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Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Little Indian Delight: Recipe

Indian is one of my very favorite cuisines and for the most part, I find the food is prepared gluten free - they don't tend to thicken sauces with wheat, rye or barley or dredge protein in flour before sautéing. Naturally the breads are not gluten free but tonight we all enjoyed the side dishes, along with large helpings of basmati rice and imagined the Naan for another day.

I am always amazed at my kids when they enjoy the food "grown-ups" eat and tonight was no different. I could hear them chatting upstairs asking one another what I was making and I loved that they ran downstairs to eat when they were called. This dish is among my very favorites - I think most people love it - and there was nothing left when we were finished with dinner. I chose to use a lighter hand with the spices to be sure I could add more if I wanted can't take away the kick once it's in there! Even the little one ate her dinner - now that makes a mom happy! 

I rounded out this dish with basmati rice, steamed curry purple cauliflower and sautéed potatoes with peas. And for those who have never cooked an Indian dish before, I promise that you don't smell like curry afterwards - that's just not accurate.


Chicken Tikka Masala
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon, fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon roasted ground coriander
1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
8 oz plain non-fat yogurt
28 oz can whole plum tomatoes
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped + more for garnish

In a small bowl, combine all spices (garam masala and next 5) and set aside. Cut chicken into 2" square bites and place in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, garlic, ginger and 2/3 of the spice mixture. (Reserve spice mixture for later use).

Pour the yogurt mixture over the chicken and coat all pieces. Cover and refrigerate about 4 hours.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy pot, heat the oil until very hot. Add the onions and sauté about 3-4 minutes or until they are soft and translucent. Next, add in the tomato paste and 1/2 of the reserved spice mixture. Mix well - until the paste becomes dark brown. Add in the whole tomatoes - crush them with your hands before putting into the pot. Add in the tomato juice from the can, as well. Bring mixture to a boil and stir. Add in the cream and cilantro and bring to a boil again. Lower the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, about 45-50 minutes so mixture thickens. If you wish to add in more spice, do so with about 20 minutes left of cooking, after you have tasted it. 

Line a heavy broiler pan with foil and heat oven to broil. Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes - 10 minutes per side (be sure to turn chicken halfway through). 

Let chicken cool slightly when finished and  then place into the tomato mixture and allow the flavors to meld for about 5-8 minutes. 

Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve over basmati rice.

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