The Best Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan

CTM

I posted last week about having Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan for dinner and had some requests for the recipe, so I wanted to share!  CTM is an awesome gateway to Indian food too, since a lot of the dislike towards Indian is curry and there isn’t any curry in this dish.  And it is SO good.

It is actually very easy, even though at first glance it seems time consuming. The prep takes the most time.  Also, I like to serve this with Mango Chutney (we usually buy Pataks Sweet Mango Chutney – in the grocery store in the Indian food aisle) – it’s delicious on the naan and I actually like to mix it in with my bites of CTM.

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We base our CTM recipe from this on Food.com but make several tweaks.

The recipe calls for marinated chicken. Sometimes we do this, sometimes we don’t, just depends on when we decide we are having it for dinner and if we have time to marinate.  If we have time, we follow the recipe below and marinate the chicken for an hour in the refrigerator. If we don’t have time, we coat the diced chicken in the spices in the marinade below (and sometimes the yogurt) and put the straight on the grill.

 

Ingredients:

1.5lb of chicken breasts – diced  (we get the frozen breasts from Costco and usually use 2 or 3 for this)

Marinade

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 piece minced ginger (1-inch long)
  • 6 bamboo skewers (6-inch) – make sure to wet them!

We combine all of the ingredients above into a bowl and combine with the diced chicken breasts (1inch pieces) and put them in the fridge in the bowl. After the hour of sitting (or directly after mixing, depending on how much time you’ve got), we thread the chicken onto the skewers. That is just what works easiest for us.

*We just use a cheese grater to mince our ginger, and another tip, keep your ginger root in the freezer and use a veggie peeler to peel away the white layer when you need to use it again, It keeps FOREVER this way.  

Once you are ready to get the chicken on the grill, discard the left over marinade and get the sauce going:

Sauce

*we double the sauce recipe because the sauce is the best part.

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, minced (you can use 2 if you want, 1 usually has enough heat for me)
  • teaspoons ground coriander
  • teaspoon ground cumin
  • teaspoon paprika
  • teaspoon garam masala (buy in Indian market)
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

Directions:

  1. Melt butter on medium heat.
  2. Add garlic & jalapeno; cook 1 minute.
  3. Stir in coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala & salt.
  4. Stir in tomato sauce.
  5. Simmer 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in cream; simmer to thicken- about 5 minutes.
  7. Grill or broil chicken, turning occasionally, to cook through- about 8 minutes.
  8. Remove chicken from skewers; add to sauce.
  9. Simmer 5 minutes.
  10. Garnish with cilantro Serve with basmati rice, naan or pita bread.
  11. Note: You can make your own garam masala. It can be found in most supermarkets or in specialty markets.

Usually, we mix all of the spices together and set them aside while we prep everything else.  Prep typically takes about 30 minutes, 45 if you have a pushy toddler grabbing at your legs.  Cooking goes quickly and it’s done before you know it!

 

Naan:

 This is the recipe Robert uses to make the naan. He said he usually mixes the garlic in the dough, although you can also just brush it on with the butter, or do  both if you’re feeling super garlicky (and don’t need to speak to anyone for the next 24 hours).

1 (.25 ounce) package Active Dry Yeast
1 C warm water
1/4 C white sugar
3 TBSP milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 C bread flour
2 tsp minced garlic (leave out for plain naan, include for garlic naan)
1/4 C melted butter

Naan Recipe – Allrecipes.com

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
  2. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  3. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
  4. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

I know it seems like a lot of directions, but really, the CTM is super quick to make.  The naan takes a bit longer (just with letting the dough rise) but it’s SO good.

You can also always just buy already prepared naan at the grocery store :) We do that a lot of the times too!

I hope you enjoy!

What are some of your favorite Indian dishes to make? Or any you want to try?

6 Tips for Staying on Track with Food and Managing Cravings

Lucky charms. Apple fritters. Or apple pastries of whatever sort. Chocolate. Apple cider. Ginger beer. Pizza. Fries. Etc etc etc.

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You guys.  It’s bad.  The cravings, I guess that’s what they are, they are in full force, and given that I’m nearly 7 months pregnant, I’m finding that more often than not, I’m allowing myself to give into almost every craving. And this isn’t good.

e6b52ce04bad1c1bdaf0b98667cae504true story.

This isn’t based on weight gain (I still haven’t gained a whole lot).  This is because old habits die hard for me, and I KNOW how hard it is to put a stop to the ‘giving in’ especially when I don’t have an excuse like being pregnant anymore.  If I  keep it up the way I have been going, I know that when I don’t have the pregnant excuse anymore, it’s going to be ridiculously hard to get back on track…so the key here is to just stay on track.

My tips for making better food decisions:

1. Have a support system:  So against my better judgment (but not really though), I relayed my thoughts to Robert and told him to help me reign it in.  He’s such a big help and so supportive when it comes to stuff like this (well, when it comes to most things, but he really helps me keep it in perspective).  I told him to remind me in the nicest way that I don’t need a bowl of Lucky Charms every night, or, you know, give me the ‘ole “do you really need that 4th serving of potatoes?”  Because no, I don’t.  I’ve also told friends and co-workers that I’m trying to be better about my choices, and everyone is always very supportive and respectful!

2. Have healthy snacks: What usually happens is I am struck with hunger at odd times, I think of something that I want, and then I can’t get that thing off my mind.  Then I’ll snack on whatever is in arms reach.  If I keep healthy snack options around  (like granola bars, roasted pumpkin seeds, apples, peanut butter, etc), then even when I do get those random hunger attacks, I can satisfy them in a healthy manner.  I’m not depriving myself from eating, just making better choices about what I’m eating.

3. Water: Drink. More. Water.  Usually, if I am feeling a little hungry, it’s because I’m a lot thirsty. When I feel a snack attack coming on, I’ll drink several ounces of water and wait about 20 minutes. If I’m still thinking about food after those 20 minutes, I’ll have a healthy snack (see #2).

4. Get busy. Not that kind of busy…(but I mean…to each their own)…  If it is an odd time, say 2pm (and I just at lunch at 1pm), and I start to get snacky, I do something to take my mind off of the urge. Go for a walk, take an internet break (usually means peruse BuzzFeed), get up and refill my water bottle, etc.  Find something to take my mind off of the snacky feeling.  This works almost all the time, and I’ll get caught up, and the next thing I know, it’s time for an actual snack (and a healthy one).

5. Portion control.  This is a biggun. It’s easy to allow yourself a snack, like roasted pumpkin seeds, and overdo it in a flash by not knowing how many you are eating.  I measure things out constantly. So I know how much is a quarter cup of seeds, or cereal, or 2tbsp of peanut butter. It just makes it easy, and then when it is gone, it’s gone. Your hand can’t keep migrating back to the back for more and more.  And likely, the snacky sensation is reigned in.

6. Have a support system.  Oh. I already said this one, huh?  Well here it goes again. I can’t reiterate enough how important it is that the people you spend the most time with are aware of your goals.  The folks who care about you WILL help you.  Some of them might not have much finesse about it,  but ‘put that cookie down!’ and ‘are you sure you want that?’ are just two different ways of saying the same thing.  These folks don’t want to see you fail either, or get down on yourself for making a poor choice.  So trust your friends, family, and colleagues to help you stay on track.

These are a few of the tricks that I am going to use moving forward to keep myself on track so that after B2 arrives, I don’t have to dig myself out of a hole to get back into healthy eating.

In the meantime…

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just kidding. kind of.

Do you have any tips or tricks that you use to stay on track or keep the snackies at bay?