Chicken Tikka Masala - 07

Course : Indian
Serves: 4
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6 medium chicken thighs or breasts -- skinless boneless
1 teaspoon salt to taste
1 teaspoon red chili powder
4 tablespoons lemon juice -- up to 6
1 tablespoon butter for basting
8 tablespoons yogurt
2 tablespoons heavy cream -- (optional)
2 teaspoons ginger paste
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons garam masala / curry powder
1/4 teaspoon saffron -- (optional)
2 drops red and orange food color
2 medium tomatoes -- chopped fine
1 medium onions -- chopped fine
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

Preparation / Directions:

1. Make deep incisions in the chicken with a knife, approximately 2 to 3 inches apart. Make a paste of the salt, red chili powder and lemon juice and rub over the chicken evenly. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Wash hands immediately. 2. Whisk the yogurt in a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Rub the chicken with this mixture. Keep aside for 20 minutes to an hour. Preheat oven to 350F. Skewer the chicken on a skewer. Keep a tray underneath to collect the drippings. Bake in the oven for 20 to 35 minutes. 3. Remove the chicken and baste with butter. Grill on a hot grill for another 10 minutes till golden brown. This step is optional, but will definitely flavor the dish. For the gravy: 1. Heat the oil, when hot add the ginger garlic paste and sauté till golden brown. 2. Add the onions; sauté till golden brown in color on medium high. It is the caramelization of the onions that brings the rich soft aroma and flavor to the dish. 3. Add the tomatoes and keep saluting till the oil starts to separate. This should take another 5-8 minutes. 4. Add the cumin and coriander powders. Sauté for a few seconds. Indian food can be enjoyed as much during the cooking process as during mealtime itself. The aroma from cooking spices, herbs, onions, ginger, garlic, and chilies creates an aroma that tantalizes the taste buds. 5. Now add the cooked chicken pieces. Sauté for a few more minutes. Tired of saluting...That 's the trick to make your recipe turn out great. So don't quit now. 6. Add the salt and sugar, increase the heat and slowly stir in the milk, stirring constantly. Let the chicken simmer on low for another 5-9 minutes. Garnish with Chopped cilantro leaves and fried cashews. Serve on a bed of plain rice. Enjoy with lemon wedges and raw "red onion rings" soaked in vinegar and the mint chutne

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