Here is what I think; I think that to be a good cook or a genuine cook, you don’t have to be a cook who never uses cheats. Every now and then, I do, and there is simply nothing wrong with it. When I have a hectic day or I am just too lazy to cook or I am just not in the mood of cooking at all, food cheats are my rescue pods. This recipe is just one of those cheats I am actually very proud of. Of course, that being said, the ingredients are not mine to claim rather what’s interestingly mine, is the innovation and fusion of those ingredients. So, that fusion of spices is definitely my tag.
Okay, so, let me tell you about those cheats first: coming from an Asian background or anyone for that matter, would be very familiar with Masala or Spice blends sold in the super-markets. Every major food retailer carries them now, so it will not be any hassle at all to get your hands on them. For this dish in particular I used two different spice blends i.e. Tandoori Masala and Tikka Boti Masala. I will come back to the recipe in a bit but prior to that let me tell you how the flavour are incorporated and fused together to make one divine flavour. You will wipe your dinner plate clean, trust me.
How I came up with this was honestly an experiment and let’s just say that to my surprise the collision of flavours did not result in an accident. I do know that when Bill Gates said “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job, because he will find an easy way to do it”, that lazy person was me that day, finding an easy way out of cooking. So, I’m going through the spices in my pantry and I stumble across these two spice blends and each one is not enough to use in a curry and I’m thinking and thinking and I’m hating the fact that I’ll have to whip up something that I have to make from scratch for dinner, and then I saw these two smiling at me. So I took out my meat and I marinated it with the spice blends for 4 hours (least it should be for 2 hours to get all the flavours infused) and I read a book whilst it was marinating away. I had no idea how they would marry each other but the harmony was surprisingly outstanding.
What I love is the fact how casual this recipe is yet when you serve it it looks effortlessly extravagant. It looks so tempting with the cream and red onion and corriander garnish and its deep amber colour, it’s a sight, something you might serve to royal Maharaja’s in their palace perhaps. It just looks that way. The kick, however, comes from the smoked coal, it augments the flavours of the dish in a way so as to seem its better-half; that simply without it the curry seems bland and incomplete. Oh my! How only the thought of this curry with its deliciously rich aroma makes me salivate.
The great thing is, when I have friends over and I want to have more than a couple of dishes at my dinner table, this recipe is my go to recipe. It’s effortless and it doesn’t consume time. The day of the dinner party this is the first to get marinated, covered and rested in the fridge and once it’s time to cook it takes 40 minutes and you are done. On my dinner tables my friends can’t have enough of this, it’s an awe. So next time you have unexpected guests or you are plain and simple not in the mood, this will save you, literally.
Okay let me come back to the infusion of both spice blends; trust me when I say, only and only these two spices will compliment each other. How do I know that you may ask? I have been intrigued for experimenting with others and have failed miserably. So let’s keep it plain and simple for everyone’s palate sake.
This is accompanied by Naan Bread or can be eaten with Pita, which ever you fancy. Me, I make the Naan Bread at home for this (recipe I’ll be sharing in my later blog).
Lastly, here’s the thing; if you can’t find Tikka Boti Masala, that’s okay, life goes on, and as Dory says “just keep swimming”, omit it and just use the Tandoori Masala on its own. It will still taste amazing.
Oscar Wilde says and I quote “after a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even ones own relations” (A woman of No importance) and I truly believe this is that exact dinner. Don’t just take my word for it and give it a try today.
1 kg skinless chicken cut into 8/10 pieces
5 tbsp Oil
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 tsp salt
3 heaped tbsp of Tandoori Masala
1 heaped tbsp of Tikka Boti Masala
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup cream
1 cup milk
2 red onions cut in rings
Coriander to garnish
Coal to smoke
- Marinate the chicken pieces with yogurt, ginger garlic paste, salt, lemon juice, tandoori and tikka Boti Masala.
- Marinate this for atleast 2 hours to 4 hours.
- Heat oil in a pan and pour the chicken in.
- Let it cook in its own juices on medium high heat for about 12 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and milk.
- Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for another 15-18 minutes on medium low heat.
- Once you see the oil has separated and the chicken is done, turn the heat off.
- Sprinkle coriander on top and the onion rings.
- Pour cream on top as well.
- Heat the coal and smoke the gravy.
- Serve with Naan or Rice.
Happy eating ~