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.
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.