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Feb 28, 2013 09:56 PM

Tikka Masala: Home Cooking Dish of the month (March 2013)

This was another close vote, and Tikka Masala won by just a couple of votes. If you'd like to look at the voting thread, click here:

This month we'll be cooking the dish that claims the title of the most frequently ordered dish nationwide in the UK. There are so many varied recipes, it should be an interesting and exciting month.

As usual, you are invited to use published recipes, old favorites, or a recipe you've invented. Please describe your recipe, share your source, and your outcome. Photos are always encouraged. Please remember to paraphrase any recipes that are not your own; verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. After a month of amazing risotto dishes, I'll be serving Tikka Masala without rice of any kind.

    This vegetarian version includes potatoes (which I'm going to exclude-need a starch break) but cabbage (which was my nomination originally) and a few more vegetables should work out fine. I only plan to serve homemade onion Naan with the dish.

    I can't wait to read all the varied ways you prepare this specific dish when most menus focus mainly on the chicken preparation.

    Thanks LN for all your efforts!

    5 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Question regarding coriander seed. I have never cooked with it. Nor have I knowingly tasted it. I know...I KNOW. I have that cilantro-tastes-like-soap issue, but just read somewhere that the seeds bear little resemblance flavor wise. Someone said it was somewhat citrusy. How would you describe it's taste? I am going to get some CTM next time I'm in the "city." I'm in a rural area rich in Mexican, Italian and Portuguese culture but lacking in Asian food sources aside from Chinese take out. I'd be grateful for any descriptions. Also, will I find good quality South Asian spices like coriander at the supermarket or should I check out Penzy's?

      1. re: ItalianNana

        The taste of coriander seeds bears NO resemblence to coriander leaf, aka cilantro. None. Yes, I would describe it as somewhat citrusy, like something that could go with a pumpkin pie. It's in that camp of spices for me, along with cinnamon, nutmeg, mace. Sort of warmish and sort of but not really sweetish neighborhood. I hope this at least resembles something that makes sense. :P

        You could try an Asian market if you have one nearby. Generally, spices can be had for relatively less money at them, and they're usually fresher. If not, a supermarket is fine as is Penzeys or other mail-order places.

        1. re: ItalianNana

          I can't say for certainty if coriander seed lacks the specific compound that offends genetic cilantro haters, but it definitely tastes far different from the herb. It is a warm floral flavor with citrusy, almost lemon like overtones. Summery and fresh are other words that come to mind.

          Most supermarkets carry coriander seed, but as LMAshton mentions, it is going to cost more. Mexican cuisine also makes use of coriander, so you might try checking out your local mercado.

          1. re: JungMann


            Argh *head smack* I never thought about the Mexican spice aisle. I buy everything from chili powder to cinnamon to oregano there at MUCH cheaper prices. I'm sure the coriander will be there. Thx!

            1. re: ItalianNana

              Apologies just saw your question this morning. Glad it was answered for you.

      2. I'm excited because I need to learn how to make this instead of buying a six dollar jar of Tiger Tiger sauce. My recent attempt was a miserable failure so please bring it on Hounds! Chicken is the primary protein but we like a nice veggie version as well.

        1. parking my lawn chair in the thread, to see what recipes come up! DH gave me a set of Indian spices for my birthday and I'm DYING to learn to use them. :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: jujuthomas

            Right beside you with the lawn chair. I always thought this had to be cooked in a tandoor oven so have never contemplated trying to make it myself.

            1. re: Frizzle

              Pulling up my lawn chair next to frizzle and jujuT. Please help yourself to my cooler of chilled beverages.

              Wherever this virtual beach is located, I hope it's warmer than it is in the Twin Cities right now! We're expecting a half a foot of snow today!

              Seriously, though, I LOVE tikka masala and would love a little inspiration to try to cook it on my own.


          2. I posted a couple weeks ago about a successful chicken tikka masala that I made using this recipe from Cook's Illustrated:


            I did a few things differently from the recipe:
            - I chopped the chicken breasts into large chunks before applying the spice rub.
            - I refrigerated the chicken for two days before cooking (that was just how my schedule worked out).
            - I used red chile flakes in lieu of serrano chile.
            - I used my immersion blender to make the sauce smoother.
            - I only used 1/2 cup of cream.

            I highly recommend this recipe for those looking to jump into this month's HCDOM - I may make it again myself!

            18 Replies
            1. re: aching


              I was going to check CI for this too. It's my experience that Chris and crew are usually light handed with exotic spices in ethnic dishes. I'm less concerned with being "authentic" in this new venture than I am trying to educate my palate a bit! I do like spicy HEAT though, so I'll be apt to enjoy recipes that include more chili powder and less of the spices I enjoy in baking. Does that even make sense?

              1. re: ItalianNana

                It's interesting that you should say that, because I do remember thinking at the time that I would use MORE spices the next time - so if you prefer less spices, this would probably be good for you as written. The heat of course is adjustable to your taste - I like it spicy, but it upsets my husband's stomach so I have to resist the urge!

              2. re: aching

                aching, question about this one. I'm thinking about making this one but am wondering on the serving sizes. I will be the only one eating it, and I'm most interested in only having 4 servings max (1 dinner and 3 lunches). Do you think as written it is 4 servings or is it really closer to the 6? Might be worth to cut it in half maybe? Based on the amount of chicken it calls for I'd think it's closer to 6.

                1. re: juliejulez

                  If it helps at all, the Serious Eats recipe posted below also claims it is for 4-6 servings, but it calls for 5 lbs of chicken instead of the 2 that this one calls for. I think it would be safe to assume four servings.

                  1. re: Kontxesi

                    Hmm yeah. That one uses bone-in chicken. Just seems 32oz is a lot of chicken for 4 people, although I guess it does cook down to about 6oz per person. I guess I'm just nervous to make a huge amount since I'm not even sure if I'll like it :)

                    1. re: juliejulez

                      The one time I made Tikka Masala a few years ago, I was scolded by my son and his girlfriend for using bone-in chicken. I made the decision because I think that it is more flavorful that way; they viewed it as not being authentic - ?

                      1. re: sandylc

                        Interesting. At most of the restaurants I've ordered Tikka Masala it comes bone in unless you ask for no bone (and then you wind up with only white meat).

                        1. re: HillJ

                          Ugh, only white meat!!!!

                          I think maybe they were remembering the take-out stuff they got in London - ?????

                        2. re: sandylc

                          In desi cuisine, bone-in and skinless is the way to cook chicken in just about every application. Chicken skin is considered undesirable, but bones are recognised as providing flavour.
                          So nothing inauthentic about that, and scolding parents who are feeding you is most transgressively inauthentic thing in South Asian culture :)

                          However, how "authentic" CTM itself is, is a whole 'nother discourse, and whether you are trying to be authentic to restaurant standards to ro cultural standards :)


                          1. re: sandylc

                            My understanding is that the word "tikka" refers to a boneless piece of meat (not necessarily chicken).

                      2. re: juliejulez

                        I think four servings is pretty accurate. If I remember correctly, my husband and I had it for dinner one night (generous helpings), and there was one serving leftover for lunch the next day.

                        1. re: aching

                          OK thanks! I can't do more than 4 servings of ANYTHING these days, even if it's the best thing ever... I just get sick of it! :)

                          1. re: juliejulez

                            I was going to say that I also think it would freeze well - although on second thought, would the cream be problematic? For sure you could freeze it before adding the cream.

                            1. re: juliejulez

                              I am the same JJ, get tired of leftovers however delicious very quickly. I would definitely half it and 16 oz of chicken cooked ina sauce will make a dinner and two lunches for me with rice and a side of veg.

                              1. re: herby

                                Yeah last night I made a chicken dish using 18oz of raw chicken (cooked down to about 14) and it was plenty for 4 servings for me once mixed in with rice etc, so I think I'll give it a go and half it.

                                Going on the menu for Monday night!

                        2. re: aching

                          I am going to try to make this night, but my power is out. I have a gas stove that we can light with a match, but I don't think we can manually light the oven.

                          I kinda need to make it today, since I'll lose the chicken if it stays in the fridge much longer. Any ideas for doing the chicken on the stove-top?

                          1. re: Kontxesi

                            I had my wisdom teeth out Tues so I am also waiting before I do this dish.

                            You can absolutely fake chicken tikka on the stove top. You put a little oil in the pan and lay your marinated chicken pieces in a deep pot that has a lid.

                            You put on high heat first then lower to medium high heat once the chicken is in and close the lid, opening every few minutes to turn the chicken. Don't stir, just turn, and don't over crowd the chicken. The marinade browns a bit and dries up and it even looks like a tandoori or oven chicken tikka.

                            You just do this to cook your chicken and then set it aside and proceed with your recipe.

                        3. Ooo yay this will be fun! I've never made tikka masala before but I've been interested to try it.