I’m not really sure what to call this. I don’t understand what the individual words mean, but as I understand it “tikka” means “pieces” and “masala” is…the gravy the Brittish added to Chicken Tikka because they like gravy! Heh. Either way, this is oh-so-tasty. To an American palate, this would be Chicken Coconut Pumpkin Tikka Masala…or something like that. Whatever. (Oh, and the pumpkin? It was a shot in the dark to get more veggies into my fruit n’ bread ONLY kid. It was a success!)
Aunt LoLo’s “Secret Ingredient” Chicken Coconut Tikka Masala
2 split chicken breasts (bone in, skin on) (You can substitute any chicken here. If your chicken is already cooked, add it at the end.)
1 tbsp. oil
1 medium onion
1 tbs. minced garlic
1 tsp. tikka masala paste
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 cups pureed pumpkin (yes, really – it takes on an awesome earthy quality and really rounds out the sauce! Besides- SNEAKY VEG. Yes, please.)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. chicken base
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
In a dutch oven, heat up your oil and throw in your diced onion and minced garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent, about five minutes. Add tikka masala paste, tomato paste, pumpkin, water, chicken base, and a few scoops of the thick stuff on the top of the can of coconut milk. (Don’t shake it before you open the can! Coconut milk naturally separates into the cream, and the water.) Stir to combine.
Add your chicken, splash the sauce over it to coat, cover the pan, and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
When the chicken is cooked, carefully remove it from the sauce, remove and discard the skin, and then use a fork to tear the rest of the chicken into pieces. Discard the bones, and return the cooked meat to the pot. Add the rest of the coconut milk, stir to combine, and allow to thicken over low heat. Season to taste with more tikka masala paste and chicken base or salt. A spoonful of sugar is nice as well. (I was making this for kids, so I went pretty light on the tikka masala paste!)
Serve with rice spiced with a pinch of cinnamon, a half pinch of cloves and a teaspoon of chicken base mixed in before cooking.