a balanced plate with room for dessert

Chicken Tikka Masala with Naan

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I bought a huge tub of plain, non-fat yogurt to use in some dish I planned on making. Then, I couldn’t remember what dish I wanted to make. Does this ever happen to you?? It happens to me way too frequently. I tried to fix this by writing down the meals I have planned on a piece of paper, but then I end up misplacing the paper or throwing it out. Maybe I should start writing the dishes I want to make with it on the food itself.

I looked online for a bit to find a dish that would use a good portion of yogurt and finally found one that I thought sounded pretty good. Chicken Tikka Masala. Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you. It’s really a lot easier than it looks, since most of the ingredients are spices! Give it a try – I loved it and will definitely be making it again!

Chicken Tikka Masala
serves 4

For the marinade:
1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
4 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons paprika
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 cups half and half
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  1. To make the marinade, combine yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, and ginger in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat grill to high.
  3. Thread chicken onto skewers. Discard marinade. Grill chicken until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
  4. To make the sauce, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Stir in cumin and paprika. Pour in tomato sauce and half and half, and stir to combine.
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Add in grilled chicken and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or naan (or both)!

recipe adapted from

Easy Garlic Naan

1 .25 ounce package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, chopped

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and let stand for 10 minutes, or until frothy.
  2. Pour liquid into mixer fitted with dough hook. Add in milk, egg, salt, and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Knead on low speed for 1 minute, or until ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add in remaining 2 cups of flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.
  3. Knead for 2 more minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Remove dough from hook and place in oiled bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rise. Let rise for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.
  4. Punch down dough. Pinch off ping-pong ball sized pieces of dough. Roll into a ball and place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rise for 30 minutes, or until double in size.
  5. Meanwhile, combine melted butter with garlic and set aside.
  6. Roll risen dough balls into a thin circle.
  7. Heat oil in a small pan over medium high heat. Cook dough on one side until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Before flipping, brush uncooked side with garlic butter. Flip, and cook second side until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Brush cooked side with melted butter. Continue this process until all the naan has been prepared.

Author: Jenni

Dietitian by day and Midwest food blogger by night. Lover of whiskey, running, and all things food.

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