Love, shuv tey chicken tikka
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Love, shuv tey chicken tikka

Now you not only know what goes into this delectable dish and how it’s made, but also its history

Love, shuv tey chicken tikka

There’s no other feeling than sitting in front of a piping hot plate of chicken tikka masala and taking in the aroma. This famous dish, with countless regional variations, can be found in Indian restaurants around the globe. Although its origins are the talk of the town, the creamy, spiced curry and tender chicken are often enjoyed by anyone, anywhere. But what is the story behind chicken tikka?

According to a popular food website, the origin story of chicken tikka masala is debatable. Many think it originated in Glasgow, Scotland, because it is taken into account by many to be the national dish of the United Kingdom, embracing both the multicultural and ancient heritage of the islands. However, there's considerable debate around this subject. Due to its difficult-to-trace history, its widespread adoption, and its many recipes, the dish’s exact beginnings may never be fully known.

The history of chicken tikka masala is incomplete without the story of the Ali family. Legend has it (and the story remains often told by members of the family even today) that on a dark and stormy Glaswegian night in 1971, an off-duty bus driver stopped in an Indian restaurant for a plate of chicken curry. The chef, Ali Ahmed Aslam, delivered his dish, but the bus driver was not happy and sent it back, calling it 'too dry'.

In a pinch, Ali used what he had available – a simmering, creamy tomato soup – to moisten the dish. The busman enjoyed his new portion so much that he returned regularly for years, bringing his friends and family to enjoy Ali’s new creation. This is how chicken tikka masala was originally created, as they say.

Of course, there are some people that doubt the veracity of this tale. Some food historians claim that the dish is simply a toned-down version of similar, spicier dishes in India's Punjab. 

Their combat for the dish has its beginnings far earlier, maybe even originating within the 1940s. And there also are those that say that while the dish indeed has its beginnings in Britain, it had been Bangladeshi chefs who devised it as a way of pleasing the milder Scottish palate with their traditional, spicier dishes.

Whatever the case, nearly everyone agrees on a couple of key points. First, the dish involves chicken tikka (with some variation in spices making up the tikka), and a creamy tomato masala (again, with spices that vary regionally and preferentially). And second, of course, that chicken tikka masala is now a delicious, worldwide favourite among the offerings of Indian cuisine.

So, while the very first taste of chicken tikka masala may have been sometime between the 1950s and 1970s, somewhere in Britain or in India, today, the meal is known in nearly every corner of the globe. Indian restaurants, from North America to Asia, prepare it as a feature dish. Along with vindaloos and butter chicken, it is likely the most well-recognised Indian dish on Earth.

Chicken tikka masala recipe

We've got a yummy creamy chicken recipe with delicious thick gravy. Chicken tikka is a popular dish on the food menu of many north Indian  restaurants as well as dinner parties at home. This recipe would help you cook chicken tikka at home. Full of aromatic flavour and masala, chicken tikka masala is just the perfect recipe for a party this season. Pair with rice or naan for the right meal.

Key ingredients: Tandoori paste, yoghurt, chicken breasts, cream, tomatoes, ginger (grated), garlic (chopped), olive oil, bay leaves (optional), onion (chopped), red chillies (seeded, if using birdseye use only half to one), turmeric, paprika, salt, ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, fresh coriander leaves (optional)

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  • Put the yoghurt into a bowl with the tandoori paste, stir well, and add the chicken pieces and stir again. Put the bowl into the fridge for 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius.
  • Put the chicken pieces into an oven dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix it well with cream, tomatoes, ginger and garlic in a bowl and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan, add bay leaves (if using) and onions and fry until the onions begin to become golden-brown in colour.
  • Add chillies, turmeric, paprika, salt, cumin, coriander and garam masala and stir for 1 minute.
  • Mix the masala with the chicken pieces and fry for five minutes.
  • Now add the tomato and cream mixture, cover and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes.
  • The curry should look red and creamy, and its texture should be thick and fairly smooth, based on how small you chopped the onions.
  • Add 125 ml/5 cups of water and cook for another minute.
  • Take it off heat, pour it into a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve with pita bread, naans, or rice.

Now you not only know what goes into this delicious dish and how it’s cooked, but also its history, where it came from, and why it’s so loved. Try cooking at home and let us know about your experience it in the comment section below.

Bon appétit!!