One of the nation’s favourite curry dishes, chicken tikka masala is often considered too complicated to replicate in the home kitchen. However, we’ve come up with a way of creating this Anglo-Indian classic by simplifying the tandoor cooking method and using various flavour tricks inspired by traditional Indian recipes.
Marinating the chicken thigh meat in a citrusy yogurt sauce for around 12 hours will give it a tender texture and well rounded flavour. You can then achieve the charred effect of a tandoor oven by using a grill on high, or a very hot barbecue.
To make the sauce, we’ve avoided the fuss of skinning tomatoes by using passata plus a dash of tomato purrée for a flavour boost. Although double cream is often used, we prefer the slightly sour flavour of crème fraîche. We’ve also taken inspiration from tandoori street vendors by pouring the juices from the grilled chicken into the sauce.
As well as using fresh spices in the sauce, we’ve finished the dish with a sprinkling of garam masala and smoked salt to give a final flavour hit and further replicate the smoky effect of the tandoor overn.
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