I was toying around with calling this ‘Cheat’s Sweet Chicken Tikka Masala’ but thought it sounded like it was only meant for those who partake in dalliances outside of their relationship; as opposed to opening a jar and having dinner ready quickly. So I settled on ‘Easy Sweet Chicken Tikka Masala’ – no ambiguity.Jump to Recipe
And I did just that – that latter of course – I opened a jar. Ready-made curry pastes make cooking Indian curries convenient and fast. Instead of a laundry list of various spices, someone has taken done the work for you. A few spoonfuls and joosh up the curry with a veg or two; aromatics by way of garlic or ginger; fresh herbs such as mint or cilantro (coriander) and creamy elements such as cream and yogurt. I used Patak’s Chicken Tikka Masala curry paste – not the sauce. The paste contains all those spices that give a good curry its hedonistic aroma and flavor but allowing the consumer to add their own spin.
The curry paste can be found in some grocery stores in America or buy it online like I do. I buy everything else online, groceries are no exception. The last jar I bought was from Amazon. As was the mango chutney also used in this curry and as a condiment to serve. (Amazon are out of stock but other places sell it; click on the chutney link I supplied.) If you’re lucky enough to have a spice market or Indian grocery, they’ll have the curry paste, mango chutney and other goodies.
My favorite thing about curry night, is the condiments and other sides served with the curry: chutney, yogurt, pickles and pappadums. For the life of me I don’t understand why America hasn’t embraced this crunchy, big chip-like Indian staple as so many other countries have. They need to. Pappadums are made from chick pea flour, rice flour or lentil flour and have about 600 variations of spelling. I brought these pappadums back from Australia. The whole top of my suitcase, covered in 2 layers of boxes. I love them. And although they’re best when cooked in oil, for convenience I zap one in the microwave for 45 seconds. When I was in England visiting my family in the latter part of last year, my cousin Robert and his family took me for a few curries to a restaurant right beside Lincoln Castle called Castle View Indian Cuisine. The food was fabulous; the location stunning. I’d always had pappadums served with the curries but my family had them as an appy with chutneys, yogurt and other little dishes of condiments. I like that idea too.
I threw in fresh cauliflower and peas from the freezer but add what veg you have at home. Little potatoes, broccoli, squash, spinach and eggplant all good substitutes. Just limit the veg to two. I also added broth, cream,yogurt, garlic, mint, chick peas (not essential but good and they make it go further, lentils would also work), mango chutney and chicken, oh and butter. So easy. Really yummy. Fast. Guess I could of called it ‘curry in a hurry’. No? Take care, toodles, Lovoni
EASY SWEET CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
- 2 tablespoons butter, ghee or canola oil
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed about 4
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons tikka masala curry paste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup cream
- 3 tablespoons mango chutney, plus extra for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
- 15 oz can chick peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt, plus extra for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped mint, plus extra for garnish
- steamed basmati rice, pappadums & lemon wedges, to serve
- Melt the butter in a pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes until softened.
- Add the chicken, garlic and curry paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add tomato paste, broth, cream, chutney and salt. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. (This is to give the chicken a head-start cooking.)
- Add the cauliflower and chick peas. Cook, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the cauliflower is tender but still holding its shape.
- Add the peas, yogurt and mint. Stir gently until combined. Cook, covered, for 3 minutes until the peas are hot. Serve with rice, pappadums, lemon wedges, mango chutney and yogurt. Garnish with extra mint.