté the garlic and chopped chilies, curry leaves and onions until fragrant. Sprinkle the ground cumin, paprika powder and a pinch of salt. Sauté for a further minute or two until the mixture turns into a paste-like texture.

Pour in the canned tomatoes, scraping the bottom of the skillet to deglaze it and to release any bits stuck to the pan. Simmer uncovered for approx. 10-15 minutes on low heat until the sauces begins to thicken, then add the grilled chicken pieces and cream. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, thickening the sauce further. Pour sauce over grilled chicken pieces.

Serve sprinkled deep fried red chillis and steamed Basmati rice or fresh naans and pickles.

Note: I did not pour sauce over chicken because it is easier  to photograph the chicken itself.


  1. I made chicken tikka masala recently for the first time, its great. Your version looks redder, brighter and more delicious. I will save this recipe. BTW, Santa reminds you of Diwali but it reminds me of Christmas:)

  2. nice one. I've tested a chicken varuval at work and it took so long to cook just like rendang. now i know why it's so expensive at the restaurants lol.

    anyway my Indian ex-colleague gave me this recipe which is really super duper easy and super yummy too, see if you wish to try it. it's the easy style varuval.

  3. what a beautiful dish and the photo is as well.We just talked about sari's yesterday.My dearest friend had her sari's made in india and then had them shipped here to Canada, I remember the excitement of opening those boxes of rainbow colored fabrics, just amazingly beautiful cloth to enhance a womans beauty.I agree such a beautiful way for a woman to clothe herself.This is a great recipe, makes my mouth water, thankyou for posting this, yum!

  4. This chicken dish is so beautiful. Love that colour and pics are so perfect :)

  5. What a delicious looking dish! Wish I could taste some...I love fried and spicy chicken like this one:)

  6. The dish looks fantastic! And I agree, Sari's are gorgeous!!!

  7. I am sorely tempted to drop what I'm doing, change all plans and make this right away. Gorgeous! (As are saris.)

  8. i would love this to have with naan! wow, you have so many sets of sarees?! i'm very sure you look sexy and beautiful with it!

  9. The chicken tikka masala looks really appetizing, Quay Po :) I would love to try and prepare this recipe.


    A Single Girl's Musings

  10. I am sure that a sari is very elegant, certainly when you have the taile as the model in the picture. In the indian kitchen, and we had it last week, I prefer the lam but your chicken also looks very good.


  11. Your chicken tikka masala is so beautifully cooked! I'm drooling looking at all your pictures.

    Happy Deepavali!

  12. Thank you for your Deepavali wishes dear! Mine is quite boring this year as Hubby is overseas. But the kids are having real fun with friends and relatives. Hehe..

    Nice to read abt Santa and her Mom. I wish you'll meet up one day. Sari is indeed a beautiful attire...I too love wearing it. ;)

    Chicken tikka masala is to drool for...loved the shots! Great day to you!!!

  13. I love tikka masala.And I think sari is so elegant.Always happy colours:)
    It also wanted to say that you should definitely enter one of yoyr chilli recepies with MZ Helen Country Cottage..cook off:)
    You can enter here:

  14. Can I have some please? Looks so tempting!! ;)

  15. Ooooh, a perfectly, lovely looking dish. I'm saving this recipe. I've all the ingredients at hand. Maybe will make some chapati to go with it too .... yum, can't wait for dinner time!

  16. i love reading ur blog :) there's always lots of fantastic ideas i can get.. this dish looks great - beautiful color, and lots of flavor!

  17. Happy Diwali to you ~~~ have a nice day ~ =D

    Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  18. YUM, healthy yet enticing chicken tikka masala!

  19. Wow! You can even cook Indian dishes! You're such an experimental cook! It looks delicious.

  20. Hi Quay Po.
    I love sari too. What a beautiful elegant attire!! My husband and I love chicken tikka masala but I never attempt at home. And the last chicken tikka masala we had was in Kuala Lumpur, 5 years ago. I think I 'll try with your recipe.:-) They look soooo delicious.

  21. Wanakum!Lovely yummy chicken tikka masala.

  22. That is the prettiest sari I have ever seen. I love it. I would love to wear something like that, just once in my life. Gorgeous!

  23. I love Indian food but the mere thought of the tedious preparation and cooking makes me break out in cold sweat. I'd just wait to get the chance to go to an Indian restaurant to eat...

    P.S. Wow! Stunning! I thought that was a photo of you wearing a sari. Come! Come! Show us yours, don't be shy now...

  24. Oh, my gosh, this chicken is beautiful!!! I hope someday you can reconnect with your old friend :)

  25. Happy Diwali! Your masala chicken looks incredibly delish. I have yet tried this recipe but will soon. Thanks for sharing & hope you're having a fabulous day.

  26. The chicken surely taste nice with all those spice. Indian very good in using spice compared to Chinese. For me I normally will marinate with oyster soy, quite bored keke

  27. Veronica-Your chicken tikka masala, is a work of art...and a labor of LOVE!
    I hope, one day soon, you can reconnect with your friend from the past.
    Thanks for sharing...yet, one of your amazing recipes! Photos are superb, as always:DD
    Hugs to you, my dear friend!

  28. Hmmm....I would love to try this recipe one day becos I love spicy food. Thanks for sharing! :-)

    P/S: Just a cookery question to ask you: sometimes I see some masala recipes indicating the use of garam masala, yet I don't seem to see garam masala being sold in shops unlike curry powder, chilli powder, etc. Where can I buy garam masala? Please advise. Hehehe.... I may be 'blind' when shopping for such spice ingredients.

  29. Continue with your liking for saris and am sure you will look stunning.

    What a lovely chicken dish to complement the festival of lights, yummy and colorful.

  30. That chicken looks scrumptious ! And maybe one day , you'll see Santa again ;)

  31. Happy Diwali! I'm celebrating the event with my Malaysian and Singaporean friends tomorrow. Can't wait.

    The chicken masala looks so good and so flavorful. I sure want a bite of it.

  32. That looks delicious! My husband and I love chicken tikka masala!

    That is one gorgeous sari also... :)

  33. wow...tikka sounds scrumptiously tasty..
    I love all the inspiration, I get from your space..;)
    Tasty Appetite

  34. YOur space is so lovely!! Glad to be your follower :)

  35. What a sweet picture and what a nice memory! Your old friend is really beautiful, as are you. :)

    The chicken looks fabulous...if only I had even a smidgen of cooking ability, I would definitely make this!

  36. The sari is elegant, the Chicken is elegant, and I'm sure the festival of lights is elegant as well. Delicious way to celebrate!

  37. Veronica-this one is a keeper for sure! It looks amazing I think I can smell the aroma from here. I love seeing the photos and Happy Diwali!

  38. The sari is beautiful. The chicken looks just as wonderful. The chicken sounds so flavorful.

  39. I have started to wonder what will you cook for Halloween. Have a nice weekend to you.

  40. Your chicken tikka masala looks delicious! It has been a while since I have eaten this. That's a cute picture of you and your friend!

  41. I have never tried Chicken Tikka Masala but it looks delicious and tomato gravy sounds really yummy! Sari is gorgeous. Happy Diwali!

  42. WOw! what a great dish! I will bet that marinade with the yogurt made the chicken very tender. I bookmarked this recipe for later. Thanks for sharing.

  43. WOw! what a great dish! I will bet that marinade with the yogurt made the chicken very tender. I bookmarked this recipe for later. Thanks for sharing.

  44. Your pic from when you were 14 is very cute and I the photo of the tikka is beautiful too! Looks delicious :o)

  45. What a delicious holiday dish! Tikka masala is one of my favorite Indian food sauces!

  46. This looks wonderful--and perhaps you will reunite with your friend some day. Happy Deepavali to you!

  47. This is a stunning dish. I love the pic of you when you were younger. Happy Deepavali!

  48. Hi, first time your space..wonderful recipes... Susan from

  49. Oh my gosh... This is a seriously fantastic blog you've got going on! So happy to come across your blog. Going to be fun browsing through your previous recipes and also looking forward to your new ones. Happy blogging! =)

  50. @Three-Cookies
    haha, Santa reminds me of Christmas too:D

    Thanks for the link o the recipe for chicken varuval. Definitely will try.

    The only thing a out sari is it is VERY expensive and those really beautiful ones are unaffordable.


    Yes fried and spicy, so easy to like.

    @Sinful Sundays
    Glad you agree:D

    haha, I know, when I see food that is so mouth watering delicious, I want to do that too and sometimes, when I do have the ingredients in the fridge, I really do it,

    I had but I gave them away to one of our ex driver's wife because I don't wear it anymore. I should have kept them.

    Your recipes to do list is expanding quick my dear:D

  51. @Filip
    I don't eat lamb but I will try making this with lamb for my Quay Lo and my son.

    Thanks. I drool at your space a lot so I can relate to that.

    @Kak Love
    Oh yes, when hubby is not with you on festive season, it kind of different isn't it? But then, I am sure are happy when you see your kids enjoyed themselves. I wish I will connect with Santa one day too.

    Thanks for the link to the entry. Maybe it is too late now.

    If not perishable, I would courier some to you.

    Definitely go well with chapati!

    I so happy to hear that.

    @Mr. Lonely
    You too have a nice week ahead of you.

  52. @Alice
    Yes it is, not so oily.

    hehe… just learning lah.

    @Tataya Kudo
    Do try this recipe, it is not that difficult isn't it?


    Oh yes, me too!

    Thanks and I really wish that will happen, reconnect with Santa.

    @That Girl

    Okay, look forward to see your version of chicken tikka masala.

    Yes, my mum does that and she does not like the spices so much.

  53. @Elisabeth
    Thanks. Sure hope my wish to reconnect with Santa will come true.

    @Alice Phua
    Yes, you can get it in Cold Storage. Next time I am there, I will get you a bottle.

    @Nava. K
    Oh I will not stop loving sari but I don't have any now. The prices are very expensive and I cannot afford it now.

    Yes, I surely hope to see Santa gain someday.

    Nice to celebrate occasion like this with good friends. I am sure you will enjoy yourself.

    Thanks for dropping by and take time to leave your comment. Hope to see you around.

    Thank you so much and I am so happy to hear that you enjoy your time here.

  54. @Food Glorious Food
    Welcome and thanks much for your following.

    Oh yes, Santa is a beautiful girl. All her sisters are beautiful too. Is it hard to get nice Indian food at your end?

    @Cheryl and Adam
    Yes, Sari and the festival of lights are both elegant.

    Are you going to try this recipe soon?

    @Words of Deliciousness

    @Sheoh Yan
    Stop wondering, go check my post and see what I cook for Halloween hehe

    That was the only picture I could find of me and Santa. We took lots of pic together during school days but I cannot remember where I kept them.

    You should try soon.

  55. @Veronica
    Looking forward to see your post on this.

    haha, I guess we are all cute when we our young.

    Mine too:D

    I have been hoping for many years:(

    @Kim Bee
    I was a plum gal ya?

    @Susan and Abraham
    Thanks for your visit and I hope to see you more often. Glad you enjoyed your time here.

    Thanks and welcome. See you around.

    I saw your comment in my email but how come cannot see it here? Did you deleted it? hahah, if yes why lah? There is nothing wrong with your comment. I was about to put up the picture of me wearing the sari. Since you are no more interested, no need lah. The truth is I couldn't find those photos. LOL!

  56. I love Indian food a lot! Especially their curries. U r so good. Can cook from Asian to Western. Anything also can cook.


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