This Tikka Masala recipe will cuddle your taste buds so much you might start eating from your neighbour’s plate as well! And even though Tikka Masala originated far from India, its flavoursome spice blend, with great health benefits, will transport you to the heart and soul of Indian cuisine.
[ingredients title=”For the marinade”]
- 500g turkey breasts (you can use chicken if you prefer)
- 1 tsp cardamom pods (5-6)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp sea salt frakes
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 50g yogurt (I prefer low fat greek yogurt)
- 3 garlic cloves
[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last] [ingredients title=”For the Tikka Masala Sauce”]
- 50g butter
- 3 garlic cloves
- 30g ginger (a thumb sized piece)
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 yellow onion
- 100g tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 300g greek yogurt (I prefer low fat)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/2 chilli powder
- 1 handful of fresh coriander
Preparing the Tikka Masala marinade
First you need to prepare the marinade. It is important that you let the meat marinate for at least 2-3 hours, in order for the flavours to get properly infused. If you are a planner, then prepare the blend in the evening and let it marinate until the next day. If you’re running out of time, don’t panic, it will still taste good even if you don’t marinate it at all. In that case, you may want to slightly increase the spice quantities.
Cut the turkey or chicken in small cubes and add them to a bowl.
This recipe uses a blend of roasted and dry spices. Roasting some of the spices gives the meat a slightly smoky and intense flavour, which makes this Tikka Masala an absolute treat.
Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods. In a small pan dry roast the pepper, cardamom, cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. Stir constantly and make sure not to burn them! Once they release an intense (and lovely) flavour and they start popping, they’re done.
In a mortar and pestle grind the roasted spices until you obtain a powder.
Use the oil and yogurt to coat the meat pieces. Add the spices (the roasted ones and the turmeric, chilli and salt). Add the garlic finely chopped or using a garlic press. Mix well until the meat is fully coated with the spices, garlic, yogurt and oil.
Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, ideally overnight. Or, if you’re running out of time, until the sauce is ready.
Preparing the Tikka Masala sauce
Chop the garlic finely (or use a garlic press).
Grind the coriander and cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle.
Chop the ginger into very small cubes. You can also grate it, if you prefer, but keep in mind that the sauce will go through the magic powers of the blender before being devoured!
Julienne the onions.
Heat the butter in a pan and add the garlic, ground coriander, cumin and ginger. Fry for 1-2 minutes on high heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning them. This will release the flavours that will later spread in the sauce.
Add the onions to the pot and turn the heat down to medium low. Cook them until soft (about 5 minutes) and stir them from time to time to make sure they don’t stick or burn.
In the meantime chop the tomatoes.
Once the onions are done, add the tomatoes and the tomato paste to the pot and turn the heat up to medium high. Add 1/4 cups of water and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes.
Chop the fresh coriander.
Add the remaining ingredients (yogurt, turmeric, salt, chilli powder and coriander) and mix well. Let it cook on medium low heat for an additional 10 minutes.
My Tikka Masala version is a slightly lighter one, which is why I added yogurt to the sauce. If you wish your sauce to be creamier, yet more calorific, simply replace the yogurt with heavy cream!
Blend the ingredients until you obtain a fine paste and set aside.
Cooking the meat and preparing the final dish
Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil to a pan and cook the marinated meat. Once done, add the sauce to it and stir well.
Serve warm with some freshly cut coriander on top, and basmati rice on the side.
Love, happyholism and nom-nom,