While my husband appreciates my cooking and loves partaking of new recipes, there are a few dishes that he finds especially memorable. In fact, there is a particular, favorite dish that he generally asks me to make every other week.
There are several reasons as to why he often asks for this dish again and again, but the three main reasons are because (1) it is not a bland dish, (2) it is a recipe based off of one of our favorite cuisines (Indian), and (3) I have made adjustments in order to ensure that the dish is not too spicy for his palate.
This dish that Mr. Ordinary Life has fallen in love with is Chicken Tikka Masala. Normally, this dish would call for a jalapeño as well as several teaspoons of both black pepper and cayenne pepper; however, as much as I personally love hot spices piled into a dish, Mr. Ordinary Life’s tongue may not survive such an ordeal! As such, I have created a recipe that cuts back dramatically on the amount of “hot” spices (and made it a bit healthier by cutting out another typical ingredient of this dish: heavy whipping cream).
Chicken Tikka Masala
- 3-4 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 cup unflavored yogurt
- 1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2–1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4–1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 TBSP butter
- 3–4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2–1 tsp salt
- 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
- 1 cup unshaken, light coconut milk
- Optional: Dash of black pepper and/or cayenne pepper
Note: the salt that I use for cooking is at least twice the potency of normal iodized salt, and this recipe is written for this form of salt. However, if you are using normal iodized salt, then you may have to adjust the salt content in order to reach the desired taste.
Cut up the chicken into bite-size pieces. Mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Combine the chicken with the marinade (in either a bowl or plastic bag) and place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour.
After the chicken has marinated, begin cooking the chicken with all of the marinade in a frying pan. Do not drain the marinade off of the chicken!
In a separate frying pan, melt the butter and sauté the garlic and onion in the butter for a few minutes. Add the cumin, paprika, and salt; stir in order to coat the garlic and onion. Add tomato sauce and 1 cup of the unshaken coconut milk. Stir the sauce and then let it simmer for approximately 20 minutes (or until desired thickness is reached).
Note: DO NOT shake the coconut milk before you pour it out of the can, approximately one cup of coconut cream will pour out of the can. The cream is what will be added to the sauce as it is needed to thicken up the sauce.
After the chicken is cooked all of the way through, drain what is left of the marinade off of the chicken.
After the sauce has thickened, add the chicken to the sauce; stir to combine. Serve while hot.
Note: My husband and I eat this without rice or pasta; however, as is traditional of Indian dishes, it is suggested to serve it over basmati rice.
Whether eaten like a soup or over rice, this extraordinary dish will pack a mouthful of flavor that (hopefully) will not leave one gasping for water. I am confident that you will enjoy this dish as much as Mr. Ordinary Life and I do!