I was in India this past summer. It was only a few days but it was as intense as if I spent 2 weeks there. Spending a month in Nepal prior to my travel to India might have had to do something with why I felt I got a bit bigger glimpse of India than I actually did. I can't say I had only good experiences there ( I was alone. I am a European young girl with blonde hair. You can imagine...) but I did gain several amazing memories. I made some new friends so after all I wasn't all that alone. :) Indian people are extremely nice, I can only speak of one other nationality that is nicer than Indians. Nepalese people. They are incredible, so genuine... But back to my point.
What I loved most about India? Fooooooooood, of course! I am in love with the Indian cuisine. I'm not exaggerating when I say I could eat Indian food every single day :) I really would! Even though it's not hard to create an Indian meal but I just don't have the motivation to actually cook something special every day. I don't even feel like cooking every day! There are just those lazy, tired days when a grilled cheese sounds delicious and easy enough to make. I'm sure I am not alone with this, or am I???
So yesterday I had the most amazing idea ever! Why not dedicate saturday to Indian food day? So I did! I did my research how to make the most delicious chicken tikka masala and naan bread. I watched some youtube videos, read several recipes and I ended up doing my own thing while cooking! I used a recipe to make the marinade and then I just followed my tastebuds while making the sauce.
It is so delicious!! Seriously. I haven't eaten anything so heavenly like this tikka masala was! So if you're into Indian cuisine or would like to try it then here you go :) It's quite easy! The only difficulty comes with getting all the spices. Other than that...No cons at all! :) Oh, and it's better if you leave the chicken in the marinade for a night.
About the naan. I got the recipe from eCurry. I've made naan before but this recipe beat them all! Fluffy, soft yet a bit (just a slightly bit) crunchy on the outside. I will most definitely recreate it again, soon!
If you decided to try chicken tikka masala, then I hope you'll have at least as much fun as I had!
Chicken Tikka Masala
adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen
for the marinade
2 cups plain yogurt
1 lime's juice
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced ginger
3-4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 chicken thighs
for the sauce
3 tablespoons of oil
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2-3 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream - I used Hulala, a non-deary cream
First, bone the chicken thighs. Remove the skin and cut them into little pieces.
To make the marinade, measure the yogurt into a bigger bowl. Add in all the ingredients and mix it well. Place the chicken pieces in the marinade. Cover it and let it sit overnight or at least 4 hours.
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a bigger cooking pan and add in the onion and ginger. Add the salt and cook it for about 4 minutes until it starts looking translucent. Add the spices and water. Cook it for a minute or 2 and add the tomato cans. Cook it for about 10 minutes and then add the butter and cream. Cook it for another 5 minutes. Taste it and add more spices or salt if needed or if it's too spicy, add a little water. Now it's blender time! Blend the whole sauce and you're ready with it!
Look how beautiful its color is!
You can cook the chicken on the grill or in the oven. But I cooked mine in a pan. Because of the heavy yogurt-y marinade it took me about 15-20 minutes to get them done. The main point is to cook your chicken until the juice is cooked up. Then add the chicken to the sauce and you have chicken tikka masala!
makes 8 naan
recipe is from eCurry
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons oil or ghee
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup yogurt - I used sour cream because I ran out of yogurt...
Dissolve sugar in the water and then add in the dry yeast. Stir it with your fingers and then cover it for 10 minutes.
Mix flour, salt and baking soda in a big bowl. Add in the yogurt, oil and the yeast. Mix it with your fingers until you get a soft dough. Knead it for about 5 minutes. Take the dough out, grease the bowl and put the dough back and cover it. Let it rise for 4 hours or as I did overnight.
When the dough has doubled, punch in the middle and knead it for a few minutes. Divide the dough into 8 parts and let it rise another 40 minutes.
Take one part and roll it out on a floured surface. Brush one side of the dough with water. Cook it for a few minutes on a very hot griddle or pan (without using oil). When the dough is bubbling, flip it to the other side and cook it for another few minutes.
Repeat the same technique with the other dough parts. Spread butter on the naan while it's still hot.
Hope you'll enjoy them!