There are many variations out there, but I have no reason to try anything other than this one by my favorite recipe source, Cook's Illustrated. We serve ours over basmati rice. For an additional grain (because who doesn't need more carbs?), naan is an excellent add-on.
Chicken Tikka1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp table salt
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat
1 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium garlic gloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tsp)
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger*
Masala Sauce3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tsp)
2 tsp grated fresh ginger*
1 fresh serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, fresh minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp garam masala**
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Basmati Rice2 cups basmati rice (14 oz.)
2 Tbsp butter
3 1/3 cups water
1 tsp salt
1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.
2. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
3. FOR THE RICE: Rinse and drain rice. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in water and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving.
4. While sauce simmers and rice cooks, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, around 10-24 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
5. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then chop; stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust salt, and serve over basmati rice.
* We have always used ground ginger rather than fresh
** This is mixture of spices, which you can find in the spice aisle at the grocery
Have you tried chicken tikka masala before? If so, do you make it yourself? If not, I highly encourage you to give it a whirl! I'm afraid to order it in a restaurant, because I love this recipe so, so much!