So who is holding the master recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala?

  1. His recipes are brilliant. The base curry method is a bit of a faff up front, but I get about 16 portions for the freezer.

  2. I've seen his website shared here before and I've had it bookmarked for so long. Really like the idea of a base curry. Still haven't tried it.

  3. I really liked how the page was laid out. I liked the history part. I liked the pictures along each stage. I have had CTM before but I imagine it would be very helpful for a dish never tried. And then the recipe. Thank you for the link!

  4. I was going to chime in on the fenugreek leaves until I saw point 5. It really does contribute something key to these dishes. Such a small thing which smells of dry verdant leaves on its own works magic in many curries.

  5. Always use sugar with a tomato base. People are weird. Not saying to put Kool Aid amounts in. I've made homemade sauce for so long I can only taste the sugar in premade sauces, unless it is a premium brand that is $15 for 16oz.

  6. I don’t worry so much about adding a little sugar to balance out differences in terroir and produce varietals. You can plant Vidalia onion seeds anywhere but what makes them so sweet is specific to Georgia soil (lack of certain sulfur compounds?) Citrus grown near the equator, where it’s consistently hot and sunny, is a lot sweeter and juicier than stuff grown elsewhere. I’ve given up trying to get San Mariano tomatoes to grow in my backyard. They’re just not the same.

  7. The real key is Indian restaurants in Britain and America overwhelmingly use a base gravy in their dishes.

  8. This is unfortunately the case. Like you think you added enough sugar, salt and cream, but you gotta keep going.

  9. And MSG! I’m not 100% certain if it’s tossed in restaurant versions but my home version was amped up once I started making it that way. I’m actually doing a paneer butter masala tonight and I’m already hyped for it!

  10. I always thought is also about the instant high level of heat in a tandoor that electric oven is not able to provide.

  11. Absolutely do not use vegetable oil in place of ghee (or butter if no ghee) which you should be using

  12. You know I even have ghee but the recipe just called for so little oil that I didn't think it would make a difference. But I'll try it with ghee next time.

  13. I hate to say it, but I think restaurants just use more fat than any normal person is comfortable with. Copious amounts of butter or ghee, and heavy cream. It’s the same with Alfredo sauce. They also use fresher spices so I just double the garam masala in mine.

  14. I'll never forget working at olive garden and we had custom devices so you could leave 3 liters of heavy cream upside down to fully drain into the pot while you did other shit. I was actually surprised by how much was made in house there, but my God the heavy cream bill must have been 20k a month.

  15. That’s the thing that gets me about Alfredo sauces in restaurants; it’s actually better tasting (IMO) without the cream/bechemel base. An emulsion of salty pasta water, butter, and a blend of finely grated parmigiano/pecorino celebrates the cheese’s flavor and doesn’t feel as heavy.

  16. Depend on tomato paste. Make sure you cook it well with the onions/ginger/garlic to release the sugars. Lots of it. Add a pinch of sugar as your tomato and onion are cooking to bring out more flavor. Also, grill your chicken first. Easiest thing is to buy store bought tandoori/tikka marinade. Then chuck them into your masala. Also, kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). Everyone forgets this, but it’s key. Just pick out the stems! And cream.

  17. I use the Bon Appetit version of it and it’s pretty good. I use more spice, garlic, and ginger then the recipe calls for and usually add fenugreek if I have it. Also, it’s always better the next day after everything sits overnight.

  18. I have seen fenugreek for sale but have never tried it by itself. Can you compare it to another herb regarding taste?

  19. Add sugar and cream until even Midwestern cooks are looking at you funny. It should turn from red to orange.

  20. This one is the best one, however with some edits. Do not use so many lemons, I find 1-2 is enough for both marinade and curry, but always adjust to taste. Use honey to adjust sweetness to your liking. I eyeball way more of the spices and cream to taste in the curry but it also depends on how sensitive you are with spices. Fresh spices and pre ground spices do make a difference. Can reduce amount of ginger if you don’t like the profile as much. Key is to experiment and see what you like.

  21. Hey, I just posted that one. 20 minutes too late. It's a great recipe though, I've been using it for years now. Sometimes I add diced potatoes.

  22. I use either the serious eats recipe, or Swasthi's (though I still do the serious eats step of leaving the chicken breast whole, making deep cuts then marinating, afterwards putting it under the broiler to char a little, then cubing). Both turn out fantastic. For tomatoes I use canned whole peeled in juice and puree with a immersion blender, and make sure to cook it down. Marinating step takes the longest, hands-on it's under an hour. Don't think ghee vs oil will make a huge difference.

  23. https://maunikagowardhan.co.uk/cook-in-a-curry/butter-chicken-murgh-makhani-chicken-cooked-in-a-spiced-tomato-gravy/

  24. Nagi is the best. I pretty much cook exclusively from her website now. Her Goan fish curry is sublime

  25. I know this sounds crazy, but the Indian restaurant I worked at with Indian chefs used a small amount of ketchup for sweetness. Fenugreek leaves are also a must have ingredient for authenticity. Make sure you really brown those onions and use whole spices. I marinate my chicken in a seasoned yogurt mixture and broil it in the oven or grill over charcoal. I leave the chicken a little undercooked and finish it in the sauce after smoothing it out in the Vitamix and then add heavy cream to taste.

  26. Assuming you are able to use charcoal, get a chimney starter and use it as a replacement tandoor oven. Those things get insanely hot

  27. Sugar is a must - that's how the acidity of the tomatoes gets cut. I use coconut sugar, but any kind should work. You should add enough to where there's a hint of sweetness, but it's really not overly noticeable.

  28. I have heard many local Indian spots use a mother sauce for many of their dishes, and adjust slightly for the specific dish ordered. So, I've given up on trying to match my local spots.

  29. Whenever I make this for friends they always ask for the recipe. And I know they aren't just being polite because I get a text about how awesome it turned out (its happened 3x, my record for any recipe tbh). I double the spices though.

  30. Indian here. Also a chef. A lot of people confuse tikka masala to butter chicken. TM is a rather spicy semi dry dish and has no cream. Butter chicken is a smooth buttery based dish. Check “chicken tikka masala munchies” on YouTube. By far the closest realest recipe.

  31. I'm in CA, and grew up in Fremont (a very, very big Indian/Afghani/Persian population). I always found TM to be more mild than butter chicken.

  32. You can make a good tikka masala that’s unhealthy but you can make a great tikka masala by using fresh ingredients. It’s better not to use pre-ground masala - grind whole spices and tempered spices with a coffee grinder. Tempering the whole spices in ghee without burning them is really important. Also grinding them yourself allows you to dial in the flavor - I like to use black and brown cardamom but not green cardamom for instance. I don’t use cinnamon and go light on the star anise and clove. I go heavier on the fennel seed, bay leaf, and Ajwain than most but lighter on cumin and coriander than most recipes. I also use nutmeg, celery seed, ginger and a few strands of mace.

  33. Hing or heeng is the Hindi word for asafetida (sometimes spelled asafoetida) and it's the spice that gives Indian food its sparkle. But only use a pinch because it is really strong and can demolish other flavors in a dish.

  34. Mine did not taste right until I started really really cooking two white onions down into a deceptively small amount of browned goodness. Adds sweetness and savoriness and is completely invisible in the pureed sauce.

  35. Regardless of what recipe you follow (I like serious eats, Alton brown and ATK) make sure you buy fresh whole spices and grind your own garam masala.

  36. This. A good restaurant uses better quality than normal home cooking. Prime or Quality instead of Choice. Also, use fresh ingredients, not that frozen brick of chicken that has been in the freezer for 4 months.

  37. You’re not going to be able to get it exactly the same as the restaurant unless you’re willing to use a lot of cream, sugar & MSG. Also the ‘red’ look in the dish means they put food colouring in it.

  38. Not sure if it’s been mentioned (or if it will be downvoted) but when I made saag paneer it was WAY better in an instant pot. I think the pressure helped the flavors marry much quicker.

  39. This isn’t related to Tikka Masala but… if you love authentic Indian flavours and you’re a fan of good heat (chilli wise) then Mr Naga Chilli Pickle is A GAME CHANGER. The flavour is intensely spicy, oily, and adds a restaurant quality flavour to curries if added near the end of cooking. Be warned this will take any curry into the super hot region ! Personally I love this on the side of curry too, on crackers, On anything, I’m obsessed!

  40. i bet you are not cooking the onions enough - they should be "almost" caramelised - just one step before you making French onion soup.

  41. This is the recipe I came up with, after trying several, and then combining the things I liked best. No, it's not a 30 minute recipe. And I doubt you can get good flavor with a 30 minute recipe. It's an "all afternoon" recipe.

  42. Although a different dish, I got a reasonable stand in for that tandoor oven chicken from a recipe for Butter Chicken from Washington Post. They marinate the chicken and then broil it before combining it with the rest of the sauce.

  43. Definitely don't use jarred/canned tomato sauce, use canned whole tomatoes and recreate the sauce from there. It kinda sounds like you are using like jarred marinara which is not a good starting point at all.

  44. I swear by the Cooks Illustrated version. I’ve tried others on occasion but the CI recipe is head and shoulders above (to my tastes). It does not call for ghee, but I’ve tried it both with and without and couldn’t really tell (though I’d always choose to use ghee if I had it on hand for authenticity’s sake).

  45. I buy jars of tikka masala sauce at my local Aldi from the Burman's brand and it's the real deal. There was one occassion where they were selling a different brand that used cream of mushroom in the ingredients and it was awful, but the Burman's one is excellent and I hope they never stop selling it.

  46. I'd been using Patak, until I discovered that Kroger store brand is an adequate substitute and only half the price.

  47. Come to the UK. Birmingham, Bradford, And Newport(Wales) Have the best Indian food you'll taste! And you get a vacation! Win-Win!!

  48. Indian Canadian here. I make paneer tikka as I’m a vegetarian but basically everything is same except that meat is substituted with paneer. Make the sauce from fresh tomatoes, add good amount of cashews when you are boiling onion, tomatoes and spices, and try to marinate your chicken overnight before cooking. Be generous with butter and cream. Of course, you need to add sugar to cancel the sourness of tomatoes. I hate canned tomatoes for Indian cooking.

  49. This is going to go down like a lead balloon in a cooking sub, but here's how a basic high street cheapo curry house does it in the UK. No guarantee it's the same worldwide.

  50. I learned my chicken tikka masala recipe off the telly whilst on holiday on Cyprus, oddly enough. Uses fresh tomatoes, not tinned. Also toasts the whole coriander and cumin seeds before grinding, and includes a bay leaf. I've never actually written it down and probably I am not doing it exactly according to the original telly chef's recipe by now.

  51. To get it to taste like a restaurant makes you would need to add more salt to your recipe then you would think would be humanly possible and then a little extra.

  52. The main difference I've heard is fresh spices. The one I make is my favorite meal. Required spices are garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and kashmiri chili. For tomato sauce, a regular roma-based, canned, unseasoned sauce is fine. Haven't found a significant difference between generic and higher quality brands like cento (in fact, the latter has given me more issues), since it just isn't the star of the show in this dish -- it's an unflavored base to build on. Then coconut milk instead of cream, because it's healthier, cheaper, it's still very tasty when properly seasoned, and it's good for lactose intolerance. Then regular plain yogurt (I use mountain plains).

  53. No canned items for Indian reciepes, use fresh spices not the grounded ones. Use huge amount of butter (without salt )or ghee. Marinate chikan for minimum 3hours. Here ppl do marinate for 12 hours as well. Indian receipes take a lot of time in preparation and we dont use canned items, also no sugar.

  54. Definitely use more ghee and no vegetable oil. Make sure you marinate your chicken well and spice it enough. Tomatoes in general make the dish quite sour, and often they use yogurt, while I prefer cream. (I've also found yogurt here in Americas is quite different from the one in India, we use whole milk, not 2% or 3%, but then again, you are comparing it to the food you eat in, I'm assuming the Americas). Try puree-ing your own tomatoes?

  55. I use a very specific technique that they use in Mexican stews. It’s not authentically Indian, but neither is chicken tikka masala. So, I boil chicken stock and add in some new Mexican peppers (good alternative to Indian whole red peppers). Then blend them together with canned whole peeled tomatoes. Then I brown some chicken in some ghee, get it out and use the same pan to fry up onion and the spices. Add in the chili tomato mixture and bring to boil then add back chicken to finish cooking. Finish off the curry by adding in room temperature heavy cream, the more you add the richer the curry. Top with cilantro and serve. I’m working on exact measurements but you’ll welcome to give the technique a try!

  56. Master Masala, also known as Chef Tikka to his select few students died eons ago under mysterious circumstances. It is said the master recipe was entombed with him; locked behind various insidious traps and buried in an undisclosed location. Legend holds the secret of the recipe had to do with a fuck ton of ghee, cream, salt or MSG, and very high heat. But the world may never know the truth.

  57. I've gone through the same struggle, my new absolute favorite is the New York Times Turkey Tikka Masala recipe (I just substitute chicken during non post Thanksgiving/Christmas occasions). The taste is phenomenal and I also really like that it uses cooked chicken/turkey so you can put the marinade back in the main dish instead of throwing it out.

  58. Cook the Tikka in a oven on metal skewers (so cooking is uniform both out and in) and then place a piece of burning charcoal in a bowl with a sprinkling of ghee or oil in the centre of the container containing all the Tikkas....cover with foil and let it smoke for half an hour....taste the difference....alternately finish the kebabs in charcoal barbeque.

  59. Cheater's way out: I found a jar of sauce at my local Kroger for like $4. Pairs with a pound of chicken, obviously super easy, and tastes pretty solid. Also heard really good reviews about Trader Joe's sauce.

  60. I have not made it myself, but I have seen in videos about Indian cuisine that toasting the spices in oil before adding the other sauce ingredients can make a huge difference. ATK recommends the same technique for chili and chili powder. If you can start from whole spices and grind right before, even better.

  61. I made this spiced ethiopian butter called niter kibbeh and that could amp up the flavor, uses similar spiced found in Indian cuisine and you could pick and choose which ones to add. Also throw in the kasoori methi at the end, that really changed my curries and stews. I also found that using ethiopian berbere made it taste better imo as opposed to garam masala

  62. Are you putting butter into the sauce? I start my sauce with a canned tomato sauce every time and a pat of butter and a little sugar does wonders to calm the acidity you might encounter in a canned sauce.

  63. If you want fast food chicken tikka masala for under $10, you can absolutely make that at home. Serves: 2-3. Start grilling your chicken breast meat, then add two jars of Good & Gather tikka masala sauce. Finish with a pop of color with cilantro and serve with a rice like basmati or jasmine. Stove top, not slow cooker. People think I’ve slaved all day. But it’s as easy as Hamburger Helper. You just need a large pan for the chicken, and a large pot for the rice. Very easy and fast recipe. My laziest recipes get so many compliments.

  64. Latifs inspired on YouTube has a good recipe. Have tried it and tastes better than any homemade attempt I had made before.

  65. Sour sauce makes me think you used fat free yogurt to marinate your chicken in. Always use full fat Greek yogurt if you can, it’s a game changer. Fage is my normal go-to brand and it never lets me down.

  66. I've found Costco tomato sauce and tomato paste to be much more tangy than Meijer (Midwest region). I also double the garam Masala seasoning in the recipe.

  67. I found the best versions are BIR (British Indian Restaurant) Curry. The upfront work is a lot, but you can make a huge batch and freeze it, and then it's like using a Thai curry paste.

  68. Probably going to get buried here but step one, fresh spices that you grind and step two tempering your spices twice. Grew up in the Punjab, happy to talk you through it

  69. I’ve found subbing ketchup in part of tomato’s helps. Also blended cashew or cashew butter is used sometimes and can balance flavors by adding body and creaminess but not as rich as butter/cream

  70. Dunno if someone else said it here, but part could be a custom/house blend for the Garam Masala. I’ve seen recipes for that which had over 100 ingredients, and others that have 7

  71. Learn to make a Base gravy. In British Indian restaurants this is the pre made master sauce all other Curry sauces are made from. I'd recommend Dan Tooms channel, The Curry Guy, on YouTube.

  72. Another key is making your own spice mix from whole spices and trying out fenugreek. Not sure what spice blend your restaurant uses, but the best ones I've been to do their own spice mix and often have fenugreek in the sauce.

  73. Serious eats recipe is my go-to. Pretty tough to beat IMO. Comes out a bit expensive due to the sheer amount of spices used, but I've found I can cut back on the yogurt marinade by nearly half and still get great results. A blazing hot charcoal grill also helps get the right char but a broiler works too.

  74. I use fresh ripe tomatoes, blanch the skins off, fry the tomatoes until like a paste with the spices, onion, garlic and ginger (use fresh). Marinate the chicken (use darker meat) in yogurt spices(make from whole if u can)+a decent amount of salt, garlic-ginger paste for at least 6 hours. Fry your marinated chicken in batches to get good browning but no burning, keep the heat just right. Season lightly in stages. Always use ghee (its easy to make your own). Stew (simmer) the sauce and chicken for at least 45 minutes. Finish the sauce with cream(temper it first or add little at a time) and fenugreek leaves, simmer 15 mins longer. This will be restaurant quality. It usually is when I prepare it. Use an authenic recipe.

  75. ATK has a butter chicken recipe that I adore, and my limited understanding of butter chicken vs. chicken tikka masala is that the latter just has less cream and butter in it.

  76. Joshua Weissman recently put out a video for $2 chicken tikka masala. It’s very similar to his butter chicken one as well so once you learn one, making the other is not that hard

  77. Wow. I don’t know much of an Indian food, but I really enjoy eating the end results of the recipe I have. But it doesn’t have 80 or 90% of what this thread mentions in multiple posts. Maybe I should learn more about what I’m eating, because I said, I think mine taste pretty good…

  78. I have a really good butter chicken recipe from a Indian born ex-French laundry chef. Yes, it’s not exactly what your looking for but can probably be tweaked pretty easily to make it tikka masala. Catch is, it’s scrawled on restaurant receipt paper (Tomato paste looks like it says “toothpaste” lol) with no instructions, just ingredient amounts. Also, it’s for what I would call an “industrial amount” of end product. It does happen to be the best butter chicken I’ve ever had, though, but as I mentioned really isn’t super different than tikka masala.

  79. You prob aren’t gonna get that restaurant taste at home with those recipes. What you’re looking for is “British Indian Restaurant” recipes. There’s an entire forum that has posts about it if you type that in google. There’s also some youtubers like MistyRicardo who make those types of curries.

  80. Felicity Cloake perfect chicken tikka masala. I add a red capsicum to the sauce and probably more tomatoes (tinned diced tomatoes) because I like the sauce quite tomatoey but this is the best. Prep the chicken the night before, cook on the BBQ, let the sauce simmer all afternoon. It’s a Sunday night kind of dinner and makes enough to freeze a few portions afterwards. Worth it.

  81. I went on a similar quest and this is the best I found. Her butter chicken is better though and identical to restaurants.

  82. ive always had good luck w adam raguseas recipes on youtube and he has a recipe that seems pretty good, tho i've never made it. problem is it also involves grilling the chicken first to make tandoori chicken, then using that in the tikka masala. not sure if thats helpful at all but throwing it out there

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