i was watching “throwdown” with bobby flay & he challenged Chef Marianna Vadukul, a Venezuelan married to an indian man who has mastered indian cooking. she revealed her butter chicken recipeor chicken tikka masala. i had one hell of a time finding her recipe so i mostly had to make it based on what i remembered from watching her cook. i was outraged that bobby, who has never cooked indian food in his life, actually won. this is a woman who has spent years perfecting the perfect chicken tikka masala. it’s easy to find bobby’s recipe but not chef marianna’s.

the first thing she stressed was the cooking of the onions. VERY important to carmelize them well. so i decided to buy some local torpedo onions-even though they are a total pain in the rear to peel & slice.

i carmelized them for half an hour in a quarter cup of ghee, which i found at my local co-op!

then i added the spices

2 T. garam masala
2 T. turmeric
2 T. fresh ground roasted cumin
2 T. chipotle chili powder
2 T. ground coriander
salt to taste

3 serrano chili peppers (one fully seeded, 2 seedless)
an entire bulb of garlic
1 inch slice fresh ginger
mince all of these together

cook them together 5 minutes. then add

28 ounces of high quality pureed tomatoes

cook another 10 minutes

add 2 cups full fat greek yogurt

cook 5 minutes

add 1.5 pounds of raw cubed chicken breast

cook 20 minutes.

chef marianna stressed that it was better to cook the meat in the sauce instead of adding it already cooked. she said the meat did not need to be tenderized or marinated. she was right. the meat cooked beautifully & was not dry at all.

add a bunch of fine chopped fresh cilantro & serve on top of plain steamed basmati rice.

not hard at all! you should try to make this-it makes your entire house smell like india 🙂