Truly Scrumptious Chicken Tikka Masala



For the Tikka ¶

750 g of skinned, boneless chicken thighs

1 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder

2 tsp of paprika (mild or spicy depending on how brave you are feeling)

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp of red food colouring or beetroot juice/powder

2 tsp cumin seeds

seeds from 12 green cardamom pods

2 tbsp of ginger garlic paste or fresh ginger and garlic

4 tbsp of fat-free natural yoghurt

a few drops of vegetable oil

For the Sauce

1 large onion finely chopped

Approx. ¾ of a tin of coconut milk (half fat you’re watching your weight)

1 tbsp of grated ginger

1 ½ tsp freshly ground coriander seeds

1 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder

1 tsp of paprika

1 tin of chopped or plum tomatoes

1 tbsp of tomato purée

1 tbsp of ground almonds

1 tbsp of yoghurt

1 tsp of garam masala

1 ½ tbsp of lemon juice

2 tbsp of desiccated or fresh coconut (optional)

1 tbsp of sweetener or sugar to taste (optional)

chopped fresh coriander to serve.


Cut the chicken into chunks and put in a ball or plastic freezer bag with the lemon juice, chilli powder, turmeric, paprika food colouring and a bit of salt. Massage the chicken so thoroughly coated with the spices. Set aside for around 20 minutes.

In the meantime heater nonstick pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and dry fry for a minute to release the natural oils

grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar

set aside then add the cardamom seeds and grind again

put the ground cardamom and cumin, garlic, ginger and yoghurt into a mini food processor and blend thoroughly. Pour into the chicken and mix thoroughly then set aside for about 30 minutes (if you have the time but the longer the better)

For the Sauce

heat a few drops of oil in a nonstick pan and sauté the onions for about 6 to 8 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the ginger, garlic and tomato purée. Cook for a further couple of minutes. Add a tsp of cumin, coriander, chilli powder and paprika and fry for a couple of minutes more. Add the tomatoes and fry until they have broken down into the sauce. Add the ground almonds and about 300 mL of boiling water and a bit of salt. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread onto metal skewers. Stir the remaining yoghurt marinade the coconut milk and garam masala into the source and simmer for about 10 minutes until a little reduced.

In the meantime heater griddle pan over a high heat, then lower the heat and brush with a little bit of oil. Add the chicken and cook for about 8 minutes and keep turning. The chicken should be cooked through and slightly blackened. Take the chicken off the skewers and stir into the source along with the lemon juice. Finally add the chopped coriander and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Serve with a side order of spinach and steamed Basmati rice.

Lock yourself in a room so no one else can get at your dish as trust me this is going to be a winner!

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