Often called Britain’s “national dish”, some people refuse to order anything else but Chicken Tikka Masala on a visit to an Indian restaurant. Chunks of Chicken Tikka are cooked with green peppers and tomatoes and simmered in a mix of Base Curry Sauce, Tikka Marinade, yoghurt and cream.
What you need… For the Chicken Tikka… • 800g chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks • juice of 1 lemon • 1 recipe Tikka Marinade
For the Masala… • 240ml Base Curry Sauce • the leftover Tikka Marinade • 2 Tablespoons yoghurt • 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup • 0.5 green pepper, cut into thin strips • 1–4 chillies, depending on how hot you want your curry, chopped • small handful fresh coriander (chop up the stems to add to the curry and set aside the leaves for garnish) • 2 tomatoes, cut into segments • 100ml double cream • salt to taste
How to make it… 1. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken, rub it in well and leave for 15 minutes. This will degrease the chicken and also helps the chicken absorb the marinade. 2. Shake off the excess lemon and coat the pieces in the Tikka Marinade. Leave for at least 15 minutes but preferably 24–48 hours. 3. Preheat your oven to 170 C. Place the pieces on a baking tray (keep the remaining marinade), ensuring all the pieces are kept well apart and cook for 12 minutes, turning once. The chicken should be mostly white on the inside but not fully cooked. Set aside and cover to keep warm. 4. Heat a pan to a medium heat and add the Base Curry Sauce, the leftover Chicken Tikka Marinade, the yoghurt and tomato ketchup and mix well. 5. Add the pepper, chillies and coriander stems and cook until the peppers start to soften. This should take about 5 minutes. 6. Add the chicken, tomatoes, cream and salt and cook until the chicken is fully cooked. 7. Serve, garnished with the coriander leaves.
Butter Chicken is probably the most moreish Indian dish. Marinated in Tikka Marinade, cooked in the oven or grill, then added to a sauce with lots of butter and cream, this is a rich and delicious dish that will have you mopping up the last drips with your nan bread.
What you need… • juice of 1 lemon • 800g chicken breast or deboned thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces • 1 recipe Tikka Marinade • 150g unsalted butter • 2 onions, finely chopped • 1 teaspoon garlic paste (or finely chopped) • 1 teaspoon ginger paste (or finely chopped) • salt to taste • 6 fresh tomatoes, chopped • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, if you like it sweet) • small handful fresh coriander (chop up the stems to add to the curry and set aside the leaves for garnish) • 1–3 fresh green chillies (depending on the heat you prefer) • 100ml cream
How to make it… 1. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken, rub it in well and leave for 15 minutes. This will degrease the chicken and helps the chicken absorb the marinade. 2. Shake off the excess lemon and coat the pieces in the Tikka Marinade. Leave for at least 15 minutes but preferably 24–48 hours. 3. Place the chicken pieces on a grill tray (you can use skewers if you choose) making sure you do not cram the pieces too closely together. Grill until the chicken is half-cooked and still pink inside (you can check this by cutting through a large piece). This will take approximately 6–10 minutes on a high heat, turning the chicken once during this time. Set aside and cover to keep warm. 4. Heat 100g of the butter on a low-medium heat until melted, add the onion and cook until it starts to brown (about 4–5 minutes). 5. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute. 6. Add the Spice Mix, salt and chillies, stir well and cook for 1 minute. 7. Add the tomatoes and coriander stems cook for 3-4 minutes, then add 250ml water and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. 8. Transfer the ingredients to a blender (or use a hand blender) until smooth. 9. Return the mixture to the pan and reheat for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken (use the juices that will have drained from the chicken for a better taste) and cook gently for 3–4 minutes. You can now add in the optional sugar. 10. Add the cream, the other 50g of butter and and cook on a low-medium heat until the chicken is cooked (about 5 minutes). To check the chicken is cooked, remove and cut through one of the larger pieces. 11. Serve, garnished with the coriander leaves.