Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chicken Tikka (kind of) with spicy cauliflower & cashews, melon salad and raita


I know, I don't usually write recipes with multiple components. Maybe I should though, because lately I've been gravitating towards those kinds of recipes myself. I'm often so tired and with so little fantasy for menu planning, and it's really nice to get suggestions for things that go together. This recipe, just like many others I've been posting recently, was adapted from Samantha Larsen's cookbook. It's built just like that - around meals, rather than individual dishes. Just the thing for this mama! As always, the measurements and ingredients vary slightly from the original, to make this my own - and I encourage you to do the same.

It's certainly not the most authentic Indian Chicken Tikka Masala. I know that! But bear with me and try this - it's delicious. And do make the sides, at least the spicy cauliflower & cashew because that was just wonderful. In fact, I can't wait to make it again.

I know this looks like an awfully long recipe,  but don't despair.

Chicken Tikka (kind of) 
4 chicken breasts

100 ml yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp garam masala
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red chili, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée

1/2 tbsp neutral oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
400 ml (1 can) crushed tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
300 ml cream
3 tbsp apricot preserves
lemon juice to taste

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, and let the chicken rest in it for at least an hour.

For the sauce, heat the oil (I use canola) in a heavy saucepan. Add the spices and fry on medium heat until very fragrant. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add the tomatoes and the chicken stock cube and cook for ten minutes. Add the cream and cook for another five minutes and then finally the apricot preserves. Season with salt and some lemon juice.

When ready to cook, heat some oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken before removing to a roasting pan. Cover with the sauce and cook in the oven, at 175°C, for about 20 minutes.

Serve with rice and some fresh bread. (And all of the following sides, if you wish.)


Spicy Cauliflower & Cashews
1 small head of cauliflower
1 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, in fine wedges
100 ml cashew nuts
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp mango chutney
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Divide the cauliflower into small florets. Heat the oil and fry the spices and the florets on medium heat for five minutes. Add the onions and cashews and fry for a few more minutes. Stir in the mango chutney, and finally the coriander. Season with salt and pepper if you wish.


Melon Salad with cucumber
1 small cantaloupe melon
1/2 cucumber
large handful fresh mint, chopped
1 lime
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp canola oil

Peel and seed both melon and cucumber. Cut into large dice. Zest the lime, and stir together with the juice, brown sugar, oil and mint. Toss with the cucumber and melon.


300 ml yogurt
1/2 tsp dried mint
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garam masala

Stir together everything and leave in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors mingle.

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