January 11, 2011

chicken tikka masala and naan

David and I love Indian food. We've searched high and low for a good place here in San Diego and have been really disappointed with the "best Indian restaurants". Overpriced, small portions or low quality food. My whole pregnancy with William I just craved some delicious lamb tikka masala and garlic naan and my craving was never satisfied with what San Diego had to offer. Any recommendations?

I made this chicken tikka masala recipe last week and it was very good! It was a little creamy for my taste and just a bit too spicy so I made a couple of adjustments. I actually prefer using lamb instead chicken for tikka masala but I don't really have lamb at my disposal or in my budget. C'est la vie (or whatever they say in Hindi)! I also decided to be adventurous and make naan. It wasn't as hard as I thought but it sure made the house smoky! If I make this again, I'll use clarified butter (or "ghee") so it won't smokify my house.
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Tikka Masala Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Combine all marinade ingredients except chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 8 hours. Grill or cook chicken in frying pan (be sure to get a lot, but not all, of the marinade off the chicken before cooking). Discard marinade.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for one minute. Add cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve over hot rice.
1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
clarified butter, for frying

In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. Stir in the flour, salt, oil, yogurt and egg and stir. Knead until you have a soft, pliable dough. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size; about an hour.
Divide the dough into 6 - 8 pieces and on a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a thin circle or oval. Cook each naan in a nice hot skillet drizzled with clarified butter until blistered and cooked, flipping as necessary. When the surface has big blisters and is golden on the bottom, flip it over and cook until golden on the other side. Spread with butter before serving and add chopped garlic and herbs, if desired.


  1. This looks so delicious...I'm going to have to try it. I have a friend who makes naan all the time, but I just haven't tried it myself yet. I love the recipes you post, by the way....you inspire me!

  2. Wow! This sounds amazing.... I will give it a try!

  3. we LOVE chicken tikka and naan at out house, so i am so going to try your version ASAP... oh- the naan does very good things on a grill or panini pan too- not that you need a tip, but we like it like that. maybe when i live in SD we can have an indian food party...:)

  4. I've never been a big Indian food fan, but this recipe intrigued me so I made it tonight. We loved it! I doubled the sauce recipe (because I love sauce). Thanks for the yumminess.

  5. A longgg time ago you posted a picture of a menu board with this dish on it and I have been patiently awaiting a recipe! Thank you thank you! We have tried several at home recipes and liked none of them. My husband Dan and I are obsessed with Indian food. Have you ever been to The Bombay House in Utah? It is hands down the best! Dan and I often fantasize about having an apt. above with a food elevator and unlimited indian food at our finger tips! We have gone to several Indian restaurants in California and the best we have had is Spice Avenue in Santa Barbara. So if you ever make it up there try it out! Thanks again for the recipe! Oh and I always want to comment on amazingly adorable William is but never do! He's the cutest! I'm a sucker for red heads :)

  6. I've never commented before, but I could not hold back letting you know how great this recipe was. We've now made it twice and it is spectacular. My wife and I are big foodies, so your recipes have been a go-to when it comes to good food.

  7. OK, I made this tonight for dinner. I, too, doubled the sauce. DELICIOUS! Kids loved it too. Who knew naan was so simple.

  8. DELICIOUS! Thank God I doubled the sauce, the kids loved it. Who knew naan was so simple to make. I will definitely make this again and again.

  9. I made this tonight for our family and it was a great dish. The thing about this recipe that is great is that most people have all the spices in their pantry. A great meal!

  10. i made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS! Really really good. 2 adjustments, i would add a mined garlic clove and more salt to the naan bread recipe or actually to the clarified butter as you 'cook' it in the pan. But it was really yummy and pretty simple. A real hit with everyone. And I added a whole other can of diced tomatoes to the masala sauce, in addition to the tomato sauce, to make more and it was SOO good. I highly recommend you try this recipe!

  11. Next time you're in San Diego, check out Punjabi Tandoor. The ambience isn't the best but the food is good!


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