Chicken Tikka Masala

I'm always on the lookout for a good Indian restaurant but in the last few years I have been unimpressed. My brother's favorite dish is chicken masala so I decided to make it at home. This recipe is fabulous, a real keeper! Serves 3 to 6, depending on how hungry you are. If you like more heat, increase the amount of cayenne and/or add a chopped jalapeno pepper with the onion.

Perfectly spiced chicken tikka masala, served with basmati rice, naan, and cucumber-mint raita.

Perfectly spiced chicken tikka masala, served with basmati rice, naan, and cucumber-mint raita.

Recipe

2 T. ghee
1 finely chopped onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1 T. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 T. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
14-oz. can tomato sauce
1 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. paprika
1 T. sugar
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 tsp. curry powder
Cilantro for garnish (if desired)

Heat ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the cumin, salt, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon and turmeric, stir, and fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the tomato sauce, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix in the cream, paprika and sugar, bring back to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Meanwhile, heat 1 T. peanut (or vegetable) oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, sprinkle with curry powder, and sear, stirring, until the chicken is lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes.

Add the chicken (and any juices) to the tomato sauce. Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with basmati rice.