Holla, it's time for Tikka Masala!
Indian Food: the itch that can only be scratched by the instant consumption of buttery naan or rich sauces that kindly compliment a warm side of basmati rice.
Indian Food: the first meal we ordered for takeout once restaurants reopened after the mass shut down due to COVID. Which we waited for two hours in the car for because apparently everyone else in Denver had the same idea.
Indian Food: also the cuisine that Brad asked for FIVE times last week before we finally caved, deciding upon a Tikka Masala (tofu for the lady, chicken for the mister).
After a quick trip to the Farmers Market, where arguably every white person in America gathers on any given summer Sunday (not political, relax, just hyperbole), we looked into our basket of fresh and local goods, sourcing inspiration for our next blog post. We have fans to please, people, the stakes are high.
But for real, we are blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful local delicacies, owned by the most genuine humans in Denver. Our Farmers Markets slap. At the Farmers Market, we had the pleasure of meeting the lovely founders of Masi Masa, Cindy and Eric, whose unique spice blends are crafted to share the flavors and beauty of cultures from around the world. Cindy and Eric gifted us with a three-pack of spice blends: Moroccan Ras El Hanout, Thai Green Curry, and - of course - Indian Tikka Masala.
Inspired by a local recipe provided by Masi Masa, we took the liberty of recreating this dish to satisfy the needs of vegans and meat-eaters, all in one. These spices are the real deal, y'all. And they make it an affordable, less messy, and significantly less waste-y way to make your favorite worldly dishes in the comfort of our home.
1 package Masi Masa Indian Tikka Masala Spice Blend
1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts OR 1 block of tofu, 1/4 head of cauliflower and 1 small potato (if you're splitting down the middle, do half of each)
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (no flavoring)
1 small red onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
¾ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen peas (optional)
½ cup plain full-fat yogurt
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
2-4 cups cooked basmati rice
Optional: buy pre-made naan at the market, coat in melted butter, freshly chopped garlic and cilantro, and cook at 400° F for 10 minutes.
1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
2. Wash rice in strainer to remove starch. Add into rice cooker and turn to white rice setting.
3. In large bowl, mix together 1/4 cup yogurt and 1 TBSP Masi Masa Indian Tikka Masala Spice Blend.
4. Coat chicken and/or tofu with the yogurt blend and set aside.
5. In large sauté pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. (Reminder, if you're cooking tofu and chicken versions, you'll need to do two separate pans with the same process moving forward).
6. Add the rest of Masi Masa Indian Tikka Masala Spice Blend. Cook, stirring constantly until spices turn darker, about 1 minute.
7. Add tomatoes and ginger. Cook over low heat, stirring often until tomatoes are broken down, 15-20 minutes.
8. While sauce is cooking, place chicken breasts on a rack over a sheet pan and roast until cooked through, 20-25 minutes. Tofu can be done in the same amount of time. Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature. Cut into 1-2" chunks.
9. If using peas, add to sauce and cook through.
10. Remove sauce from heat. Stir in rest of yogurt, heavy cream, and ½ cup chopped cilantro.
11. Stir in cooked chicken.
12. Serve over basmati rice topped with remaining cilantro.