Our Go To Meal

I don’t have much of a story behind the meal I am going to share today. It’s a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala, a basic Indian curry, that I found in a Cooks Illustrated magazine and I have tweaked it over the years into a family favorite. There are several reasons I love this meal.

1.-It’s cheap. It makes a little bit of chicken go a long way.

2.- It makes a ton of food. We often serve it when we have guests and we always seem to have leftovers.(not because they don’t like it!)

3.- It’s healthy. We often serve it over roasted cauliflower when we are watching our waistlines.

4. It is the only meal, besides Macaroni and Cheese, that all of my kids will eat without complaining.

5.- Did I mention my kids love it?

Whatever the reasons, I always seem to keep the ingredients for it in the house, so it’s what I decided to make this morning for a friend and her family who just had a baby. Here’s what you need.


Lest you think I always cook in this orderly fashion, think again. This might have been the only decent looking spot in my house this morning. I snapped that photo and then turned around and took this one right behind me. Just keepin’ it real folks.


Start with the chicken- 3 boneless skinless breasts should do it, although I have used chicken thighs with great success as well. Sprinkle the meat with salt, pepper-


And this.


This is your secret ingredient folks. Garam masala is a special curry blend you can find in your spice aisle. It’s good stuff.

Next, slather the chicken with plain yogurt. I used greek here, but any plain yogurt will do.


Stick this under your broiler until it looks like this.


Then set it aside. While the chicken is broiling, you can make the sauce. Get a good chunk of
fresh peeled ginger
5 or 6 cloves of garlic
one large onion.
You can chop all of it by hand, but I find it much easier and faster to use my food processor. Throw it all in there and push the button. Or chop by hand, your choice.



In a heavy bottomed pot, heat up a couple tablespoons of oil over medium heat and throw the onion mix in. Cook until slightly softened, 3-5 minutes. Then add 2 Tablespoons of both Garam Masala and Tomato Paste, and a spoonful of sugar to add a hint of sweetness.


Stir this all together until you can smell the spices blooming. Then simply add
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz. can of full fat coconut milk.

Adjust your seasonings, adding salt, pepper, and a little bit more garam masala if necessary. Then chop up your chicken and throw it in.



That’s it. I would show you a picture of how good it looks served up over rice, or couscous, or roasted cauliflower as the case may be, but I had to give this batch away in order to get some snuggle time with a sweet, dimpled baby girl.
It was a fair exchange.


7 thoughts on “Our Go To Meal

  1. Yum! I saw that you were taking this meal to them and wondered how you made it. I have a good recipe for ‘Butter Chicken’ which is kind of similar but it requires marinating overnight which I often forget to do!! I’m looking forward to trying this. Do you have a naan recipe you like?

  2. Have you ever had anyone say it was too spicy? I’m guessing not if all your kids love it, but once I bought garam masala from the bulk foods section at a Trader Joes-ish sort of place, and man ALIVE, was it spicy! I’m guessing there must be some variations from brand to brand? Anyhow, I’ll have to try it with McCormick instead of hippie-bulk off-brand! And I agree, the baby snuggle is the best part of bringing a new mom a meal!

    • Hey Christina,
      There are a ton of different blends out there and cayenne is an ingredient in some, but not this one. We don’t do spicy food around here much. In fact, the original recipe calls for a couple of jalapenos thrown in, but I omit them. You can also go on line and make your own mix- again, tons of recipes, but I like the McCormick

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