Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala with homemade Naan and Raita


We love Indian food around here. Well, we recently love Indian food around here. My husband has come to love spicy food over the past months and with that a love of Asian food, including Indian.

The weekly conversation in our house usually goes something like this,
me "Honey, what would you like to eat for dinners this week."
Michael "I don't care, whatever you make will be great."
me "come on, PLEASE help me out. I hate planning a menu! Just tell me what to cook!"
Michael "silence"

Our 2012 conversation:

me "Any idea what you want me to cook this week?"
Michael "Chicken Tikka Masala and naan"

I'm pretty sure that he would request this meal weekly if it wasn't for how much he complains about his stomach hurting after eating it. He always insists on eating seconds and thirds, even though he says one serving is plenty. I guess that says enough as to how good this dish is. And the best part.. it's made in the SLOW COOKER! There are a lot of spices, but don't let that freak you out. Throw everything in at breakfast, and dinner is ready when you are.

Don't be intimidated by making your own naan. Baking with yeast is not as scary as everyone thinks it is. Make sure the water is not too cold and not too hot, a little warmer than body temperature. The food processor does most of the work in this recipe. Give it a try. You will be so proud of yourself when you are serving fresh naan, right out of your oven.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
adapted from

Serves 4

Chicken Marinade

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne- you can decrease this if you don't like your food spicy or add more if you want a kick
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt

6-8 chicken thighs (skin on, bone-in)

Mix ingredients, except chicken, in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss with the marinade, cover and place in the fridge overnight.

1 can 28 oz. diced tomatoes
1 can 5.5 oz tomato paste (or if you have a 7oz jar, just use the whole thing. Nothing worse than have a tiny bit left in the jar!)
2 inches fresh ginger, grated (store your ginger in the freezer and it will be super easy to grate)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp tikka paste (I couldn't find this at Whole Foods, but guess who did?? Stop & Shop!)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried coriander

1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup cream- the original recipe calls for 1 cup, so if you don't care about fat or calories, add it all! I'm sure it tastes mighty good that way too.
1/4 cup tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Turn your oven to broil. Put chicken on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and place under the broiler about 6-10 inches from the heating element and broil on each side about 10 minutes, until the chicken gets all golden and charred on the edges.

While the chicken is broiling, in a pan over medium high heat, add two teaspoons of oil. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for a few more minutes. Place the mixture into your crockpot. To that, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garam masala, tikka paste, cumin, chili powder and coriander. Stir together. When the chicken is done broiling, add them straight to the slow cooker and stir everything together. Slow cook on low 6-8 hours.

Before serving stir in 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala and salt if needs it. Then stir in the cream and fresh cilantro. Serve with some white rice (Basmati would be traditional- Whole Foods also makes a white rice that is frozen and ready to heat just like the brown rice in my Kale Fried Rice post), naan and raita.


Naan (Indian flat bread)
adapted from "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman

makes 12 naan

2 tsp active yeast
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp sugar
4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour- plus flour for rolling out dough
1 egg
2 tsp kosher salt
canola oil for greasing bowl
4 tbsp butter or vegan butter, melted but still warm

Stir together yeast and 1/2 cup warm water (warmer than body temperature, around 100 degrees) in a liquid measuring cup with a spout. Once the yeast starts to bloom (which means to get foamy). Add in the milk, yogurt and sugar.

In a food processor, combine flour, egg and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Turn machine on and add the yeast liquid through the feed tube. Process for 30 seconds adding another 1 cup of water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is a little sticky to the touch.

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for a few seconds, until it forms a smooth round ball. Lightly grease a large bowl and place dough in and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm/sunny spot. Let rise, until doubled in size. About 1-2 hours.

Put either a pizza stone, or if you don't have one, a baking sheet on the bottom rack, set at the lowest position in the oven. Heat oven to 500. Punch dough down and on a well floured surface, roll ball out into a long snake. Tear or cut into 12 equal size pieces and roll into little balls. Let them rest, covered with a damp towel for 10 minutes.

Roll out each piece to an oval, about 8 x 4 inches. I don't even use a rolling pin. I just pull the piece into an oval roughly that size. The instructions at this point say to hold the oval in two hands and tug with one hand to shape into a teardrop. Easier said than done, but I don't think it really matters what shape these things are. Place naan on the baking stone. Cook on one side for 3 minutes than flip and cook for 2-3 more minutes. If the bread puffs up, I press the air out of then when I flip them.

Once they come out, keep them wrapped in a dish towel to stay warm. Once all are cooked, brush with the melted butter and a sprinkle with a little kosher salt.

If you don't want to cook all 12, refrigerate the remaining balls, wrapped in plastic wrap and sealed in a baggie. Cook them as you want. I like making fresh naan to go with with the Tikka Masala leftovers.

Raita (cucumber yogurt sauce)

serves 4

1 cup yogurt
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala

Mix all ingredients together and serve alongside the Tikka Masala.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Oh my goodness.. I am IMPRESSED! I have to admit, I'm a little afraid/ intimidated by Indian food. I'm always afraid I will not know what to order. This might be a great way to start! Gotta love the slowcooker, it's a cook's dream!

    1. LOVE my slow cooker! Nothing better than a perfectly cooked piece of chicken that is just falling off the bone. Yum! You should definitely give this a go... And when it comes to ordering Indian, I have found that everything tastes sort of the same, so you really can't go wrong. I just go with trial and error! Let me know if you have luck!