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Friday, June 05, 2009

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA: A GREAT BRITISH DISH















Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against the good old US of Stateside, nothing at all. It’s a great place and the last three weeks spent touring the country reading bits of my book to anyone kind enough to listen would have been a huge pleasure anyway even if they had not coincided with my decision to make a commitment to something else in my life aside from a yellowing liver and furred arteries.

In fact if things go along as planned the next few years could actually see me becoming one of Uncle Sam’s legal children and my future spouse is already trying to get me to say silly things like “aluminum” and “sidewalk” so I can blend in more easily with the locals. My own suggestion that I just gain about 200lbs in weight and have a lobotomy has, thus far received a shrift slightly shorter that I would have anticipated from someone for whom I have declared undying love.

But, even after a relatively short trip across the great divide and given that I left my heart in Culver City, there were still plenty of reasons I am glad to be home. A decent cup of tea is one, obviously, particularly after spending three weeks in a country where it is easier to buy a Kalashnikov than an electric kettle.

Then of course, there is the opportunity to cook. Oh, I managed to squeeze in a few happy minutes in front of Sybil’s new stove while I was in L.A, but for the most part I was faced with a procession of slightly uninspiring restaurants that only saw my waistline increase as my enthusiasm waned proportionately.

Even though today I have been jet lagged to all buggery and am still suffering from the worst cold any human male has ever had to face, I decided to reacquaint myself with the DH kitchen and cook a couple of dishes that, while both inspired by immigration from the sub-continent, are quite different. One is the sort of dish you might actually find in India, whereas the other is as British as unnecessary parliamentary expenses and odd looking Scots women in frocks made from curtain fabric belting out show tunes.

So tonight’s supper saw me sitting down to large bowlfuls of Saag Mutter Paneer and Chicken Tikka Masala using recipes that I have found time and again to be fool proof and every bit as good as you may find at your local curry house.

Well worth a try

SAAG MUTTER PANEER

INGREDIENTS


1 x inch fresh Ginger
3 x garlic cloves
3 x red chilli (finely minced)
1 x block of paneer (diced)
I x cup of frozen peas
2 x cups of fresh spinach (blanched, drained and chopped)
½ x large white onion (thinly sliced)
1 x tbspn tomato puree

SPICES
1 x cinnamon stick
2 x cloves
1 x tsp hot chilli powder
½ x tsp ground cumin
½ x tsp ground coriander
½ x tsp ground turmeric
½ x tsp sugar
½ x tsp salt

METHOD


Fry the cinnamon stick, cloves and minced chilli in a little oil for two minutes.

Add the sliced onion and fry until soft and golden

Blend the garlic and ginger to a paste and fry with the onions for two minutes.

Add the ground spices and cook gently for five minutes adding water if it begins to stick

Add the paneer and tomato puree and stir to coat in the spice mix. Cover and cook gently for five minutes.

Add the peas and spinach and a cup of water. Cover and cook gently for a further five minutes.

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA

INGREDIENTS


2 x chicken thigh per person (boned, skinned and cut into 2in dice)

FOR THE MARINADE
2 x bunches of coriander leaf (including stalks)
½ x cup of yoghurt
4 x fresh green chilli
½ x tsp salt
1 x inch fresh ginger
4 x cloves of fresh garlic

FOR THE MASALA SAUCE

1 x tin of chopped tomatoes
1 x tin size of water
½ x large white onion (sliced)
½ x cup of single cream
3 x fresh red chilli (finely minced)
1 x inch fresh Ginger
3 x garlic cloves
1 x cinnamon stick
2 x cloves
1 x tsp hot chilli powder
½ x tsp ground ginger
½ x tsp ground cumin
½ x tsp ground coriander
½ x tsp ground turmeric
½ x tsp ground fenugreek
½ x tsp sugar
½ x tsp salt

METHOD
Blend all the marinade ingredients together to a fine paste, pour over the chicken, mix well, cover and leave to sit for at least two hours (more if possible)

Fry the cinnamon stick, cloves and minced chilli in a little oil for two minutes.

Add the sliced onion and fry until soft and golden

Blend the garlic and ginger to a paste and fry with the onions for two minutes.

Add the ground spices and cook gently for five minutes adding water if it begins to stick.

Add the tin of tomatoes and the water, stir well and allow to cook down until reduced by half. Remove from the pan and blend to a smooth paste. Return to the pan and, off the heat, add the single cream, stirring well before returning to the heat to reduce a little more.

While the sauce is cooking, place your chicken on a wire rack and grill under a hot oven turning once until each piece is cooked thoroughly and has a slight char.

Transfer them to the pan with the sauce and toss gently until every piece is coated.

Before serving, sprinkle with a little lemon juice and some chopped coriander leaf

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Harters said...

Cup? CUP?

What sort of measurement is that?

I fear you are lost to us already.

John

Sunday, June 07, 2009 1:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That tikka masala recipe looks delicious, and not too much hassle either - where does it come from? I'm in a curry mood now - off to dig out my trusty Madhur Jaffrey book.

Sunday, June 07, 2009 5:21:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 2 said...

This recipe is, if memory serves me well, one I adapted from Reza Mohammed (chef/owner of The Star of India on the Brompton Road)

As I say, it's pretty foolproof and well worth a try

S

Sunday, June 07, 2009 6:54:00 pm  
Anonymous John said...

It looks very goods
I'll definitely to come back to your blog again.
www.ahacook.com

Sunday, June 07, 2009 8:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Tim said...

Bad cold???or.....Oink fever??

Monday, June 08, 2009 12:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone contemplating a second marriage has already had a lobotomy.

Monday, June 08, 2009 12:41:00 pm  
Anonymous Bill K. said...

Before you depart good old blighty -will you leave instructions on what to do with H1when we find him wandering the streets aimlessly... singing "he ain't heavy he's ma brudder .."?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 10:57:00 am  
Blogger Fullbong said...

Pl don't use Fenugreek in tikka masala.. kills the delicate aroma of clove and cinnamon.

Saturday, June 20, 2009 5:17:00 pm  

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