Chicken Tikka Masala
- Masala Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Chicken Tikka:
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch cubes
- Metal or wooden skewers
- Canola oil
- Cilantro, for garnish
To make the masala sauce: Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and red bell pepper and sauté until tender but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cayenne and garam masala.
Add the tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and stir to deglaze the pan with the juices that exude from the tomatoes. Stir in the raisins and almonds. Stir in the cream. Bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered until the vegetables are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce in the saucepan until it is smooth. Simmer the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Season the sauce to taste with salt. Stir in the cilantro.
Meanwhile, to make the chicken tikka: Stir the cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, garam masala, and turmeric in a large bowl to blend. Whisk in the yogurt, minced cilantro, garlic, ginger, and salt. Add the chicken and stir to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes to help prevent them from burning while they're on the grill.
Preheat a heavy large grill pan over high heat or prepare a barbecue for high heat. Thread the chicken onto the skewers. Using paper towels, blot any excess marinade from the chicken. Lightly oil the grill. Grill the chicken until grill marks form and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
Remove the chicken from the skewers. Transfer the chicken to plates and spoon the sauce over. Garnish with the cilantro and serve.