Gal’s Chicken Tikka Masala
You can go simple with just curry powder instead of the spices.
For the vegetarian option any vegetables will do. The easiest way to cook them is directly in the sauce, keeping in mind that they will be a bit mashed at some point.
If you’re willing to work a little, you can steam them or sauté them in a little oil before hand, and then serve them with the sauce. Tofu does well when broiled in the oven before serving with the sauce, it retains a firmer texture.
You can serve it with some fresh cilantro on top.
¾ cup raw cashews
2 cups boiling water
+ 2 cups water
1 large onion – finely chopped
1 inch / 3 cm fresh ginger – finely chopped
5 garlic cloves – finely chopped
a little oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 heaping Tablespoon tomato paste
Mix the spices:
1 ½ teaspoons each: paprika, coriander
1 teaspoon each: turmeric, cumin, sugar
¼ teaspoon each: cinnamon, cardamom, dried chili to taste
2 pounds / 1 kg chicken breast (or even better- tenders) – cubed
juice from half a lemon (in vegetarian version add the lemon to the sauce)
Soak the cashews in the boiling water for half an hour, or even all night. Transfer the cashew and soaking water to the blender and blend until you get a completely smooth milk. Let the blender run 1 to 2 minutes or as long as necessary.
Meanwhile mix the chicken with half the spices and the lemon juice. The spices will add flavor and the lemon will help to keep the chicken moist.
In a pot, with a little oil and salt, gently sauté the onion, ginger and garlic. When soft and fragrant add the tomato paste and spices (1/2 of the amount if you’re making a chicken dish) and cook for one minute.
Add the cashew milk to the pot + 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until it starts to thicken. (Vegetarian version will add the lemon now).
You can leave it like this, but I prefer blending it now (hand blender is great here) to get it completely smooth.
When the sauce has thickened add the spiced chicken cubes and cook for 20 minutes. Serve with rice.