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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tiki Masala

I love Indian cuisine.  There is something about the sweet, spicy and cinnamony aromas that warms my insides.
Tiki Masala is actually not a traditional Indian dish.  Rather, it was created in Great Britain and has become their national dish.  It uses fresh ingredients and fragrant spices to enhance the rich tomato-based sauce and by broiling the chicken (instead of cooking in the traditional clay pot), the chicken stays moist and juicy.  And of course it is all served over warm, fragrant basmati rice.  Once again, don't be intimidated by the number of ingredients.  Have things prepped beforehand to make the cooking process as smooth as possible.

Tiki Masala
courtesy of: America's Test Kitchen

1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt

Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp. fresh grated ginger (buy a bunch of ginger, cut off what you need, and freeze the rest for me, dried ginger does not come close to the flavor of fresh)
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. Garam Masala (a spice blend that can be found in the spice aisle at the grocery store)
1 serrano chile, seeds and ribs removed, and minced.  If you want a spicier sauce, leave in some seeds.
1-27 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup heavy or light cream (I used light)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1. Sprinkle marinade on both sides of chicken breasts.  Let marinade in refrigerator for 30 mins, covered.
2. While chicken is marinating, heat oil in large pot.  When hot, add onion.  Cook until soft, about 8 mins.  Once soft, add the ginger, garlic, tomato paste, garam masala, and serrano chile.  Let cook for 3 mins until oil is orange in color.
3.  Add tomatoes, sugar, and salt.  Cover, lower heat, and let simmer 15 mins.  After simmering, stir in cream and turn heat to Low.  Cover and keep warm.
4.  Remove chicken from fridge.  Heat broiler and set rack on highest level (about 6" from heating element).
5.  Dip chicken in yogurt mixture and place on foil-lined baking sheet.
6.  Broil 5 mins then turn breasts over.  Cook an additional 5 mins.  Using a meat thermometer, check internal temperature of the breast making sure it reaches 160 degrees.  Cooking time should range from 10-18 mins depending on broiler.
7.  Cut breasts into bite-sized chunks and place in warm sauce.  Stir in cilantro. Serve immediately with basmati rice.

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