If you’re like most of us in this country your introduction to what you thought was Indian cuisine was probably Chicken Tikka Masala. But in reality this was actually one of the first of the “fusion” dishes that are all the rage today and was a cross between Indian curry and the Brits love of gravy. This is also a dish that has a twist of urban legend and some believe that it was “invented” by a Pakistanian chef in the early 60’S when he added gravy to the dish to satisfy a particularly hard-to-please Brit. Some food historians believe it dates back further to the British colonization of India.
Either way this is a curry dish of roasted chunks of chicken served in a rich orange sauce. Based on numerous surveys in England, Chicken Tikka Masala is considered by many to be the national dish of England.
The word “Tikka” translates to “bits or pieces” while the translation for “Masala” is a “mixture of spices”. The key to this dish is to marinate the chicken chunks in a mixture of yogurt and spices. The marinated chicken is then baked in a tandoor oven or sometimes grilled. Like many great regional recipes there is no one right way and the actual recipe can vary from area to area. Some cooks prefer a thicker gravy while others opt for more of a coriander and tomato sauce. The color of the Tikka Masala sauce is usually orange and comes from the addition of turmeric, paprika or tomato puree.
Our Tikka Masala seasoning makes the preparation of this dish simple and easy. Hand blended from guajillo chile powder, bay leaves, smoked sweet paprika, turmeric, roasted garlic, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, cumin, fenugreek, cardamom, caraway, nutmeg and cloves.
To make Chicken Tikka Masala marinade mix 1 cup of plain yogurt with 1 tablespoon of our seasoning. And for a truly authentic feel to this dinner serve with hot Naans to soak up the extra gravy/ sauce.
We’ve also heard of mixing 1 teaspoon of this Tikka Masala seasoning to one stick of softened unsalted butter. Then use small amounts of this “spiced butter” in your rice, morning eggs or homemade mashed potatoes for a savory and unexpected flavor.