Main Dish

Chicken Tikka Masala with Yogurt and Mint

Locals Tasting Room

21023 A Geyserville Ave.
Geyserville, CA 95441

A tangy Anglo-Indian classic, chicken tikka masala is marinated in a blend of yogurt and spices, and served with a bright lentil dal.

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • 3 cups plain yogurt (preferably organic)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
In a food processor or blender, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, cumin and salt and process until smooth and blended. Put the chicken in a large bowl, add half of the yogurt-spice mixture and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Cover and refrigerate the remaining yogurt-spice mixture.

In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, warm the ghee. Add the onion and chiles and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot, until the sauce begins to thicken, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the cream and two-thirds of the chopped mint. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire rack on top. 

Arrange the chicken on the rack in a single layer. Broil until the chicken starts to blacken in spots (it will not be cooked through), about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken to the pot along with the remaining yogurt-spice mixture. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped mint.

Lentil Dal

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder (not spicy curry powder)
  • 2 1/4 cups red or yellow lentils (preferably organic)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 2 celery stalks, minced
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, cilantro, coriander, cumin and curry powder and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the lentils, tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Finish with carrots and celery for a surprising crunch. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle with cilantro.

Serve the chicken tikka masala with the lentil dal, and garnish with mint sprigs.

Locals Tasting Room

21023 A Geyserville Ave.
Geyserville, CA 95441