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Originally published Monday, October 8, 2012 at 5:00 AM

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Recipe: Quick Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the most popular Indian dishes.

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One of the most popular Indian dishes in the U.S. and the U.K., chicken tikka masala usually involves several steps including marinating and grilling the chicken before simmering in a curried-tomato cream sauce.

We've simplified it to a one-skillet dish and lightened it by increasing the vegetables, omitting the butter and using less cream. It's a low-calorie, low-cholesterol dinner appropriate for people managing diabetes risk or who follow a heart-healthy diet.

Serve with brown basmati rice and, for dessert, dates.

Quick Chicken Tikka Masala

Makes 4 servings, 1 ½ cups each

4 teaspoons garam masala (see note)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 pound chicken tenders

4 teaspoons canola oil, divided

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 large sweet onion, diced

4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1 can (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, undrained

1/3 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Stir together garam masala, salt and turmeric in a small dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. (Reserve the remaining spice mix and 1 tablespoon of the remaining flour.)

2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the reserved spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon flour and stir until coated. Add tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Stir in cream. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Note: Garam masala, a blend of spices used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin and coriander. It is available in the spice section of most supermarkets.

Per serving: 320 calories; 14 g fat (5 g sat, 6 g mono); 85 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 3 g fiber; 641 mg sodium; 676 mg potassium

EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com

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