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How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce

Learn how to make chicken tikka masala sauce from cookbook author Maya Kaimal in this Howcast Indian food video.


Hi, I'm Maya Kaimal, and I'm going to teach you how to make chicken tikka masala. Chicken tikka masala has the hallmarks of a north Indian style curry. It has a lot of dairy. It has garam masala and dried fenugreek at the end. But, it's actually a dish that was created in Britain by Indian restaurants who were looking for a way to use up their leftover chicken tikka which is pieces of barbecued chicken. They made a creamy tomato sauce, added the tikka pieces, and chicken tikka masala was born.

We're going to start by melting some butter to which we're going to add ginger, garlic, and green chile. We're going to fry these aromatics in butter. We have a little bit of green chile in here, but not a lot, because this really shouldn't be a spicy curry. It should have some nice warmth in your mouth, but it shouldn't be fiery at all.

Now that these are sizzling away nicely I'm going to add my spice blend. For this curry we use predominantly cumin. We've got four teaspoons of cumin. We've got two teaspoons of coriander. We've got a half teaspoon of paprika and an eighth of a teaspoon of cayenne. It's important to fry your spices until they give off a kind of warm, sort of full roasted smell, because if you don't then the whole curry will have kind of a raw edge to it which catches in your throat and isn't very nice.

So, our seasonings are nicely cooked here. Next, we're going to add our tomato puree. Mix that in with a little bit of salt. Then we're going to let this mixture cook for about five minutes. We're going to let it simmer and let those flavors develop.

Okay, our tomato mixture has had time to simmer and thicken nicely. We're going to add our cream. We've got half a cup of heavy cream and half a cup of yogurt. It's good to whisk your yogurt up so it's nice and smooth. Yum. Yeah, if you don't whisk your yogurt you can end up with lumps, and they're hard to get rid of. So, I always try to do that before I add it to my curry. We're going to mix this together and whisk. Bring it up to temperature, and then we're going to let this simmer together for another 5 to 10 minutes until it's nice and thick.

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