Chicken tikka masala is one of the standards by which I judge an Indian restaurant. Grilled chicken kabobs in a mildly spicy tomato and yogurt curry. One summer when I was looking for a new cooking project I undertook to make a variety of Indian dishes and, surprisingly, I found tikka masala to be the hardest to get right. Eventually I settled on this combination of various recipes, which isn't hard to make and doesn't require any special tools, but is full of flavor. If you have a large cast iron skillet and good control over your grill temperature, it's easy to do both the chicken and the sauce on the grill. If you don't, do the sauce on the stove. —Snafu06
4 to 6
cloves of garlic, finely minced
lime juice (1-2 limes)
boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
ginger, finely minced
cloves of garlic, minced
red onion, halved and thinly sliced
serrano peppers, minced (seed to reduce the spice, substitute jalapenos if you can't find serranos)
1 to 2 cups
roma tomatoes (or about six regular tomatoes), diced
For marinade, combine all the marinade ingredients in a large resealable storage bag or nonreactive bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and marinate 2 hours up to overnight in the refrigerator.
For the sauce, put a skillet over medium heat and add the butter and oil.
When the butter is melted and the foaming subsides, toss in the onions, ginger, garlic, and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. If the ginger or garlic start to brown too quickly, lower the heat.
Add the tomato paste and cook until the mixture has darkened slightly, about two minutes.
Add the paprika and the garam masala.
Add the tomatoes, salt, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a bowl, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the mixture has thickened, about twenty minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more water, a little bit at a time, until you hit the right consistency.
If you're doing the sauce on the stove, fire the grill up to high while the sauce is simmering. When the grill is hot, brush the grate with oil.
Skewer the chicken cubes, 4 to 6 pieces per skewer. Be careful not to overcrowd.
Grill the chicken cubes over high heat until the outside starts to char, about 2 minutes per side. You don't need to cook the chicken all the way through at this point, just get the nice texture on the outside.
Once your sauce has hit the desired thickness, hit it with an immersion blender or pour it into a regular blender and give it a few pulses. It doesn't need to be totally smooth, just homogenized. You can also taste for seasoning now.
Pour the sauce back into the skillet and add the chicken. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the chicken is done. About 15 minutes more.
Stir in the heavy cream and the cilantro. Serve with naan or over rice.