I made this dish in early December, while I had already begun my pre-holiday goal of eating healthier and dropping some pounds. Time, and my appetite setback, got in the way of posting this. Now that I can enjoy looking at food again, I'm happy to share this recipe with you. While organizing the photos, I could recall how much I loved the flavor of this dish. I had bookmarked this Cook's Illustrated recipe several months ago and then I stumbled across it again. Per Cook's Illustrated, "authentic versions call for a 24-hour marinade and a tandoor, a traditional beehive-shaped clay oven—requirements that keep the dish mainly in the realm of restaurants." In the method of CI that I love so much, they set out to reinvent this Indian classic into a recipe that could be made year-round in the oven. This is how they did it:
Tikka Masala dish, I wasn't familiar with garam masala. According to CI, "Though there are countless variations of garam masala, the warm flavors (garam means “warm” or “hot” and masala means “spice blend”) dominating this Indian spice blend are consistent: black pepper, dried chiles, cinnamon, cardamom, and coriander are staples, while cloves, cumin, fennel, mace, and nutmeg frequently turn up as supporting players." Finding this spice blend has become much easier. I found mine at my local supermarket.
You also need chili powder and cumin...
There's a little more prep work to go-- you need the juice of two limes, freshly minced garlic and ginger...
Using sharp knife, lightly score skinned side of each piece of chicken, making 2 or 3 shallow cuts about 1 inch apart and about 1/8 inch deep; transfer to bowl. The prep work took me about 30 minutes, between washing my hands a lot while taking photos. Ready?
The aroma is packed with so much flavor! We're just getting started...
In large bowl, combine remaining garlic-spice mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, and salt. I didn't photograph the next step of using my hands to gently massage salt-spice mixture into chicken until all pieces are evenly coated; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.(It's a bit messy and I didn't want to get my camera all dirty.) Pour yogurt mixture over chicken and toss until chicken is evenly coated with thick layer.
Arrange chicken pieces, scored-side down, on wire rack set in foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan.
Discard excess yogurt mixture.
Transfer chicken pieces to plate as they reach correct temperature.) After removing chicken from oven, turn oven to broil and heat 10 minutes.
The broiler is ready...
brown basmatic rice with garam masala and some other delicious aromatics.
In closing, here's a bit of personal sharing on my newly diagnosed Type II diabetes. (Feel free to skip this paragraph and go to the recipe card, and I won't feel offended.) I'm on a very new type of medicine that I need to inject once a day, called Victoza. Having watched my son inject himself with insulin for the last twelve years, I had no problem learning how to inject myself with Victoza. The drugs works great, in that my glucose levels are normal again. The side effects, though, reminded me of morning sickness when I was pregnant in 1988. The nausea has pretty much calmed down, but I just don't feel hungry most of the time. I'm very blessed to have Dr. Allen King as my endocrinologist. Dr. King is one of the foremost experts on diabetes, and his office is in my hometown. He is the author of The Diabetic Bible, and I trust his knowledge of this disease. Emotionally, I'm okay. While I fully understand that Diabetes is not caused by obesity, and it's a genetic predisposition-- my goal is to lose enough weight with the hope that I won't need to take medication. Dr. King says we'll take that one day at a time. In the meantime, I'm doing my water aerobics at least four days a week, and some weight training with a personal trainer.
Thanks for listening.
I can still eat the things I love, by the way. I'm not giving up baking, nor nibbling on a home baked cookie or two. The word "moderation" has taken on a meaning as a healthier way of life. I can do this! Heck, I'm doing it now!
I have been unable to visit my favorite food blogs for weeks-- and I apologize if I haven't personally responded to those of you who have left such kind comments for me. Believe me, I want to. Work has been very busy for me, and I pretty much hit the sack shortly after I arrive home at the end of my night shift.
I'm going to try and post more recipes, to make up for my absence. I've miss you guys!
To your health (and mine),