Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tikka Masala

Dinner the other evening was Indian. This is a very easy recipe for Tikka Masala sauce. It's tasty. It's adaptable to what you would like to use the sauce with. In my instance, I was a heathen and used pork. Pork is not a traditionally used meat in Indian cooking. Some religious groups don't allow it. Others have no issue-particularly those in the Goa region ofSouthwestern India. But one of the main reasons it isn't used is the food needed (corn) for the hog isn't grown in Indian, or grown easily/affordably. Regardless, you can pretty much use what you like. I think grilled chicken would be great. The recipe called for shrimp. I'm ambivalent about the shrimp, but I think if they were skewered and grilled, then dressed in the sauce, this would be awesome.

Tikka Masala

Start with some clarified butter (Ghee). Ghee can cook at higher temperatures than regular butter, as the milk solids have been cooked out. Alternatively, you can use oil. Ghee will have more flavor.

Caramelizing onions. Yum.

Stir in some tomato paste, then spices. Cook over heat for a few quick minutes to get the flavors dancing.

Stir in some water or broth. Bring to a low simmer. Depending on what protein you might be cooking, add it now and let simmer until cooked through. Shrimp would only take a few minutes. Chicken 10-12 minutes, and depending on the size, about the same for the pork. At the end stir in some plain yogurt. (alternatively, if you used up your plain yogurt in another recipe, I added some lemon juice, stirred that in, then added a shot or two of cream.)

Serve over rice.

As I said, this was good. Easy and tasty. But I will say, if I'm in the mood for this, I will probably just make Indian Butter Chicken. It is very very similiar, but my preference would be the butter chicken.

Tikka Masala
adapted from Martha Stewart recipe
2 TB neutral oil or clarified butter (ghee)
1 large onion, sliced
3 TB grated ginger
1 TB grated garlic
2 TB tomato paste
1 TB garam masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 cup water or chicken broth
1/4 cup plain yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste

Cooked rice for serving

In a heavy pot such as a dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently until golden, about 20 minutes, then add the ginger, garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, and garam masala. Add a little oil if necessary to allow the ingredients to blend into a thick-yet-runny consistency, and cook until the flavors have begun to marry and are very fragrant, 3-4 minutes.

2. Add the water and stir until the mixture is smooth, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt quickly. Serve immediately with rice.

If you are adding meat or seafood to the sauce to cook, add it during step 2. Shrimp-4-5 minutes. Chicken/Pork-about 10 minutes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love tikka. If served along with some homemade flatbread or naan, the rest of the sauce can be sopped up.. YUM!