Tikka, Saffron, Cinnamon, boo ya!
I was organizing my fridge, and I came across two things: yogurt that just expired and 2 chicken breasts that was to expire the next day. Uh oh.
Well, it seemed serendipitous - I just tweeted an intense craving for Indian and had not eaten any since Banjara's disappointing meal. I ended up with a delicious dinner of Tikka Masala and Basmati rice infused with saffron, cinnamon, and excitement!
4 Delicious Servings
Adapted from Family Oven
4 Delicious Servings
shallots (finely chopped)
cremini mushrooms (finely chopped)
minced garlic cloves
Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala
Step 1: Prepare Marinade
|In a bowl, combine everything under "Marinade". Ignore the onion and garlic in the picture - even though I marinated it with the chicken, it makes more sense to leave it for later.|
Step 2: Refrigerate overnight, or freeze
|If you would like to freeze for future use, pack the chicken in ziplock bags and pop it into the freezer. I'm a huge fan of pre-marinating chicken. That way, I have delicious chicken that I can defrost and cook when life gets busy!|
Step 3: Fry
|In a large saucepan, fry everything except for the marinated chicken, yogurt, cilantro, and canned tomatoes over medium heat. Stir gently for about 10 minutes, when the shallots are translucent and fragrant.|
|Add tomatoes and yogurt. I used Liberté because it's thick and creamy. Thanks for the rec, M :-)|
|Add chicken (defrosted if you froze it), and simmer gently until cooked (15-20 minutes)|
The coconut milk was an unexpected addition (notice it's absence in the ingredients picture above). Why? As I reached for the can of tomatoes in my pantry, it was knocked over and smacked me in the face. I'm assuming the counter caused the dent...but who knows. Maybe I have a sharp face. Either way, it's not safe to keep dented cans around so I used it!
|Stir through half a can of coconut milk and freshly chopped coriander. Taste, and adjust spices to your taste if necessary.|
Step 1: Soak Saffron
The colour will intensify over time
|Why soak the rice?|
You don't have to - if you're in a rush or impatient, skip this step. It helps protect the rice from scorching and sticking together later on.
|Step 3: Cinnamon sticks, cloves, and olive oil|
|Choose a pan/pot that can easily contain the amount of rice you're cooking and has a lid.|
Heat oil/butter and add cinnamon sticks and cloves. Stir well
|Step 4: Sauté onions, mushrooms, and garlic|
|Sauté onions, mushroom, and garlic until the onion is translucent - about 2 minutes.|
Step 5: Add basmati rice
|Add rice, and stir for about 5 minutes - the grains will start to look translucent. If you leave it in a little longer, it will toast the grains a little - an added flavour and texture that you may or may not enjoy (I do). But be careful not to burn them.|
|Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 25 minutes. Take a peek halfway through to see if you have enough water in there (every pot is different! Be careful the first time so you learn from expereince).|
|Fluff, remove cloves and cinnamon sticks or use them as garnish. If it wasn't so darn expensive, I'd suggest sprinkling saffron for presentation...so I used cilantro.|
Dinner is served!
This was excellent. I loved the flavour and it was perfect with my coconut-tikka masala. The colour and fragrance was so pleasant, and the aroma filled my apartment when I re-heated left overs. I thought about adding other vegetables (baby spinach, peas, and finely chopped broccoli came to mind) but I think I would lose the flavour of the cardamom and saffron. Thoughts? However, I do think that cauliflower would work very well!
Cooking with saffron was a new experience - I will definitely be using it again!