Chicken Tikka Masala

With today’s last installment of the Winter Olympics feature comes the next installment of the 12 Days of Oscar.  Today’s film is the first in this year’s series that won an Oscar.  The 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for ten Oscars and won eight including Best Picture.  Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of a contestant on a game show similar to Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and exceeds expectations.   In the film, Jamal Malik answers the questions so well that he is interrogated, revealing through flashbacks both his childhood and his ties to the answers as each one is linked to an event in his life.

Chicken tikka masala is to Indian cuisine what chicken Parmigiana is to Italian cuisine.  It’s simple, comforting, and not really all that authentic.  In keeping with the comparisons between the American game show and its Indian counterpart, I decided to put the tikka masala on the menu.  Chicken tikka masala is a great food to start with if you’re new to Indian food.  Chunks of chicken cooked in a spiced tomato yogurt sauce served over rice are great whether you’re a fan of Indian cuisine or completely new to it.

chicken tikka masala

Chicken Tikka Masala


  • 3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • kosher salt
  • ground coriander
  • cumin, to taste
  • 1/2 C. plain yogurt
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 approx. 2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 3 Tbsp. Garam Masala (I bought this at Penzey’s)
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 C. heavy cream
  • 2 C. Basamati rice


Season the chicken breasts with some kosher salt, then sprinkle on coriander and cumin.

Coat the chicken breasts completely with the plain yogurt.

Set the chicken on a metal cooling rack over a foil-lined baking sheet.

Place the chicken 10-12 inches below a broiler for 5-7 minutes per side, watching carefully so the chicken isn’t completely charred.  It should have slightly blackened edges.

Remove the chicken from the oven.

In a large skillet melt 2 Tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat.

Add the diced onion and saute until slightly browned.

Add the garlic and ginger to the onion, along with about 1 Tbsp. salt.

Add the Garam Masala and stir to combine.

Add the can of diced tomatoes.

Continue to cook and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it.

Add the sugar and stir, then let the mixture simmer on medium for about 5 minutes.

Cook the Basamati rice according to package directions.

After the sauce has simmered, add in the heavy cream.

Chop the chicken breasts into chunks and stir them into the sauce.

Stir until heated through and serve the chicken mixture over rice.

Source:  The Pioneer Woman


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