Monday, 1 February 2010
I have a bit of a cheat today! I was bemoaning the fact that, although I have lots of 'authentic' Indian cookery books, I had yet to find a recipe with that lovely thick gravy that the supermarkets are able to produce. My friend recommended Jamie Oliver's Chicken Tikka Masala, and said that it changed the way he cooked curries.
So, I tried it on my family - and, tadaaah, it worked!
I tried it on Friday night with vegetables instead of chicken, and it was delicious. Just make sure you add enough salt (yes, but I don't use salt much in anything else!) and I have reduced the amount of cream. The secret ingredient is a handful of ground almonds, which transform the sauce from watery to lovely and thick.
Jamie Oliver's Chicken Tikka Masala
6 cloves garlic, crushed
7cm ginger, finely grated
2 fresh red chillies, chopped finely
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
3 tbsp garam masala
150g natural yoghurt
4 medium chicken breasts, cut into large chunks (or lots of cooked veg., or paneer cheese)
1 tbsp butter
2 medium onions, sliced
2 tbsp tomato puree
a small handful of ground almonds
75ml double cream
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
juice of 1-2 limes
Mix the garlic, ginger and chillies in a bowl. Heat some oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add them to the garlic mixture along with the paprika, cumin, coriander and 2 tbsp of the garam masala. Put half this mixture into a bowl, add the yoghurt and the chicken and leave for half an hour or so.
Melt the butter or ghee and add the onions and the remaining half of the spice mix. Cook gently for 15 minutes. Add the tomato puree, the almonds, half a litre of water and 1/2 tsp of salt (more if you like).
Griddle or grill the chicken until cooked through.
Warm the sauce, add the cream and the other tbsp of garam masala, taste and season if necessary. As soon as it boils, add the chicken and serve, as Jamie says, with a 'huge bowl of steaming basmati rice, some poppadums and lots of cold beer!'
Extract from 'jamie's dinners' by Jamie Oliver (2004)
This is such a lovely book, a real 'home' cookbook. I love Jamie; he has done so much to rescue our everyday food and make it easy for it to become special and he is my number one inspiration. In my opinion, he deserves to be sainted for his work with schools, what dedication to keep going despite the HUGE mountain he had to climb; all that old, old energy and belief systems! Love ya, Jamie!!
Check him out at www.jamieoliver.com