Stop the Presses! It’s official. I stumped my husband!! Ok so this shouldnt make me so excited, but honestly it did! My dear groom is usually the one teaching me. He knows the basic flavor profiles and techniques for almost every style of cuisine. When we go to an ethnic restaurant he is analyzing the combinations and committing them to memory. Which he later calls upon at the most unusual times. It is truly amazing and has been the best cooking class over the years.
While he knows many cuisines and cultures, he doesn’t know Indian food. Nothing against Indian food, he just has the least amount of experience with it. So last week when he came home and asked me what I was making for dinner and I said Tikka Masala, he gave me a blank stare. It was awesome. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t know Indian food either, but I wanted to experiment and learn more about this delicious aromatic cuisine. The fact that I got to share something new with my love was just the Naan to my Tikka Masala.
It can take a bit of time due to the marinade but the actual sauce cooks up in no time. Plus, it makes the kitchen smell fantastic. There is nothing better than walking into a home where the scent of sautéed garlic and ginger linger in the air. The sauce is this lovely orange color which pops on the white rice and then there is this vibrant green as garnish. Truly lovely. Needless to say, we enjoyed our first adventure in Indian cuisine.
Tikka Masala (recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeira):
1 c plain yogurt,
1 T grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large bite size chunks
3 T Butter
2 t olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 inch thumb ginger, peeled and minced
2 serrano peppers, minced
2 T tomato paste
2 t paprika
1 t garam masala
8 Roma tomatoes diced
1 1/2 t kosher salt
2 c water
1/2 c heavy cream
For the Marinade:
In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, ginger, garlic, 1 t salt and 1/2 t black pepper. Fold to cover and marinate at least 30 minutes, at most refrigerated overnight.
For the Sauce:
Place a large skillet over medium heat and add butter and olive oil. When butter has melted, add garlic, ginger and serrano pepper. Saute until lightly browned around the edges.
Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato has darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Add paprika and garam masala and saute for about 1 minute to draw out flavors.
Add the tomatoes, salt and water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 20 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and allow sauce to cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, fire up the broiler and cover your broiler pan with foil. Pull the chicken thigh chunks out of the marinade and place on the sheet. Place under the broiler and cook about 7 minutes on each side, until charred and cooked through.
Pour sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour back into pan and bring back to a boil. Add the chicken. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered for about 10 minutes.
Add cream and stir through. Garnish with minced fresh cilantro and serve over rice.