Chicken Tikka Masala

Britain's favorite Indian dish: grilled chicken in a rich tomato sauce. There is no one way of preparing this dish. This version marinates the chicken in spices and lemon juice and serves it in a tomato and yogurt sauce. See also the 'Easy Chicken Tikka Masala' recipe for a different method. Chicken Tikka Masala is surprisingly easy to do. The chicken can be prepared in advance and left to marinate longer than the stated time. Also the sauce can be made in advance and reheated when needed.
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes plus 2 hours marinating
Cooking Time: sauce: 30 minutes; chicken 15 minutes
1 1/2 onions
2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
3 tbsp tomato puree
7 oz / 200g tinned tomatoes
1 inch / 2.5 cm fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
5 tbsp lemon juice
5 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped finely
1 1/2 lb / 750g boneless chicken
4 fl oz / 1/2 cup / 120 ml plain yogurt
4 fl oz / 1/2 cup / 120 ml coconut milk or single cream
salt and pepper

8 oiled metal skewers

Herbs & Spices
1 tsp Cumin Ground
2 tsp or to taste Chilli Ground
1 tbsp Onion Seed
1 or to taste Chillies Whole
1 tbsp Coriander Leaf or 1 tbsp chopped fresh Coriander Leaf
1 tsp Mint or 1 tbsp fresh chopped Mint
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
Cooking Instructions
Place 1/2 onion, tomato puree, cumin, ginger. 3 tbsp lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves, chilli powder in a blender and puree. Add some salt and pepper seasoning, stir then transfer to a large bowl. Cut the chicken into approx 1 inch pieces and add to the bowl. Stir well so all the chicken is coated with sauce and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Heat the ghee or oil in a large heavy based pan over a medium heat. Chop the remaining onion finely and add when the oil is hot. Fry for 5 minutes. Add the onion seeds, 3 cloves of garlic, the whole chilli and continue stirring and cooking until fragrant. Add the tinned tomatoes, yogurt and coconut milk or cream and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 20 minutes.

When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the grill as hot as you can. Divide the chicken pieces between the 8 oiled skewers. and cook under the grill, turning frequently, for about 15 minutes or until cooked. Remove the chicken from the skewers and add to the sauce (reheated gently if necessary). Stir in the coriander, mint, 3 tbsp lemon juice and garam masala. Serve.