I'm a sucker for a good Tikka Masala. It's creamy, spicy, and full of flavors you can't find in any other dish. Every time I visit an Indian restaurant or order takeout, I don't even pick up a menu, because I've already had the craving brewing since the idea of Indian food crossed my mind. And up until now, I truly thought there was no beating the classic Tikka Masala... but I think this recipe will give the classic a run for its money.
The bursts of blueberries work SO well with the spicy hints in this dish. It's almost like one of those salty/sweet combinations - something magical happened in this recipe when these opposites attracted. I'm not sure if it's the spices in this dish or the aroma it fills the kitchen with, but something about this Tikka Masala really warms the soul.
It's hard to say what the best part of this recipe is because the flavors blended together so well. And even though the dish was filling and satisfying in every way, it was light and oh-so-fresh. This stunner would SHINE at a dinner party. It's so easy to plate - the colors in the dish do all the work themselves.
If you're a fan of all things spicy, you have GOT to give this recipe a try. And even if you're not a fan of spicy foods, I highly recommend trying it anyways - just scale back on the spices in your rendition of the sauce. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
2 T extra virgin olive oil
½ onion, small diced
1 serrano chili, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup crushed tomatoes (I like the Pomi brand)
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
½ cup halved blueberries
For the chicken:
½ tsp kosher salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 T canola oil
For the rice:
1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 tsp kosher salt
Zest of ½ lemon
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 T butter
Bring rice, salt, and water to a simmer in a small pot and then place your burner on its lowest setting, cover the pot with a lid, and let cook for 25-30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed (DO NOT keep checking the rice while its cooking. Let it cook for at least 25 minutes before you check it for the first time). Turn off heat and let continue to steam until ready to use.
Heat a medium/large saute pan over medium heat and then warm olive oil slightly. Stir in diced onions to the warm oil and saute for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the serrano, ginger, and garlic, and saute for about 30 seconds.
Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer until most of the liquid is gone - about 2-3 T of liquid left.
Stir in your coconut oil and simmer until the mixture has thickened and is a nice bright orange color.
Stir in your curry powder, lemon juice, salt, blueberries, and chopped cilantro. Cover and keep warm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and then season both sides with salt.
Preheat a large saute pan and then warm the canola oil.
Once the oil is warm, carefully add chicken thighs and sear for 2 minutes on each side. Put pan into oven and let chicken continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and let rest for a few minutes and then slice them in strips or dice them into cubes.
In a large bowl, fluff your rice with a fork and then gently fold in butter, lemon juice, and zest.
To plate, spoon a couple of spoonfuls of rice into a shallow bowl. Place sliced chicken on top and then spoon the sauce over top. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and fresh blueberries.