Chicken Tikka Masala

This is one of our favourite 'Indian' dishes. It's easy to make with readily available ingredients and it's always a crowd pleaser. We say Indian in inverted commas, as it's origins are not quite known. It's thought that it originated in Glasgow in the 1970's. The story goes: "On a typical dark, wet Glasgow night a bus driver coming off shift came in to the Shish Mahal restaurant and ordered a chicken curry. He sent it back to the waiter saying it was dry. At the time the owner had an ulcer and was enjoying a plate of tomato soup. So he said to the chefs why not put some tomato soup into the curry with some spices. It was sent back to the table and the bus driver absolutely loved it. He and his friends came back again and again and since then it was put on the menu."

Serves 4

sunflower oil
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
1 red or green chilli
5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 small tin tomato puree
2 tins peeled tomatoes
1 kg boned and skinned chicken thighs, cut into cubes
10 curry leaves (optional)
4-6 tablespoons natural yoghurt
bunch fresh coriander, chopped
steamed rice, naan bread and poppadums, to serve

Finely slice the onion. Heat 2 tablespoons sunflower oil in a pan. Add the onions and fry on a medium-low heat for a good 15-20 minutes until they become soft and caramelised. In the meantime, deseed and chop the chilli, ginger and garlic. Add to the pan with the onions and fry for a further 2 minutes.

Add the chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and sugar to the onions and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the the tomato puree and fry for a further 1-2 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes. Place the sauce in a bowl or a jug and blend with a Bamix (stick blender) until smooth.

Add 1 tablespoon sunflower oil to the same pan you cooked the sauce in and fry the chicken pieces until lightly coloured, about 5 minutes. Pour in the blended sauce and curry leaves, if using, and some salt and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes until the chicken in cooked through and tender.

Stir the yoghurt and half the coriander through the tikka masala. Garnish with the remaining coriander and serve with steamed rice, naan breads and/or poppadums.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours