I’m not really a follow-a-recipe person. However, I have a lot of difficulty duplicating my favorite Indian dish, Chicken Tikka Masala, and I came across a video of Gordon Ramsay, one of my favorite chefs, making the dish, so I decided to stick directly to his recipe.
Well sort of.
I have lots of pictures of this endeavor, so if you want to follow along, pull up the above recipe and watch my preparation.
While this was happening, I started cooking the cubed chicken breast in the same pan with some more oil.
Once the chicken was lightly colored, I added the puree and the curry leaves (I used fresh) to the same pan with the chicken.
Simultaneously, I cooked up some brown Basmati rice. I rinsed one cup of rice with cold water 4 times and allowed most of the water to drain away. I added this to a pot containing 2 cups of water, 2 pieces of star anise, and 3 cracked cardamom pods (Spiced donated from co-worker Deepu) along with some salt and pepper.
I covered this and cooked it on medium-low for about 35 minutes while I did everything else. I let it stand for about 5 minutes off the heat, removed the spice pods, and mixed the rice gently with a fork.
I also reheated some store-bought whole wheat naan bread in the oven. (Hey, I say get the help where you can.)
This turned out to be absolutely delicious.
This was the first time I ever got this dish to come out anywhere in the ballpark of appetizing.
It was a little bit of work. My low end blender isn’t perfect for pureeing the sauce, and I definitely stained it with the turmeric, but who cares? If I keep making this, which I will, the whole blender is gonna turn completely yellow one day anyway.
I think if I were to make any adjustments in the future, I would leave out the sugar, add more chile (I love hot and spicy food), and use a better chicken. This time, I used supermarket breasts which don’t have a ton of flavor. I think breast meat from a free range bird would bring much more flavor and depth to this, not that the various spices and yogurt do not already bring enough. It’s always good to think how to go that extra mile.
If you have not cooked Basmati rice with star anise and cardamom, I suggest that you start.