My version of Chicken Tikka Masala

by Jenn on March 10, 2009

in Budget,Gluten Free,Meats


Disclaimer – I make no attempt to claim that this is an authentic Indian dish, really it’s more my interpretation of one, I really am not an expert in Indian food in any way!

So anyways, last week while hosting a prospective student for our lab, my boss threw this great dinner with an Indian flare to it.  For the record, my boss is probably the best cook I’ve ever met in my life.  You know without a doubt that whenever he hosts a gathering that there will be very yummy food involved.  Well, I, the ever eager student, totally followed everything that he was doing while making dinner, because I know very little about Indian food except that it is VERY yummy.  And while I wasn’t sitting and writing notes (after all, we do like to have some fun!), I was trying to remember everything that was included and how to make this dish.  Of course, it’s not *quite* the same as what my boss cooked for everyone last weekend, but my husband gave it his stamp of approval, and it will make many yummy leftovers!


4 lbs chicken thighs (don’t worry, a lot of that weight is fat and bone, this total is meant to equal 8 servings worth, or 8 thighs total)
Vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped very finely
4 cloves garlic, minced
An equivalent portion of ginger, minced
1 32 oz. container plain yogurt (NOT fat free, low-fat is fine though)
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken broth (maybe more depending on how this cooks)
plenty of curry, coriander, tumeric, garam masala, cumin – we found a great  blend in our grocery store that came in a grinder, and then I used curry powder and cumin on top of that.
2 red chiles, deseeded (for a little heat, and is adjustable depending on your taste)
1 pkg. frozen cut spinach
Basmati rice (2 cups of rice dry = 8 servings)

1. Trim the fat off of the chicken thighs, and cook (med-high) in a large saute pot (I used our 6qt all clad stainless) in the hot veg. oil, turning every few minutes.  Sprinkle curry and spice blend on each side to give chicken some flavor.  Then set aside. It’s ok if it’s not cooked all the way through, it’ll cook more later.
2. In same pot, add in onions, garlic, ginger, and cook med-high until absorbed flavors and softened a bit (5 min).
3. Add in tomato paste and yogurt, mix, and cook a little bit (5-10 min), add more curry, cumin, and spice blend.
4. Add in enough broth to make curry sauce desired consistency, but not to be too soupy.
5. Return the chicken thighs to the pot, add spinach, and chiles.  Simmer 40 min or so, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.
6. While simmering, start the rice.  I added in a bit of the curry sauce into the water the rice was cooking in to give it some flavor.
7. serve, and yum!


Ok, so I totally didn’t mean to make enough for 8 servings originally, but that’s how it ended up being when all was said and done. I chose chicken thighs with the bones still in because then it was only $2 a pound.  For under $20 this makes about 8 servings, and is full of flavor and satisfying.  Can’t beat that!

Sorry about the pic being a little dark, the sun was fading fast and I didn’t want to turn on all the yellow lights on in my place…I think it’s an acceptable pic, but not the best….If anyone has any photoshop advice on how to “fix” this pic I’d be glad to hear it :)