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Cooking chicken tikka masala

Neil McLaren cooks Chicken Tikka Masala
OK, we’re back with the chicken tikka after it’s marinated for, as I say, a couple of hours– overnight if you prefer. What we’re going to do now is we’re going to thread these pieces of meat onto these skewers. OK, so this is where things get a little bit messy.
You just have to thread the meat onto the skewer. And then I’m just going to sit these like that on this tray. You can put them on a grill or anything that you have just to keep them so they’re not sitting in their own juice as you cook them, because you want them to be nice and slightly charred like they’re on a grill, like they’re on a barbecue. Of course, if you actually have a barbecue, that’s even better. Some of these pieces are perhaps a little large. When I said bite-sized, I’m not sure whose bite that is. OK, so that’s your chicken tikka ready to go into the oven.
I’m going to put it in the oven at around 200 degrees. And it will take not very long– maybe about 15, 20 minutes only. And then we’ll take it out. I’ll make the sauce, add the chicken in, and then we’ll have a delicious chicken tikka masala ready to eat.
The chicken tikka is ready now. I’m ready to move on to the second part, which is making the sauce and then adding the chicken tikka into the sauce. So first things first, well, we’re going to get some onions ready.
Watching me chopping onions and crying for 5 minutes is nobody’s idea of fun. So I’m going to use this electric chopper here–
much easier and no tears. Next, we’re going to put our pan on to quite a high heat. And I’m going to add in some ghee. This is not real ghee. I made this myself. It’s clarified butter, which you make by heating the butter, then removing the milk solids. So we’re going to put that in. Let that heat up. And then when that’s ready, we’re going to add in the onions. That’s hot enough there for the onions to go in, I think. So and then we’re going to cook these until they go a little golden. OK, I think we’re ready for the next step now, which is to add in some minced garlic and ginger.
As you can see, I’m adding quite a lot, because if there’s two things I love, it’s garlic and ginger.
Now we’re going to add in the spices. And that includes garam masala, coriander, cumin, paprika, and then a little mix of– little mix? No– a little mix of turmeric, cinnamon, and chilli.
We’re going to lower the heat a bit while we cook that through. Mix it all up. It smells fantastic already. I wish you could smell it. It’s all these spices, and the onion, and the garlic, and ginger. It’s such a lovely smell. Next, the all-important ingredient– tomato, sieved tomato, passata, whatever you want to call it. I put them there to give us some liquid.
OK, the last of these ingredients. We’re going to add some tomato puree and some water.
And so now we come to the last stage of all, which is we’re going to add in the chicken. That’s nice and easy. Throw it in there.
Stir it through.
Let it heat.
So the last thing that we have to add in– and if you’ve read the history of chicken tikka masala, then you’ll know that it supposedly was invented in Glasgow, using tinned tomato soup. So as you’ve seen, we haven’t used tinned tomato soup here. We used tomatoes, tomato puree. But to give it that same flavour, that creaminess that you want from that, we’re going to add actual cream now in. OK, now we’re going to stir that through. And this is when it really starts to look exactly like you want it to look. It goes from being that dark orangey-red into being this beautiful, pale orange colour that just looks so lovely on the plate. And that’s basically it.
That is chicken tikka masala from start to finish, something that I hope you will try at home. And if you do, I know that you’ll really, really enjoy it.

Watch the next part of Neil’s chicken tikka masala.

In this video Neil introduces some new ingredients to the dish:

  • onion
  • ghee. Find a recipe to make your own ghee here
  • minced garlic and ginger
  • tomato passata
  • tomato puree
  • a mix of turmeric, cinnamon and chilli

and two new implements:

  • skewers
  • an electric blender (for chopping the onions)

Giving instructions:

Look at some of the things Neil says when he’s explaining how to make the chicken tikka masala.

You have to thread the meat onto the skewers.
You can put them onto a grill or anything that you have.
Now we’re ready to make the sauce.
We’re going to get some onions ready.
Next we’re going to put our pan on quite a high heat.

Why do you think Neil uses ‘you’ and ‘we’ when giving these instructions?

Read the transcript of what Neil says. Is there anything interesting or new or that you don’t understand or that isn’t clear to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

On the next step you’ll find the recipe of Neil’s dish.

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Exploring English: Food and Culture

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