The west is a funny place. We take foods from all over the world, change them, tweak them, call them something new and then credit the country the orginal, very different, dish came from. Like, “inside out rolls” and “chop suey” and this vibrant dish, Chicken Tikka Masala.
Not that I am complaining, all the above and other dishes like them are firm favourites of mine and the only “food origin” argument I ever let myself get into is whether hummus is originally Middle Eastern or Greek (Hummus is the Arabic word for chick pea so decide for yourself).
What I really love about this particular dish is how easy it is for me to fit it into my current eating habits. Thanks to a recipe found here and with a little tweaking, the whole family loved the dish. Myself and my sister had it with garlicy sweet potato mash, while the rest of the family had it with rice. Even my 10 month old enjoyed it (He just had the tikka part without the masala sauce).
Primal Tikka Masala
For the tikka
6-8 boneless and trimmed chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces (As this method is gentle on the protien you can substitute with fish)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch fresh corriander, finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
1 tin coconut milk
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 thumb size ginger grated
Small pinch cayenne pepper
Generous pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 200C
Mix everything together in your baking dish, cover and bake for 1 hour.
For the masala
2 tbs olive oil
2 onions, sliced thinly
65g tomato paste
1 tin peeled tomatoes in their juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tin water (use the tomato tin)
Juice of half a lemon
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder (depends how hot you like it)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons garam masala (an Indian spice blend)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 can coconut milk
Salt & Pepper to taste
In the olive oil fry some the onions (use a bit of water to cook the onions a little before they fry)
Add the spices and fry them a little.
Add the tomato paste and cook it out
Add the tinned tomatoes, the water and the lemon juice.
Cook for about a minute and add the coconut milk.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Then scoop out the chicken pieces and a bit of the cooking juices and add them to the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve with your choice of starch, or just so in a bowl.