Chicken Tikka Masala

Traditionally, I’m told, this is served with plain yogurt and naan. I like to pair it with peas. It can be made with chicken or with tofu. If you’re going to make it with chicken AND tofu, make two batches of the marinade and marinate them in separate bags.

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons salt, or to taste

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts -OR- 2 1-lb blocks of firm tofu, drained and pressed, cut into bite-size pieces

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, and spices. Stir in chicken or tofu, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Tomato-Cream Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Heat a grill. If using wood skewers, soak them while the grill heats up. 
Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard leftover marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side. 
Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic for 1 minute. Add spices. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro. 


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