Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tikka Masala, Naan and Basmati Rice

Scott and I love to go out and get Indian food. It's a little pricey, or at least where we are. We've talked about trying to make Indian food for quite some time, but never got around to finding the ingredients we needed. Scott's birthday was yesterday(post to come on that later) and so the kids and I have tried to do some special things for him during the week in anticipation of his birthday. We made molasses cookies(his favorite) and brought them to him at work one day and ate lunch together, I took him out on a surprise dinner date during the week(we ate at an Italian Restaurant called Fratelli's), and making this Indian food was another one of those special things. I made Chicken Tikka Masala, Naan(indian flat bread) and Indian Basmati Rice(though Scott actually did most of this one). I also made paneer(a homemade cheese used in some of their dishes and one I personally love), but it didn't turn out as was too soft and crumbly to actually make squares out of, so I won't share that recipe. Everything else was SO good! We were very pleased with how everything turned out. Now that we have the ingredients, we'll have to make this more often, though the kids didn't want to touch any of it, so they had homemade pizza(we just pulled a dough out of the freezer that I'd made the week before and cooked that up with some sauce and cheese).

Chicken Tikka Masala- adapted from all

Chicken Marinade

1/4 c plain yogurt

4 Tbsp Tikka Masala (bought a glass jar in Asian food section at grocery store)

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast thawed and cut into bite-sized pieces

Place in a gallon ziploc bag, close it, mix together and allow to marinate for at least one hour or over night in fridge.

Tikka Masala Sauce

1 tablespoon butter

1/3 of large white onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

3 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 cup heavy cream

Cook chicken at 350 degrees in a tinfoil lined 9x13 dish for 30 minutes or until no more pink in chicken.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic, onion and jalapeno for 1 minute(if using garlic powder, wait to add with other seasonings). Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Indian Style Basmati Rice- by Scott and Elisa Smith

1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice(if you use white basmati, cut down the water by 1/2 c and decrease cooking time by 30 minutes)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp cumin

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

3 cups water

Place rice into a bowl with enough water to cover. Set aside to soak for 20 minutes.(This is very important)

Heat the oil in a large pot or saucepan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, and cumin. Cook and stir for about a minute. Cook and stir the rice for a few minutes, until lightly toasted. Add salt and water to the pot, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 45 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork before serving.

The Naan bread was the most labor intensive and time consuming. But, that's how most yeast breads are, right? At least this recipe made enough that I could freeze a lot of the extra dough balls and so the next few times we eat Indian food I won't have to make the Naan from scratch again.

Naan- adapted from

3 tsp yeast (or 1 package)

1 cup warm water

2 Tbsp honey

3 tablespoons milk

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp garlic powder

31/2 cups bread flour

1/4 cup butter, melted (if cooking on grill)

Heat 6 c water in large pot on high heat. While waiting for it to boil, dissolve yeast in warm water in glass measuring cup. Add honey. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in milk, egg, salt, garlic and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set on top rack of oven. Place a 9x13 pan on bottom rack and fill with the boiling water. Let it rise 1/2 hour, until the dough has doubled in size.

Punch down dough. Dump water back in pot and bring to boil again. While it's heating, pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, place on top rack of oven, boiling water in 9x13 on bottom rack, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 15 minutes.

During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat or turn on oven to highest heat with Pizza stone inside.

*If baking on pizza stone, do not brush with butter. Roll out individual balls of dough very thin(I did three at a time) and place on pizza stone. Close oven and cook 50 seconds, then flip and cook another 50 seconds.

*At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.


Vanessa said...

yum, looks good. I'm especially interested in trying the rice. Thanks!

mary said...

Yummmmmmm, Elisa. I've never made Tikki Masala myself but I do LOVE that dish. And Naan... we find all sorts of excuses to make Naan! Did you know it works perfectly with whole wheat flour instead of bread flour?

Elisa said...

Mary, no, I didn't know! This was the first time I've ever made Naan and Scott wanted us to follow the original recipe so we'd know the difference once we tried it all whole wheat. You've just made that experiment seem a little less scary :). Thanks!