Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chloe Cooks: Tika Masala & Coconut Rice

I am going to start a segment on my blog called Chloe Cooks. I love to cook and I have been trying lots of new recipes lately. I will be sharing the recipes here.

First up is Tika Masala and coconut rice. There is a place right next to our apartment complex called Bombay House and it has excellent Indian food. The other night I was craving Indian food, but instead of eating out, I wanted to try and make my own. I researched a few different recipes and finally decided to try this one. It turned out amazing and it was so worth the 1 1/2 + hours that it took to make. It will definitely be one of our favorites.

The recipe calls for Garam Masala, which is an Indian spice. I found this at Walmart, but I know that all grocery stores don't carry it. We found that using this made a huge difference. We could taste the exact flavor that the Garam Masala added, so don't skip it. I wish I had taken good photos on my camera of this meal, but by the time it was done I was starving and just wanted to dig in! So here are some photos from my phone.

One other note, we put the chicken on our bbq in a basket griller to cook it. (see the recipe)

This is the chicken marinating in the yogurt/spices mixture

Tikka is a Persian word for "bits and pieces" and a masala refers to any combination of complementary Indian spices.
Chicken and Marinade:

1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
One 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, such as Muir Glen
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


For the chicken and marinade: Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Combine the yogurt with the paprika, coriander, cumin, cayenne, lemon zest, cinnamon, garlic and ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix together well then pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add chicken pieces and shake around to coat all the pieces evenly. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 1 hour.

Heat a grill to high. Wipe down the grates with an oil-blotted paper towel to create a nonstick surface. Remove the chicken from the marinade and wipe off any excess. Grill the chicken pieces until well-marked, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

For the sauce: Set a Dutch oven over medium heat. (Alternatively, you can cook in a pressure cooker. Simply cut the cooking time in half and cook over medium heat with medium pressure.) Coat with the oil and add the butter. Add the garlic and onions. Cook until translucent and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, paprika and garam masala. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to toast the spices and cook the tomato paste. Add the crushed tomatoes, vinegar and grilled chicken pieces. Stir well and simmer until the chicken is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Finish the sauce with the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the cilantro.
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  • 2 cups Thai jasmine-scented white rice (for brown coconut rice, see link below)
  • 2 cups good-quality coconut milk
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. dry shredded unsweetened coconut (baking type)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut oil, OR vegetable oil
  • Optional: 1-2 Tbsp. toasted coconut for garnish (see instructions below recipe)


For a step-by-step version of this recipe, see: Easy Thai Coconut Rice Recipe. To Make Brown Coconut Rice, see my: Brown Coconut Rice Recipe.
  1. Rub oil over the bottom of a deep-sided pot. You will also need a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Place rice, coconut milk, water, shredded coconut, and salt in the pot and set over medium-high to high heat. Stir occasionally to keep rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
  3. Once the coconut-water has begun to gently bubble, stop stirring and reduce heat to low (just above minimum). Cover tightly with a lid and let simmer 15-20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. To check, pull rice aside with a fork. If most of the coconut milk-water is gone, go on to the next step.
  4. Replace the lid and turn off the heat, but leave the covered pot on the burner to steam another 5-10 minutes, or until you're ready to eat. Tip: Your Coconut Rice will stay warm this way for up to 1 hour or more, great for when you're expecting company!
  5. When ready to serve, remove the lid and fluff rice with a fork or chopsticks. Taste-test the rice for salt, adding a little more if needed. Serve right out of the pot, or transfer to a serving bowl. This rice is excellent served with a variety of both Thai and Indian dishes, such as curries or seafood recipes. If desired, top your rice with a sprinkling of toasted coconut and ENJOY! (see below for toasted coconut instructions).

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