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Chicken Tikka Masala

Simple to make and wonderful to eat, this Chicken Tikka Masala has become my favorite Indian make-at-home dish. I mix up the marinade and stir in the chicken before I leave for work in the morning (a Pyrex seven-cup storage bowl is perfect for this), so dinner comes together quickly when I get home. If you happen to be a Costco member, one portion of their six-packs of boneless skinless chicken thighs is the perfect amount. —Mark Finch

Serves 4

Ingredients for Chicken Marinade:

28 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Sauce:

2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
14 ounces tomato sauce
2 tablespoons ground red chili powder (I use medium-hot)
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/4 cups of heavy cream
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro to garnish



Combine yogurt and all the rest of the marinade ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add chicken pieces and stir some more until they are all well coated. (If you find the marinade to be too thick, you can add a splash each of lemon juice and olive oil.) Let chicken marinate for at least 15 minutes, or up to overnight.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When sizzling, add chicken pieces in small batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until browned for only 3 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm. Alternatively, you can use a grill pan over a hot charcoal grill, stirring until most of the chicken is browned or even slightly charred.

Melt the butter in the same pan. Sauté the onion until soft (about 3 minutes) while scraping up any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Fry for about 20 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally. Pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder and salt. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and becomes a deep brownish-red color. Stir the cream and sugar through the sauce.

Add the chicken and its juices back into the pan and cook on medium-low heat for an additional 10 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked through (if it isn’t already) and the sauce is thick. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, stir in a splash of water. Serve over basmati rice and garnish with a generous pinch of fresh cilantro. For a low-carb rice alternative, try riced cauliflower cooked in a skillet with butter, salt, and a pinch of saffron stirred in.

This recipe is based on one from CafeDelites.