08.31.10: dinner (my tikka masala made Elizabeth go “how F***”)

Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Rice and Sauteed Spicy Cabbage

[Editors Note: I will admit that I like to bug Michael about what he’s making for dinner when I call him from the Westport train station platform, mostly because I like having something to fantasize about during my hour and a half commute (on a good day). Especially with all of the weird smells I encounter on the bus thanks to people bringing their Popeye’s chicken and Little Caesar’s pizza onto the M60, M100, M101 or Bx15, I like to know that there’s something awesome in store for me at home. Onwards after the jump!]

This meal began, like so many, with an inspiring episode of Good Eats. AB commits a good portion to the episode to describing and crafting the Indian spice mixture garam masala (‘warming mixture’). He buys the spice components whole, toasts them and then grinds them in his trusty spice mill (a coffee grinder). I’ve always had a bit of food guilt about not owning and grinding whole spices myself and for my past birthday, I asked my sister for a grinder. Once acquired, I spent a weekend perusing the delightful whole spice selection at the Manhattan Fruit Exchange (the best thing in Chelsea Market by several orders of magnitude) and the rest is dinner history.

Rather than use lamb pieces (we had just had a large red meat meal) cooked in a homemade tandoori oven (yeah, um… no) I opted to use chicken thighs, also quite appropriate. I coated them with some freshly-made garam masala and marinated them in Greek yogurt all day. When I got home, I cooked them on my electric grill, sort of forgetting about needing the sauce. I quickly reviewed the recipe via the interwebs, seeing I needed an onion, a big can of tomatoes and coconut milk. What I had was an onion, a small can of tomatoes and more yogurt. I browned the onion, added the tomatoes and reduced and finally finished it with the white stuff, some fresh masala and mint.

The verdict? The wife was unable to string a sentence together to describe the final product, although she manage to spit out an expletive or two. As a husband, whenever your wife is rendered speechless by the fruits of your handiwork, let alone left sputtering profanity, it makes you feel good. So, until next time, keep slaying them, dear readers. Cook on!

The recipe can be found here, and the episode is below.

  1. Janice said:

    I wish someone in my life would strike me speechless like this!

  2. Kim said:

    An hour and a half long commute? YIKES.

    Sadly, I’m still buying spices ground. But does it help that I use them fairly quickly? A note about marinating chicken in yogurt… I might have dropped the F-bomb myself the first time I tried some grilled chicken that had been marinating in yogurt. It was the most tender piece of chicken I’ve had in my life. 🙂

    Love tikka masala. Thanks for the reminder to put it on my to-do-soon list!


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