Thursday, February 9, 2012

Slow Cooker Tikka Masala

I have never had the pleasure of eating Indian food. Or cooking it, for that matter. And to be honest, I was a little skeptical. Skeptical until I saw it was topped with a generous amount of cilantro. Have I ever mentioned I love cilantro?

This Slow Cooker Tikka Masala was absolutely fantastic! I wasn't home when the family ate it, but as soon as I walked through the door my 12 year old told me dinner was "Soooo good!" My sweet hubby said he really enjoyed it as well and that all the kids ate it without a complaint. I think that makes my first Indian food cooking experience a success!

It was lick-the-bowl good!

For the chicken:
9 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup butter
1 whole jalapeno pepper, stem removed and pierced several times with a sharp knife
For the sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons garam masala
1 (2 to 3 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 (15 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 ½ cup heavy cream

Cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1- 1 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle the coriander, cumin and salt over the chicken, then stir in the yogurt until all the pieces are evenly coated. Cover lightly and let sit for 10 minutes before proceeding.

Melt 1 tablespoon the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Raise the heat to medium high and quickly brown about 1/4 of the chicken. Transfer browned chicken to the slow cooker as it is finished, using 1 tablespoon of butter per batch, and repeat until the chicken is all in the slow-cooker. Throw the pierced jalapeno in on top of the chicken.

Prepare the sauce. Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and kosher salt, then stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to lightly brown around the edges.

Stir in the garam masala and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute) before raising the heat to high and adding the crushed tomatoes and raw sugar. Stir well, scraping the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow-cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours, or until the chicken is very tender.

Use a fork or whisk to stir the cornstarch into the heavy cream until smooth. Pour into the slow-cooker and stir gently until the color is even. Replace the lid and let cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.

Serve over hot rice and peas, topped with a generous amount of chopped cilantro.

Recipe from Tasty Kitchen.

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