Chicken Tikka Masala – the nation’s favourite. Many years ago it used to be one the favourites in my house. Then my youngest went veggie but missed the flavours of a good masala sauce. The problem with takeaways, and believe me there a lot of them round my way, is the sauce is too red as in unnaturally so, or it contains nuts. It would seem many of the restaurants buy in sauces prepared off site and so are unable to make the sauce to your liking. So after a few experiments I think I have come up with something that is pretty good and certainly goes down well but doubt it is authentic.
I apologise for the picture quality. It was late and everyone was hungry.
3-4 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 large onion – finely chopped
1 green chili – finely chopped (seeds removed if you don’t want it too hot)
1cm piece of ginger – finely chopped
1 clove garlic – finely chopped or crushed
1 tin/carton of pasata – or use chopped tomatoes and blend the sauce before adding the paneer
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
5-6 cardamom pods – remove the husks and crush the seeds inside
2-3 tablespoons natural yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
a little less than 1 teaspoon sugar
1 packet of paneer – cut into 1cm cubes
handful of coriander leaves – roughly chopped
Take a heavy saucepan and heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, chili, ginger, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and cardamom seeds and fry gently until soft. Add the tomatoes, salt and sugar, bring to boil then gently simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the paneer and coriander and leave to stand or on a low heat for 20 minutes or so to allow the paneer to absorb the flavours of the sauce. Add the yogurt and stir gently.
Serve with steamed Basmati rice