National Curry Week

It’s National Curry Week in October and so I thought I would share my chicken tikka masala recipe


I remember being really surprised back in 2001 when Robin Cook was on the news saying that Chicken Masala was a British national dish. Now the idea doesn’t seem strange at all, of course it is.   I also remember that there was a lot of fuss about whether it should have a ‘Protected Designation of Origin’, like Champagne.   Apparently Chicken Tikka has been around for thousands of years, some chicken emperor was frightened of choking on bones and insisted that his chicken was cut into small cubes.

The Masala bit is more contentious.  There’s a Mr Ahmed Aslam Ali from Glasgow who claims to have invented it in the 1970’s at his Shish Mahai restaurant.   The story goes that a customer complained that the Chicken Tikka was too dry, so they whipped up a sauce with some yoghurt and the national favourite was born.   Food historians in Delhi think this is a load of old masala and argue that the recipe has been around for hundreds of years.  Who knows.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Author: Mummy Barrow
Recipe type: Bit tricky, well for me anyway.
Cuisine: Anglo-Indian curry
Serves: Five

2 tbsp groundnut oil
12g butter
2 onions, roughly chopped with a pinch of salt
3tbsp tikka masala paste – bought or homemade
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
2tbsp tomato puree
100ml water
2tbsp mango chutney
75ml double cream
75ml natural yoghurt

1 Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Sweat down for fifteen minutes or until the onions are soft.
2. Add the masala paste and red pepper and cook for five more minutes.
3. Add the pieces of chicken and coat well in the paste. Pour the tomatoes, puree and 100ml of water over the chicken. Cover and gently simmer for fifteen minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
4. Stir through the chutney, cream and yoghurt.   Add salt and pepper to taste and heat through gently and serve at once with chopped fresh coriander, basmati rice, poppadoms or naan bread.


Are you celebrating National Curry Week?

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