tikka masala with naan

the boxes are finally unpacked, the animals have made nice with their surroundings, we are all sick of takeout and i am finally feeling ready to get back in the kitchen.

a few nights ago, my friend introduced me to “Master Chef.” the gist of the show? a bunch of home cooks  competing for money, cookbook deal, etc.  the episode that we watched had the contestants running food trucks on Venice Beach. One truck cooked indian food–tikka masala and naan. and my friend says “i could really go for some good indian.” me too!  and so last night’s meal was just that.Tikka masala served here with spiced cauliflower and potatoes and plain yogurt.

marinade
2 pounds chicken, cubed
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
juice of 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons plain yogurt

let chicken marinate for at least 1 hour, but best overnight. for cooking, preheat oven to 450 degrees or grill.  7-8 minutes on each side.

tikka masala
3 tablespoons oil
4 cloves minced garlic
4 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 onions diced
2 fully ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons sugar
2 cinnamon stick
4 tablespoons butter
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons water

heat oil in pan. add garlic, ginger and onion. saute until the onion is golden brown. reduce heat and add tomatoes.  cover the pan and cook until the tomatoes become completely soft. add the cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, salt, black pepper and sugar. stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes. this is the masala (spice base). transfer the masala to a blender and blend until a smooth paste is formed. return the paste to the pan. add cinnamon sticks, butter, lime, milk and butter. bring to a rolling boil.  reduce heat, add chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. 

naan
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon dry active yeast
1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons yogurt
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons oil
1/4 cup  plus 1 1/2 teaspoons warm water

mix flour, yeast, and salt. add yogurt, 1 tablespoon of the oil and the warm water. knead for 5 minutes, using up all the loose flour to form a soft and smooth dough. shape the dough into a ball.  wet the inside of a clean bowl with water and place the dough ball in the bowl. cover and let sit, undisturbed, for 5 hours to rise (it should almost double in size). 

place a baking sheet in the oven (i use a pizza stone) and preheat broiler.  cut dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each one to about 7 inches long and 5 inches wide. place rolled dough on heated pan and broil until you see brown spots on the top of the bread, about 3 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread the remaining oil evenly on each piece. stack them and wrap them tightly in foil to keep them warm. it’s fine to flatten them–they will be a bit crunchy but will soften after sitting wrapped up.

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2 thoughts on “tikka masala with naan

  1. Between the photos and the descriptions, I’ll be counting the minutes until I make this over the weekend!

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