Slow Cooker Chicken Makhani

January 27, 2010

Recipes ›

For all of you who tuned into my WGN-TV appearance...as thanks, here's my chicken tikka masala recipe. I wasn't going to post it, but why not? What a coup to be able to make this in the slow cooker with minimal oil and fat. Enjoy - and be sure to write if you try it. I'd love to hear your feedback. (Keep in mind this is a recipe that's slighly more complicated (more steps) than others in the upcoming book - but it's well worth it. I promise!)

Chicken Tikka Masala
Cooker: 5-quart medium
Settings, cooking times: marinate then cook high for 6 - 8 hours, makes 14 cups

There are many theories as to how this dish came about. One theory is that a Bangladeshi-British chef in the United Kingdom came up with the idea to add tomatoes and cream to the original tandoor-cooked chicken and masala. Regardless, the popularity of chicken tikka masala is undisputable in the West, especially in Great Britain.
I modified the recipe for the slow cooker and made it without first grilling the chicken. It tasted great. If you prefer, take that one extra step on the grill or stovetop. But, first try it my way – you may just find you like it and don’t want to bother with the extra step.

Chicken:
3 pounds (1.36 kg) chicken, skinned and boned, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups (473 mL) plain yogurt (regular, low-fat, non-fat)
3 tablespoons (44 mL) lemon juice
1-inch (2.5 cm) piece ginger, grated
5 cloves garlic, grated
1 tablespoon (15 mL) red chili powder
1 tablespoon (15 mL) paprika
1 teaspoon (5 mL) – 1 tablespoon (15 mL) red chili powder
2 teaspoons (10 mL) cinnamon powder
2 teaspoons (10 mL) black pepper
2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt

Whisk all ingredients except chicken together in deep mixing bowl. Once blended, add chicken into the same bowl and mix gently until all pieces are coated. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours and ideally overnight.

Masala:
3 medium yellow or red onions, peeled and cut into large pieces
6 tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic
4 – 6 green Thai, Serrano or cayenne chilies
2 cans (6 oz/50 gram) tomato paste
2 tablespoons (30 mL) garam masala
2 tablespoons (30 mL) coriander powder
1 tablespoon (15 mL) red chili powder
1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt
1 tablespoon (15 mL) brown sugar
3 tablespoons (44 mL) blanched almonds (optional)
1 teaspoon (5 mL) cinnamon powder
½ cup (125 mL) water
6 cardamom pods, crushed slightly in mortar and pestle
1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream
1 cup (250 mL) chopped, fresh cilantro

Boil water on the stovetop to peel tomatoes. Cut an “X” into the bottom of each tomato with a knife and drop into boiling water for about two minutes or until the peel starts to curl back from spot where you cut it. Pull them out of water with tongs and peel once cooled. Cut away the green top and chop roughly.

In a food processor grind onions, garlic, chilies, tomato paste, garam masala, coriander powder, red chili powder, salt, brown sugar, blanched almonds, cinnamon powder and water until completely smooth. Be patient, as this could take 10 – 15 minutes. To help the process, turn the food processor off and push mixture down from the sides and pulse again to ensure the mixture is finely ground.

Add tomatoes and pulse a few times until the tomatoes break down but are not completely blended. Put mixture in slow cooker. Add crushed cardamom pods to slow cooker.

With a slotted spoon or tongs, slowly add marinated chicken to the slow cooker. Discard the remaining yogurt to make a thicker base for the chicken or add to the slow cooker for a thinner masala.

Cook on high for 6 – 8 hours. If you want an even thicker sauce, leave lid off during the last hour of cooking.

Add cream and cilantro before serving. Garnish with chopped onions and green chilis. Serve with naan or roti.

Try This! If you really want to add another layer of flavor to the dish, brown the chicken in oil on the stovetop after marinating it and before adding it to the slow cooker. You can also grill the chicken after marinating and serve like this as an appetizer with toothpicks.

To make in the 3 ½ quart slow cooker, cut all ingredients in half and follow above steps. Makes 7 cups (1.66 mL).



Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

Author



16 Comments

Michele
Michele

July 25, 2012

Hello! I was looking at your new book, and I stumbled onto this recipe on your site! Everything sounds so delicious here! I was wondering if you had an answer to the above question about what size of canned tomatoes to substitute for the six medium? I was guessing maybe two 14 oz cans? My garden tomatoes are not yet ripe. :) Thanks!

Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

July 28, 2012

Hi Michele. Yep. I think two 14 oz. cans would work just fine! Again, Indian food is really forgiving. If you use an extra tomato, garlic, onion, here and there it’s totally fine. You just always have to be careful how much garam masala or turmeric you add only because those spices can be strong. Let me know how it goes. Good luck.

Ellen
Ellen

February 15, 2011

Just made this last night from your book, along with the potato and cauliflower dish. So delicious! I cut the recipes in half as there are only two of us plus a friend. Whenever I make Indian food I pack a lunch for her to take to work the next day.

Katie
Katie

April 28, 2012

Heard you NPR yesterday and am enjoying the website. Can’t wait to make this, but confused about the red chili powder listed twice, or am I missing something? Thanks for all of this, you’re an inspiration to busy working moms!

Meena
Meena

March 12, 2010

will try this recipe – one suggestion – try sauteing inions, tomatoes, ginger garlic . Add coriander, cumin powders and then grind in a food processor. The flavor is very good as compared to grinding raw onions which can be at times bitter. Just my 2 cents :)

Karyn
Karyn

October 18, 2010

Anupy -

I love all your recipes, but am in withdrawl now that I am living dairy-free for my nursling. Any advice on adapting the recipes? Mostly I am wondering what role the yogurt plays. Could I just sub it out with some thick almond milk (I make my own, so can make it any thickness) and some acid (maybe the juice from lacto-fermented pickles, for a bit of bacterial tang)? Thanks for bring great Indian food back into my life!
-karyn

Sarah
Sarah

October 29, 2010

I am very excited to have found your site and will be purchasing your book! please could you clarify the ingredients for the chicken, as red chili powder is listed twice. Many thanks, and can’t wait to make this recipe, Sarah

Anonymous
Anonymous

February 10, 2010

Hi Anupy
I made the Chicken Tikka Masala yesterday. Great quantity – enough for two meals. In our family of five we eat Indian food quite a bit. This was a real hit. Even the fussy eight year old loved it. I cut back the chilli slightly (and reluctantly) and they gobbled it up. Which is just as well, because they're having it next week too.

thanks for the recipe

Sarah

Indian As Apple Pie
Indian As Apple Pie

February 10, 2010

Sarah……I am cyber hugging you RIGHT now! I needed affirmation of this recipe as it was a total experiment. I've only made it once. I usually make my recipes at least half a dozen times or more. But this was a last minute add. Thanks for the feedback! And thank your family too!

Anonymous
Anonymous

February 22, 2010

I am looking forward to trying your recipe very soon, but I live in a cold climate, and even the tomatoes at Whole Foods are very sad indeed. The sizes also vary tremendously. Would like to sub. high quality canned/jarred tomatoes and would appreciate a suggestion for the amount. (Also like the idea of skipping the peeling step!) Can't wait for the book. What a brilliant idea.

All the best,
~M

Anonymous
Anonymous

January 30, 2010

Watched WGN. You did a great presentation on Indian cooking. Made it look indian cooking so simple! Proud of you! Wish you great luck!
Love,
mom

Anonymous
Anonymous

February 01, 2010

Just found you via 101 cookbooks and will try your delicious sounding slow-cooked chicken tikka masala asap. I always forget how much you can do in a slow cooker. re working in exercise: get yourself a rebounder/mini trampoline. These are great for cramming in some heart-pumping exercise with the added bonuses of a) not having to leave the house (you can look like crap and no one sees), b) 8 minutes a day of jogging on the tramp is equivalent to 6 km pavement jogging (so say experts, whoever they are) – apparently NASA folk use them, c) easy on joints, d) it's actually kinda fun. I have rubbish joints and I have found jumping on the tramp doesn't aggravate them and actually leaves me energised. And no, I don't sell them..Good luck.

Indian As Apple Pie
Indian As Apple Pie

February 01, 2010

Hi…thanks to my mom! She's not biased or anything!!:) And thanks to the last post. I'm sorry but I didn't see your name posted. Thanks for visiting – welcome. And I just realized I have a mini trampoline for my girls. I wonder if that will work? There are quite a few other recipes on this blog that I hope you'll try! Hope to hear from you again soon!

Kathy Hester (GeekyPoet)
Kathy Hester (GeekyPoet)

January 27, 2010

This looks yummy! I'll try it with a meat substitute like beans since I'ma vegetarian. I have a bunch of healthy slow cooker recipes that I post on my blog if you're interested.

Anonymous
Anonymous

January 27, 2010

Anupy- you are the best cook I've met!!I have never eaten Indian food, and even had no idea about it, but u showed me the elegance and unsurpassed in this kitchen. All the dishes that u cook very delicious!!! I am witness to how u wrote cook book, when you're with love and attention made all the dishes. I wish u inspiration and support from your family and friends!!! with love Helen))

Indian As Apple Pie
Indian As Apple Pie

January 27, 2010

Thanks for visiting, Kathy! Your site looks wonderful. I will take a look at it for recipe ideas as well. Just so you know about 90 percent of my book is vegetarian. I am mostly veg as well. i do a seitan chicken curry that's out of this world!

Helen. Yeah..you commented. I'm so proud of you and we really miss having you live with us. Maybe you'll come back to us one day??!!

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