Chicken Tikka Masala with Saffron Rice and Garlic Naan

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Earlier I made a variant of hot chicken tikka kebabs made from select spices. Today's recipe is a popular south-Asian dish of this subcontinent. It's quite spicy and absolutely delicious. Traditionally, it is cooked in mud pots and tandoor which may not be available at your home. You must use basmati rice to get the best results including tender broiler chicken. All the ingredients (specifically spices) mentioned in this recipe are easily available in an Indian store. You can also add few veggies in the saffron rice if you prefer to add some local taste. Needless to say, this preparation tastes best when served fresh and hot. This rich main course meal is ideal for special events, parties and family functions.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Saffron Rice and Garlic Naan
Chicken Tikka Masala with Saffron Rice and Garlic Naan
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Classic chicken tikka masala with scrumptious naan and saffron rice platter

Enjoy this classic Indian preparation which consists of famous chicken tikka masala served with delicate saffron rice and butter drenched Indian naan.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • 1/2 tsp saffron strands
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion (sliced)
  • few drops of edible yellow color (optional)
  • 750 gm boneless chicken
  • 3 tsp red curry paste
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 big onions puree
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cumin seeds powder
  • 1/2 cup curd
  • 4 cups wheat flour
  • 8 to 10 mashed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 liter diluted butter milk
  • small bunch of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup mustard or groundnut oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Wash rice 2 to 3 times with cold water and keep aside.
  2. Take a large cooking pan with a thick base.
  3. Heat 2 to 3 tsp mustard oil in it.
  4. Add cumin seeds and let them crackle for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add sliced onions and saute till they turn light pink.
  6. Add rice and salt with 4 glasses of water.
  7. Simmer with a closed lid for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  8. Open the lid and add saffron strands with color. Stir for few seconds and close the lid again.
  9. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes more and switch off the flame.
  10. Cut chicken into 2" cubes and pierce them with a fork.
  11. Roast cinnamon stick and black cardamom in a flat pan and grind them into a fine powder.
  12. Take red curry paste in a bowl.
  13. Add whole spices powder created in the previous step with red curry paste.
  14. Add ginger garlic paste, onion puree, nutmeg powder, coriander seeds powder, turmeric powder, roasted cumin seeds powder, curd, 2 tsp mustard oil and salt in it.
  15. Mix all the ingredients well with a wooden spoon.
  16. Add pierced boneless chicken cubes in the marinade and coat them well with the spices.
  17. Let the pieces in the marinade and cover the bowl with aluminum foil.
  18. Refrigerate marinated chicken cubes for at least an hour.
  19. Preheat oven at 300 degrees.
  20. Arrange marinated chicken tikka cubes either on a grilling platter or use skewers.
  21. Grill them for about 6 to 7 minutes till they're done from all sides.
  22. Take wheat flour in a flat platter.
  23. Add mashed garlic cloves, 2 tsp mustard oil and pinch of salt in it.
  24. Slowly add buttermilk in small quantities and sift the flour.
  25. Make soft dough and cover with wet muslin cloth. Leave it for at least half an hour.
  26. Heat the oven at 180 degrees.
  27. Make flat triangle shaped naan and sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on it.
  28. Bake in oven till they turn light brown.
  29. Take a large serving plate and arrange saffron rice on one side.
  30. Top them with grilled chicken tikka cubes.
  31. Apply butter on naan and place them beside rice and chicken tikka.
  32. Serve hot with salad and a spicy stew.

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