I’ve realized that I’m allowing my insecurities about my photography keep me from posting as often as I’d like to. I’ve made at least 5 meals that I otherwise would have posted about but I couldn’t get a picture I thought was good enough so I just put it off, telling myself I’d post it next time.
Enough of that! This blog is for my daughter, my friends and family. They won’t care that the picture isn’t amazing and if other people don’t try the recipes I post because of the picture, it’s their loss. So from now on, I’m posting everything I want to post.
I’ve been watching Aarti Sequeira since the first day she appeared on “The Next Food Network Star” and I’ve watched her new show “Aarti Party” from episode 1. She’s just absolutely adorable with her curled hair and crazy laugh. I was really impressed by her performance in the competition and wasn’t surprised when she won.
Her food is Indian and I absolutely LOVE Indian food, but I’ve never cooked it before. The recipes have made it seem easier than I thought it would be, which makes me think that most of them have been dumbed down a bit for the typical American viewer, but I’m fine with that. I adore Indian food but sometimes the flavors are a bit strong for the rest of my family.
I couldn’t resist making this recipe! It looked so delicious and easy…and then to top it off, it has chicken, sauce and you can serve it over rice. You put anything even remotely like that in front of my brother in law and he’ll inhale it. A new sauce I can make from scratch that won’t have all kinds of crazy ingredients I wish weren’t in it? I’m in!
I did modify the recipe a bit based on my own personal preferences and the recipe reviews on The Food Network site. If you want to see the original, click HERE.
Chicken Tikka Masala
(adapted from Aarti Sequeira)
1 cup low fat plain yogurt
1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp. freshly grated garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs – cut into bite sized pieces
Combine all ingredients in a large plastic storage bag and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Overnight would be fine.
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup freshly grated garlic
2 Serrano peppers – finely minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tsp. garam masala
2 tsp. paprika
2 – 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1.5 tsp. kosher salt
1 to 2 cups water
1/2 cup yogurt
fresh minced cilantro for garnish
cooked brown basmati rice – to serve over
When you’re ready to make the curry, place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the ginger, garlic and serrano peppers. Saute until lightly browned around the edges. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato has darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the garam masala and the paprika and saute for about 1 minute to draw out their flavors.
Add the tomatoes, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep a nice consistency. This will completely depend upon how intensely you are simmering the sauce.
Meanwhile, fire up your grill. When it is nice and hot, lightly brush it with oil. Pour the chicken from the bag into a mesh strainer and move it to let the excess marinade drain off. Cook until it’s charred, about 2 minutes on each side. (Don’t worry that the chicken will still be a little uncooked, it finishes cooking in the sauce).
Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender, and process until smooth. Pour back into the skillet and bring back up to a boil. Add the chicken. Take the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the yogurt and stir through. Garnish with minced fresh cilantro, and serve over rice, with naan, or a crusty piece of bread (or both)!