You know, I am actually quite marveled at how effortlessly beautiful my chicken tikka masala is, finally.
Okay, I did mess with the chicken things (maybe more than just once), fyi. But it turns out the masses are right this time – you couldn’t possibly ever go wrong with Indian cuisine.
Is Chicken Tikka Masala Indian?
To many people, it might be quite an astonishing fact that though sounding so Indian-ish, Chicken tikka masala has actually been acknowledged as “The true natural dish of Britain” for decades. Though the origin of Chicken tikka masala is still in dispute, this is pretty much what I heard about the time:
Back in the 17th century, the flourishing state of cultivation witnessed the true growth of breeding farms. Tons of chicken dishes came onto the family table as a result, including chicken tikka.
Not until much later – during British rule, to be specific – British cuisine also adopted the dish. But it’s only after the 1950s that chicken tikka officially travelled almost 5000 miles to go viral in the UK and on local plates.
Carry on to 1960s, a British chef decided to add yoghurt, more spices, and even tomato just to simply prevent dryness. The dish turned out, unintentionally though, to be an even more astonishing entrée. That was also when it was finally westernized to “Chicken Tikka Masala”.
What is the masala sauce?
Tikka masala sauce is a tomato, spice, and cream-based sauce and is pretty much identical to curry in general. The sauce is flavored with diverse types of herbs and spices to pull out an inimitable hot yellow color and spicy aroma for the finish.
The tomato sauce–heavy cream ratio also worths a heed here, as this is what decides the overall color and consistency of the Masala sauce. So, throw it in whichever way you wish, it’s all about personal preference, after all.
What is the difference between butter chicken and chicken tikka masala?
Chicken tikka masala and butter chicken may be the two possibly most mistaken staples, as they both share resemblances in the tomato sauce base and spices altogether.
Both dishes are Indian-inspired. But if you’re frequently present at authentic food stores and restaurants in town, then there are still a few differences to break down.
Butter chicken is a curried meal and is surely more creamy in most cases. The word “butter” actually refers to the fatty, greasy mouthfeel it leaves. There’s no butter involved.
Chicken tikka masala, on the other hand, is like a true weave of spices and dried herbs. So yes, it’s definitely more zesty, tangy, and intense in taste.
While chicken tikka masala is boneless (and could also be sometimes skinless), butter chicken is originally processed with bones. Though, as time flies, many variations have been presented, and bones have not mattered that much anymore.
Is chicken tikka healthy?
Packed with lean protein, chicken breasts – even grilled – are sure to be an ally for literally every one of your shedding-a-few-more-pounds plans. And Chicken Tikka, too, is not an exception. It’s still your demanding lean and white meat dish, but a few more times appetizing and divinely mind-boggling.
3 ounces of skinless boneless chicken breasts (as used in this recipe) only have more than 100 calories and 19 grams of dietary protein. As protein is an ultimate metabolism booster, your body will naturally burn more extra calories whenever protein is digested.
What are other choices for a side dish?
Okay, so, I was circling around with chicken tikka masala to see if there was a missing spot somewhere – and much enough, I finally can carry out this lil one-stop shop of side dishes.
To be roughly listed:
Bread is really the ingenious choice as it could sync up so well with chicken tikka masala. Below are the popular ones I found online regarding Indian-ish breads.
- Vegetable Samosas: a brilliant snack made from crispy baked pastry with veggies filling.
- Papadum: delectable thin, crisp, disc-shaped flatbread.
- Naan Bread (and with multiple flavors, of course)
- Chapatti Wraps
Not much different than bread, rice itself is already among the most adaptable everytime someone needs a basic side. The names should be Pilou Rice, Basmati Rice, or Jeera Rice.
People are said to prefer these, but I myself would take the liberty and suggest you to go with any rice you prefer. It’ll be just lovely the same way, you have my word.
Mango Lassi or Masala Chai Tea are the most favored of all. Since there’s a mango yogurt smoothie, I assume any smoothie could not be an inch less gratifying.
Just grab anything fresh and cool, and the final perfect box for your meal is checked. All good.
If you’re a fan of chicken dishes like me, I’m pretty sure you’ll love this chicken shawarma recipe. Be sure to also pay a visit to our best chicken recipes, too. I hope you’ll have a good time cooking. Until next time!
Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
- 10 oz skinless boneless chicken breast cut into chunks
- 3/4 tsp salt divided
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper divided
- 3 tsp coriander powder divided
- 1 tsp almond powder
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon divided
- 3 tsp paprika divided
- 4 tsp garlic powder divided
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp ginger powder divided
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin powder divided
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz onion sliced into strips
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp Hunt’s tomato paste
- 6 oz green bell pepper sliced into strips
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 cup homemade tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp fresh coriander chopped
- 3 cup cooked long grain rice
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken chunks with a marinade made of: 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder, almond powder, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder, chili powder, lemon juice, and Greek yogurt.
- Toss to marinate. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Bake the chicken: Transfer the marinated chicken onto the baking tray, brush with olive oil. Bake at 400℉ for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Make the sauce while waiting for the chicken to bake. Heat a cast-iron pan on medium heat and add in the following ingredients successively: onion, butter, tomato paste, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder. Stir around for a minute.
- Continue to add to the pan: green bell pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of cumin powder, garam masala, 2 teaspoons of paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoon of coriander powder. Stir them around for a minute.
- Continue to add tomato sauce and water to the pan, let it simmer for 3 minutes, stir frequently.
- Add the baked chicken chunks back to the pan, whisk together with the sauce. Let simmer for 3 minutes.
- Lastly, pour heavy cream and coconut milk to the pan, whisk them well to combine with the rest.
- Sprinkle fresh chopped coriander on top and serve immediately with hot steamed rice.