My kids are picky.
I mean seriously picky.
A lot has to do with sensory processing issues, and the rest from sheer stubbornness I think.   I really don’t understand it at all because as a kid I lived to try new foods.  My brother and I would beg for octopus or artichokes.  Things that I really didn’t know other kids didn’t want too.
One thing my picky kids do like is Indian Food.   (Go figure.)  I guess the vegetables are sometimes so well hidden or changed with spices that they forget they are there?
Anyway, we have had a long weekend compounded with a snow day and we were all bored of the same old food, so I decided to make Chicken Tikka Masala for lunch yesterday.
FYI, after a bit of research I realized that Indian Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala are actually the same thing, just in Butter Chicken the meat is usually left over and cut into cubes!  

I came up with this recipe.  I made it a bit on the un-spicy side because I wanted the younger three to enjoy it.  (Also left out onions which most recipes have.) I love Penzey’s spices and order most of my spices from them online.  Their Tandoori Spice worked really well in this dish because it had much of what I wanted and nothing extra: coriander, cumin, sweet paprika, garlic, ginger, cardomom, and saffron.  *FOR A VEGETARIAN OPTION YOU COULD USE ROASTED POTATOES, SQUASH, OR CAULIFLOWER INSTEAD OF THE CHICKEN.

bottle of Penzey's Tandoori Seasoning
*And no I’m not sponsored by Penzey’s, but would love to be! 🙂
                  This is what I call “Chicken Quickka Tikka Masala.”
Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

My version of Chicken Tikka Masala and/or Indian Butter Chicken.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 8
Author: Panamamama

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs boneless chicken cut into cubes I like thigh meat but breast is good too!

Marinade

  • 1 cup plain yogurt I like Fage Greek Yogurt
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 clove garlic chopped and pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Penzey's Tandoori Seasoning

Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Penzey's Tandoori Seasoning (more or less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika good quality
  • 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 16 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream (Can substitute with coconut cream)
  • Kosher Sea Salt
  • Pepper

Garnishes

  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Plain yogurt

Instructions

  • Put cut meat into marinade and let sit overnight in refrigerator or at least while you cook the sauce and make the naan.

To make the sauce:

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the spices.
  • Cook a minute or two until fragrant, then add 1 cup of water and tomato paste, stirring until well blended.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and about a cup more water.
  • Take off the heat and carefully puree in the blender.
  • Put back in saucepan and simmer while meat cooks.
  • When meat is almost done add cream, butter, and salt & pepper to sauce and stir and simmer until time to add the meat. (See meat instructions below.)

Meat:

  • In a hot cast iron skillet with 2 Tablespoons of oil cook marinated meat over medium high heat.
  • Stir frequently and cook until meat is thoroughly cooked.
  • Place cooked meat in finished sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro and a dollop of yogurt.
  • Serve with basmati rice and fresh naan!

It was really easy and turned out great!  And best of all… EVERYONE ate it! *I don’t have a “go to” naan recipe yet.  I just googled “naan” and made one.  I’ll try and get a good one and post it later!

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