Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Chicken Tikka Masala version 1

The Halfmanhalfbeer’s Chicken Tandoori Masala.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 large onion, peeled
1 knob peeled fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 (or more) Thai chillis
1 tin Heinz tomato soup
1 tbsp tomato puree
300ml double cream
500ml natural yoghurt
4 chicken breasts
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of chopped coriander
2 big tbsp tandoori spice mix
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder

In a big mixing bowl put chicken pieces, natural yoghurt, half of the fresh coriander, lime juice, 1 big tbsp Tandoori Spice mix, and leave covered in the fridge for as long as possible, at least four hours, but preferably 24 hours.

In a processor puree the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli to a fine paste. It helps to add about 1tbsp groundnut oil and / or 1tbsp water.

In big pot heat 1 tbsp peanut or olive oil over low to medium heat, add coriander powder, cumin powder and tandoori spice mix, stir quickly for less than 30 secs and then add onion puree. You may need to add some water (or chicken stock if you prefer) to stop the paste from sticking.

Keep stirring puree until cooked (about 5 mins).

***(see note below)***

Add tomato soup, tomato puree, 1 level tbs of tandoori spice mix, turn heat to low and leave to simmer while you cook the chicken.

Remove chicken from yoghurt and discard yoghurt. Thread chicken pieces onto a skewer. The chicken is best cooked on a BBQ if you can be bothered, if not grill until cooked thoroughly.

Meanwhile remove curry sauce from heat and stir in cream. Taste and add pepper, salt, as you want.

When the chicken is cooked stir into curry sauce, replace on heat (or place in hot oven (200C/400F) and simmer gently for 5-10 mins to let flavours meld further. Just before serving stir in remaining fresh coriander.

Note: Confession time. I often skip the marinade stage because I don’t have the time and so I add the uncooked chicken to the pot at this stage here. Keep stirring until chicken is cooked and then carry on with the rest of the ingredients. However, if you can be bothered I recommend the marinade and grilling stages, it really is so much better.

This is also a great dish to make with left-over chicken or turkey. The leftovers can be added to the sauce once made and then chucked in the oven for 20-30 mins to heat through.

This is actually a very good barbeque dish. Have the chicken marinating, have the sauce all ready prepared in a cast iron pot. Put chicken on skewers and grill over bbq. Pull chicken off skewers once cooked straight into pot with sauce, place sauce on top of bbq to heat through for a couple of minutes and, voila, there you are!

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