Tikka Masala

As popular Indian restaurant curries go, Tikka Masala may very well be king. It is rare to find an Indian buffet that does not feature some permutation of this dish, most often with chicken, though sometimes also with paneer or tofu or some vegetable.

The proper way to make Chicken Tikka Masala is to grill the chicken first on skewers after marinating and then mix into the sauce. This method is much too bothersome for me. I find it easier and much more flexible to use a modified recipe for Tikka Masala sauce, and simply add whatever meat or vegetable I wish.


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lb. chicken or fried tofu, cauliflower, potato cubes, chick peas, mixed vegetables, etc.
2 inches minced ginger, or 1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground red pepper, or paprika for less heat
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups cream or yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or more to taste)

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Saute the protein or vegetable in the butter with the ginger, garlic and jalapeno for a few minutes. Add lemon juice and remaining spices. Add tomato sauce. If cooking with chicken, stew for a few hours until chicken is tender, adding small amounts of water or milk if the stew gets too dry or sticky. Once cooked to desired tenderness, add cream or yogurt and cook until heated through. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

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