As of late, us NorCo CrossFit girls have had an obsession with Taj Mahal - the best Indian food this side of, well, India. One of our favorite dishes is the Chicken Tikka Masala. I decided to have a go at it Paleo-style, as I always suffer a terrible food-hangover after we dine at our favorite little location. It turned out fantabulous. And while there is a long list of ingredients, it is actually very easy to make. So...TRY IT!
Chicken Tikka Masala
1 cup coconut milk (from the can - use Thai Kitchen brand WITH the fat)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP fresh ginger, grated (I was out of ginger root, so subbed 1 tsp ground ginger spice)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground tumeric
Sea Salt and Pepper
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can use breasts too, but thighs are cheaper)
Sea salt and pepper
3 TBSP olive oil
1/4 cup blanched almonds, whole
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 TBSP garam masala
1 1/2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 - 35 oz can peeled tomatoes, finely chopped, juices reserved
1 cup coconut milk (from can)
Combine marinade ingredients in large tupperware container. Make a few shallow slashes in each piece of chicken, add to marinade, turn to coat, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to broil and position rack about 8 inches from heat. Remove chicken from marinade and scrape off as much marinade as possible. Season chicken with sea salt and pepper. Line baking sheet with foil and spread chicken pieces on baking sheet. Broil chicken, turning once or twice, until just cooked through and browned in spots...about 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 2 inch pieces.
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and stir constantly until golden...about 5 minutes. Transfer almonds to plate and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, place in food processor and pulse until finely ground.
In large casserole dish (preferably cast iron), heat remaining olive oil. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and saute until tender and golden...about 8 minutes. Add the garam masala, chile powder, and cayenne and cook for an additional minute. Add tomatoes and juices, salt and pepper. Cover partially and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened...about 20 minutes. Add coconut milk and ground almonds and cook over low heat for about 10 additional minutes. Stir in chicken, simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Serve with Curry "Rice"