Hi Ray here again,
It’s curry time again and this weekend I decided to try out a recipe for one of those great British curry recipes – the chicken tikka masala curry. The most widely related story about how chicken tikka masala curry was invented in Glasgow is told on the Eat Your World website, along with the news that chicken tikka masala curry is exported from the UK to lots of places, including India.
I find this exporting to India quite surprising. Even though chicken tikka masala curry is a British invention, we would have thought that all of those thousands of talented Indian cooks and chefs would have perfected the recipe so they could make it for themselves.
There is no doubt that chicken tikka masala curry is a very popular British dish. The Bath Chronicle lists some interesting, and amazing, curry facts (that are probably still valid even if they are a few years old). Two of these facts are that enough Patak’s chicken tikka masala is sold in a year to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool (5 million jars). And 23 million portions of chicken tikka masala is sold in Indian curry houses every year – this amazing number excludes the millions of portions that are sold from supermarkets and home made meals.
I find a lot of these statistics as incredible as a lot of people. And here’s another statistic. I’ve never had bought a chicken tikka masala curry in a curry house or a supermarket. There’s always been something else that I wanted (madras, jalfrezi, biryani, pathia, vindaloo, etc. – not to mention all of the naans, poppadoms and samosas). I know there is usually a lot of yogurt and/or cream in a chicken tikka masala and I usually don’t like curries with these ingredients as much as other dishes.
But one of the curry tasting team spotted the chicken tikka masala curry recipe and asked me to make the curry.
So my regular Saturday morning shop saw me buying the chicken along with the tomato sauce and whipping cream. Well, I couldn’t get whipping cream and ended up with ordinary cream. Cream is cream, yes?
And Saturday evening found me making up the marinade, cutting up the chicken and popping them into the fridge for a good marinating session. One thing that I realised was that these were small pieces of chicken whereas the pics that I see on the internet have much bigger pieces. I suppose it’s because not many people have a tandoor in their kitchen so cutting the chicken into smaller pieces means that it can be browned under the grill (broiler).
Sunday evening saw me doing the actual cooking and it was all pretty straightforward. Not much to go wrong and nothing went wrong. Except when I served up the chicken tikka masala curry I forgot to put on the coriander (cilantro) and was sent back into the kitchen to do it properly.
So I served up the lovingly garnished chicken tikka masala curry on basmati rice to the eating (sorry, tasting) crew and it went quiet for a short while. And it was great. The chicken was well cooked and the sauce was rich and creamy. There was plenty of sauce and lots was left over.
The chicken tikka masala curry was very popular and received a taste score of 8.5 out of 10 with a spice/heat level of “Hot”.
And there was a bonus because there was a full portion left over which I ate the next night. And it seemed to taste better. It’s claimed that a lot of curries taste better the next day (something to do with more cooking and the spices infusing themselves more into the chicken).
My first venture into making chicken tikka masala curry was a success. Will I make it again? Maybe. But there are so many curry recipes to try and so little time.