Food: Homemade chicken tikka masala (with secret veg sauce)

 
Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala with secret veg sauce
Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala with secret veg sauce

I adore a curry. I never don't want to eat curry. I'd even eat it for breakfast if my husband didn't frown upon it quite so much. So it was pretty important to me that I get my children to like Indian food. This is the perfect starter curry - it's mild and sweet, although you could quickly spice it up with a bit of fresh red chilli.

I found serving naan bread on the side really helped coax the boys into trying it - at least bread is familiar and plain if it all gets a bit much. I mix the rice and the curry together for them to avoid them just eating rice and they really love it.

If you haven't gone to the trouble of making the secret veg sauce I posted last week you can easily make this with a can of tomatoes - it just won't have the extra veg in it, obviously.

Oh and I use full fat natural yogurt instead of cream. One because it's healthier and really doesn't taste much different, and two because I'm much more likely to have yogurt in my fridge, which makes this a bit of a store cupboard supper - no fancy ingredients required - just a few basic spices.

This recipe is adapted from one by Annabel Karmel.

To make it for yourself you will need:

For the chicken 2 chicken breasts 6 tbsp natural yogurt (I use Yeo Valley full fat natural yogurt) 1/2 tsp grated ginger (I often use lazy ginger for ease - and because it doesn't moulder away in your veg box, or fuzz up your microplane grater and take ages grate). 1tsp mild curry powder (I'm currently using a korma one - but I might move on up to a tikka one soon too spice things up little for the wee ones)

For the sauce A knob of butter and a splash of olive oil 1 finely chopped onion 1 heaped tsp garam masala 1/4 tsp ground coriander 1/2 tsp grated ginger 1 tbsp tomato puree 1 x 400g portion of secret veg sauce (or tinned tomatoes) 200ml chicken stock 1tbsp runny honey 150ml full fat natural yogurt (you could go healthier and use 0% yogurt but the sauce is likely to split -which tastes fine, but looks a bit ugly - or you could max out the calories and swap in double cream) 1tbsp lemon juice

Serves 4

Method

Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala with secret veg sauce
Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala with secret veg sauce

Slice up your chicken breasts. Mix together the marinade ingredients and throw in your chicken. Ideally leave to marinate for a minimum of two hours and if possible over night. But if like me you haven't had time to be that organised 30 minutes is just fine.

Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala with secret veg sauce
Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala with secret veg sauce

While your chicken is getting all tasty. Melt the butter with the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions for five minutes or so until soft. Add the garam masala, coriander and ginger and cook for another five minutes. Add the tomato puree, veg sauce, stock and honey and simmer for 15 minutes.

Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala with secret veg sauce
Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala with secret veg sauce

Meanwhile preheat your grill and line a baking sheet with foil. Put your chicken pieces on the tray and cook under the grill for  8-10 minutes, turning halfway, until cooked through. I tend to leave quite a bit of marinade on mine for added flavour - especially if they've only had half and hour in in. (Sorry there is no handy pic of this - but honestly there is no way to make bits of chicken look pretty!) You'll have some marinade left over so if you have a spare chicken breast stick it in there and then cook in the same way. It's lovely for lunch in a wrap with spinach, thin cucumber sticks and yogurt mixed with mango chutney. Anyway I digress.

With the sauce over a low heat stir through the yogurt and then fold in the chicken pieces. Spritz in some lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with some basmati rice, naan bread, poppadoms and mango chutney. Chill any leftovers and have them for lunch (or breakfast if there is no one watching).

Chicken tikka masala with hidden veg
Chicken tikka masala with hidden veg

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Homemade chicken tikka masala with secret veg sauce

Ingredients

For the chicken 2 chicken breasts 6 tbsp natural yogurt 1/2 tsp grated ginger 1tsp mild curry powder

For the sauce A knob of butter and a splash of olive oil 1 finely chopped onion 1 heaped tsp garam masala 1/4 tsp ground coriander 1/2 tsp grated ginger 1 tbsp tomato puree 1 x 400g portion of secret veg sauce (or tinned tomatoes) 200ml chicken stock 1tbsp runny honey 150ml full fat natural yogurt 1tbsp lemon juice

Serves 4

Method

Slice up your chicken breasts. Mix together the marinade ingredients and throw in your chicken. Ideally leave to marinate for a minimum of two hours and if possible over night (or 30 minutes if time is tight).

Melt the butter with the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions for five minutes or so until soft. Add the garam masala, coriander and ginger and cook for another five minutes. Add the tomato puree, veg sauce, stock and honey and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat your grill and line a baking sheet with foil. Put your chicken pieces on the tray and cook under the grill for  8-10 minutes, turning halfway, until cooked through. I tend to leave quite a bit of marinade on mine for added flavour - especially if they've only had half and hour in in.

With the sauce over a low heat, stir through the yogurt and then fold in the chicken pieces. Spritz in some lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with some basmati rice, naan bread, poppadoms and mango chutney.