Smoky Chicken Tikka Massala – Classic Joe 3
Holidays are coming up, but unlike other years, travelling is not recommended. #staycation is the norm in this corona crisis. Luckily we didn’t have to cancel our travel plans and the borders with France are already open. On the other hand, far journeys are not possible this year. So we need to get creative and bring the Far East to our home kitchen (or yard to be more precisely). Perfect for a nice warm summer evening with the Indian classic Tika Massala. The British were damned right to incorporate this taste bomb into their national cuisine. This Smoky Chicken Tikka Massala lets you taste how complex but simple this traditional curry tastes and how the use of Yoghurt in the marinade contributes to the success of this delicious juicy chicken.
Disclaimer: This post is made for @Lidl Belgium. All opinions shared are personal and honest.
Like me, you might wonder what the difference is between the traditional Curry and Chicken Tikka Massala. There is not much to say about that in itself. Chicken Tikka Massala is one of the countless curry varieties that are made on this planet. There are perhaps as many curry variants as there are family systems on earth, each with their own touch. However, there are two different varieties. I discovered this when I accidentally bought a jar of “Massaman” curry at Lidl, assuming there was Massala on the jar. Massaman curry is the Thai variaty of Chicken Tikka Massala. What’s the difference between the two variants? Thai curry is usually made from a curry paste based on herbs, coconut cream, curry leaves, lime grass, … On the other hand, the lighter Indian variant is based on fried dry herbs and is more often flavoured with coriander leaves and cumin, and the sauce is tomato-based in contrast to the coconut cream from Thai cuisine.
For the recipe of this Smoky Chicken Tikka Massala I based myself on the recipe by Alison Roman on BonAppetit magazine in combination with the Garam Masala from Feasting at home. Garam Masala is the spice mixture that serves as the basic seasoning for the Traditional Chicken Tikka Massala. As I had brought a jar of “Massaman curry” due to inattention, I decided to replace the tomato puree with this Massaman curry. Completely traditional it is not. Tasteful on the other hand… Moreover, it would be a pity to throw away the jar and the amount of coconut cream is almost negligible in the bigger picture. If you can’t find the Massaman Curry anymore or if you want to keep it more traditional you can perfectly replace it with concentrated tomato puree.
Those who are not familiar with Indian cuisine might be a bit surprised by the yoghurt-based marinade. This sounds a bit strange at first but because of the acids, yogurt has the property of breaking down the fibres of the chicken during marinating, making it butter soft during preparation. Moreover, the chicken remained extremely juicy and particularly tasty because of the Garam Massala with the marinade. On top of that, for the first time I actually used the sloroller (the new platesetter) of the Kamado Joe Classic 3 which is claimed to distribute the heat more evenly throughout the BBQ. In any case, based on this session in which I even stacked some grids, I can’t contradict the effect. Both pieces of chicken were perfectly tender and juicy over the whole piece (even the breast). I might have kept the temperature a bit higher than 150°C for some more colouring on the chicken with this smoky Chicken Tika Massala. So there’s room for improvement on this crazy delicious recipe.
The attentive viewer may notice that the pictures of the end result do not match the complete chickens that went on the BBQ. The reason for this is very simple. Because we ate this dish in the company of friends I decided to leave the pictures for what they were and just enjoy the moment. It tasted so good to us that we ended up making a new portion with chicken thighs that finally disappeared in cubes in the sauce. Hope you enjoy it just as much! I would love to read about it on the social media pages. Oh and if you want to give this blog a little push, don’t hesitate to share this post or bring a like and comment to your attention. Thank you in advance!
Indian cuisine is full of taste. So is this delicious Indian version of Curry. Smoky Chicken Tikka Massala prepared on the Kamado Joe for an extra smoky touch.
- 2 chickens or 8 chicken thighs butterflies
- 1 handful of almond flakes
- Coriander petals for dressing
- 500 ml full yoghurt
- 6 garlic cloves finely grated
- 4 tsp finely grated peeled ginger
- 4 tsp ground turmeric
- 4 tsp garam masala see below
- 2 tsp of ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
- 4 tsp Garam massala or more to taste
- 2 red onions thinly sliced
- 2 pcs. Crushed garlic
- 1 inch grated ginger
- 60 gr. Massaman curry or tomato puree
- 1 tsp ground chili flakes
- 4 . Whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes like San Marzano
- 350 ml full cream
- 2 plants chopped coriander plus twigs for the garnish
- Steamed basmati rice to serve
- 4 Tbsp ground coriander
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin
- 4 tsp ground cardamom
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 0.5 tl cayenne pepper optional
This recipe is based on the delicious spicy spice mix that characterizes this dish. It is therefore worthwhile to make your own Garam massala by chopping and mixing the ingredients mentioned above. This spice mix is perfect to keep for several weeks to months.
By marinating in the yoghurt, the structure of the chicken is gradually broken down resulting in a tender piece of chicken. Although it sounds strange it is worthwhile to marinate the chicken in the yoghurt flavoured with turmeric, garlic, ginger, garam massala, coriander and cumin. For the marinade, follow the proportions given in the list of ingredients.
Butterfly the chicken and gently loosen the skin along the breast side, and thighs on one side.
Mix well in a large bowl and rub the chicken thoroughly with it both on and under the skin, top and bottom and place covered to the side in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours.
Prepare your BBQ for an indirect session at medium temperature (+-150-200°C) and add a cube of smoking wood in between the coals for a delicious smoky touch.
As soon as the smoke coming out of your BBQ looks thin and bluish, place the chickens on the BBQ and let them smoke until you reach a core temperature of 74°C. This will take about 1 hour depending on the dome temperature. Meanwhile you can prepare the Tikka Massala sauce.
Heat ghee (or clarified butter) in a deep pan over medium heat and add the finely chopped onion together with 1 inch of grated ginger and 2 cloves of crushed garlic. Leave to fry together with the Garam Massala to release their flavor.
Stir regularly and add the Massaman curry (or tomato concentrate) as soon as the onion has fried. In this step it is important to look and smell well. Fry this mass until the tomato colours dark and develops a full caramelized scent. This takes 5 to 10 minutes. Let it cook for a few more minutes while stirring regularly.
Add the tomatoes with juice and crush them with your hands as you add them. Bring gently to the boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer until the sauce thickens (+-10 minutes).
Add cream and chopped coriander. Leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Stir regularly.