Tikka Masala Chicken


Two years ago I was in Seattle for the first time.  I was very excited because I knew that Seattle was a “foodie” city!

Since our hotel was just a few blocks from Pike Place Market, I went there almost every day!  I could not help it—OK, yes I did go to other places–the semi-annual sale at Nordstroms and second hand bookstores.  No, I did not go to any museums.  I was too busy thinking about this foodie heaven.

I was thrilled to see fish “flying” through  throngs of tourists at Pike Place Market, to see cheese made at Beecher’s, to eat a hot bowl of clam chowder at an outdoor cafe on a chilly day.

Crowds swarm the area of Pike Place Market.  But behind the Market, down a lot of steps, on a quiet street near the water, I found a gem.

World Spice Market, “Seattle’s Premier Spice, Herb and Tea Shop.”  One step inside the door of World Spice and you are transported by the mixture of scents that fill the store.  Spices from all over the world (hence the name!), herbs, teas, house blends of spices and salts.  It is almost sensory overload, but in a very happy way.

I spent part of a morning there buying many spices I was sure I was going to go home and use right away.

Then I went home.   Life got busy.  Yes, I did use the Valhrona Cocoa soon, as well as the cinnamon from Vietnam.  But the other spices I bought just sat on my spice shelf, unnoticed…until last week.

I found the Tikka Masala spice I bought with visions of Indian food in my head. OK, maybe there was some degradation of the spice after two years.  But this recipe for Tikka Masala Chicken was happily received at our house and tasted fantastic.

Tikka Masala Chicken

(recipe adapted from World Spice Market)

3  boneless chicken breasts

Marinade:

3 Tablespoons Tikki Masala spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

Cut the chicken into chunks.  Place in a plastic zip-lock bag.  Mix together the Greek yogurt, tikki masala spice and salt in a bowl.  Pour into the plastic bag and rub the marinade all over the chicken.  Put the plastic bag into the refrigerator for a least an hour.  Give the bag a “squish” every once in a while to make sure all of the chicken is covered.

 

Sauce:

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon Tikki Masala spice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup coconut milk

Cooked long grain or basmati rice

If you are going to grill the chicken, set up the grill for cooking.  You can also pan sear the chicken or use a grill pan on the stove.

Place the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the chopped onions and cook over medium low heat until they are slightly brown.  Add the garlic and salt and cook until the onions are soft.  Add the tikki masala and pepper, stirring several times to mix, then add the tomatoes and stir to mix in, stirring occasionally until the mixture has reduced slightly and the color has deepened (this should take about 15 minutes).  Thoroughly mix in the coconut milk and reduce heat to low.  Simmer the sauce while you cook the chicken (the sauce will thicken).

Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and place on a plate.  If you are grilling the chicken, you could thread the chicken on skewers.  However you cook it, leave as much yogurt mixture on the chicken as possible.

Grill or saute the chicken (in a bit of olive oil) until browned and the chicken is cooked through.

When the chicken is done, serve by placing a scoop of basmati rice on a plate, lay a few chunks of chicken on top, ladling tomato sauce over all of it.


Tikki Masala spice can be found at local Indian grocery stores, including Krishnan Indian Grocery Store on West College Ave.

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