Feb 022012

I try to represent a good variety of food genres at tush cook.  I’ve done plenty of asian, mexican, italian, american…but never Indian.  It’s always intimidated me–partially because I don’t own most of the spices required in the recipes.  So I decided to start with something very simple and mainstream (and also something my sister Brea’s been nagging me to healthify for months.  So here it is–healthy Chicken Tikka Masala.  

I have to confess that I’ve only even eaten at Indian restaurants a few times (I never even really know what to order), so I don’t have a HUGE source of comparison for how authentic this recipe was, but it was so delicious and shockingly simple.  Plus, I only had to buy 2 new spices!  Something about this sauce was just so addictive–so warming from the garam masala and just enough heat from the ginger and pepper.  This is the perfect kind of recipe to make at home…it has so many bold flavors on it’s own that it doesn’t even need all the cream!

Nutritional Highlights:  This dish has a bad health rep, as some of the standard ingredients include heavy cream and butter.  In this version, instead of those I used fat free greek yogurt and low fat milk to make the sauce creamy.  Instead of serving it over white basmati rice, I used a brown basmati and wild rice blend that was perfect.  The sauce also is filled with healthy ingredients like garlic, tomatoes, ginger, and onion.  Next time I may even try to make some whole wheat naan to go with! 

Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala
recipe adapted from Skinny Taste and Allrecipes

For the chicken marinade: 

  • 3 oz plain greek yogurt (just get one standard 6 oz container)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks

For the sauce:
  • 2 tsp canola oil 
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 tspn fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 3 oz fat free greek yogurt (the other half of the 6 oz container)
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt to taste (and cayenne pepper if you want it hotter)
  • 4 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • Brown Basmati rice (or other rice to serve it over)
Directions:  Cut the chicken breast into cubes and combine with all the marinade ingredients.  Refrigerate for 30 mintues to an hour.  

While chicken is marinating, work on the sauce.  Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden (about 5 minutes). Add the crushed ginger, stir for one minute then add the garlic and cook another minute. Add cumin, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and salt; mix well until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, yogurt and milk. Let sauce simmer on low heat until sauce thickens.

While sauce is simmering, cook your chicken.  In traditional tikka masala, the chicken is skewered and grilled, but I was lazy and just threw the chunks right into my hot grill pan.  Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through and a bit charred.  Add chicken back into the simmering sauce.  Add a chopped cilantro and serve with Brown Bamati Rice or Naan.  Enjoy!

(Note: I combined two recipes here because I liked how one marinated and grilled the chicken separately, but liked the sauce from the other.  If you want to skip the marinating step, just follow the recipe from Skinny Taste as is–the sauce was delicious and it would be even easier to put together that way :)

  5 Responses to “Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala”

  1. YAY! Thank you!!! So excited to try this out. Also love the tablecloth the photos are on!

  2. Of course Bre! And if by “tablecloth”, you mean dress, then thanks! 😉

  3. Making this RIGHT NOW! I am so excited that you made it a healthy version, too. Thank you!

  4. Yum! Made this tonight and it turned out amazing!

  5. I have made a dish similar to this before but didn’t like it because of how much you could taste the yogurt. Can you taste the yogurt a lot in this recipe?

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