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Brokeass Gourmet

Chicken Tikka Masala With Wilted Spinach

Photo:, License: N/A, Created: 2010:12:21 15:02:12

Prep Time 45 minutes

Cook Time 22 minutes

I really, really wanted to call this Chicken Quick-a Masala, but I figured that the tiny smidgen of credibility I’ve garnered in my food-writing career thus far would probably be revoked if I employed such a cheesy pun.

That said, it’s amazing how quickly this deeply flavorful and rich Indian takeout staple comes together. I like to keep it a bit lighter than traditional tikka masala, so I use nonfat Greek yogurt, as opposed to whole milk, and half-and-half instead of heavy cream. I also throw in some fresh spinach to increase the fiber content. If you prefer your tikka masala creamier and veg-free, feel free to use whole milk yogurt and cream and skip the spinach.

The higher price tag is mostly due to the spices, so if you have a decent spice collection already, you should end up spending a fair bit less than the amount listed.


Ingredients (prices may vary):

1 cup low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt $1.50

2 garlic cloves, minced pantry

1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced $0.50

1 teaspoon cinnamon $1.50 for 1 oz.

2 teaspoon paprika $1.50 for 1 oz.

1 teaspoon ground cardamom $1.50 for 1 oz.

2 tablespoon honey pantry

salt and pepper pantry

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks $5

2 tablespoon unsalted butter $1 for a stick

1 onion, diced $1.50

4 teaspoon. curry powder $1.50 for 1 oz.

1 cup half-and-half $1.25 for a pint

1 6-oz. can tomato paste $1

2 teaspoon (or more/less to taste) Sriracha or other smooth Asian chili sauce $2 for 16 oz.

2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves $1

Total Cost of Ingredients $19.50



Whisk together the yogurt, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, and honey in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cut-up chicken and mix well to ensure all chicken is well coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or for as long as overnight).

Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent. Add the curry powder and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until very fragrant.

Add the half-and-half and stir well to make a creamy yellowish sauce.

Stir in the tomato paste and stir well.

Use a rubber scraper to scrape the chicken and all of its marinade into the half-and-half mixture. Stir well and cook until the mixture comes to a light simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked (but still tender).

Serve over rice or with naan.

Serves 3-4.

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