Chicken Tikka Masala

chicken tikka masala
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD,

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

Calories 380
Fat 13g
Carbs 23g
Protein 43g
View All
Total Time 130 min
Prep 40 min, Cook 90 min
Servings 6 (3 oz. chicken, 1 cup sauce)

Chicken tikka masala begins with chunks of chicken marinated in a yogurt sauce. Traditionally, the chicken is then baked in a hot tandoori oven.

Our low-FODMAP version of this famous dish calls for broiling the chicken until it is nicely browned on the outside and still moist on the inside. Serve over long grain white or brown rice for the complete Indian restaurant experience.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida (see note below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups lactose-free yogurt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger root, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallion greens (green part only)
  • 2 cups chopped fennel bulb
  • 2 cups finely thickly peeled, chopped fresh rutabaga
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, no salt added
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium, low-FODMAP chicken broth

Preparation

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, paprika, garam masala, ground chile, turmeric, coriander, asafetida, black pepper, and salt. Divide this spice mixture in half and combine one half with a third of the yogurt and half of the minced ginger.
  2. Cut chicken breasts into ½-inch thick fillets or tenders, so that they will cook properly under the broiler. Using a fork, poke holes in the surface of the chicken pieces to allow them to absorb more flavor. Place them in a large zip-top bag or flat dish, pour in the yogurt and spice mixture, seal, and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours.
  1. About 1½ hours before serving, heat a 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. While the pan heats, add garlic-infused oil and the remaining minced ginger to the remaining half of the spice mixture; stir until this forms a thin paste. Add the paste to the hot pan and allow it to cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it is fragrant and darkens slightly. This is called "tempering" the spices.
  2. Add the scallion greens, fennel bulb, and rutabaga and stir to coat with oil and spices. Sautee the vegetables until the scallion greens wilt, about 10 minutes. If the vegetables begin to stick, stir in a tablespoon of water.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Stir to ensure that no vegetables are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cover, bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until rutabaga is tender.
  4. While the sauce simmers, arrange an oven rack about 4 inches below the broiler and preheat it.
  1. Place the marinated chicken on an oiled or foil-lined broiling pan or baking tray. Place the chicken under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to brown in spots. Remove the pan, turn the chicken pieces over, and broil on the other side until chicken is fully cooked. Remove smaller pieces of chicken from the broiling pan as they become done, to prevent over-cooking. Slice or cube the broiled chicken if desired.
  1. Allow the sauce to cool for about 10 minutes, until safe to handle.  Use a stick blender to puree the sauce if desired or move it to a blender in batches. Stir in the rest of the yogurt and re-warm gently if necessary. Serve the chicken and sauce over cooked rice.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

To save time, serve the pieces of broiled chicken without slicing and serve the sauce without pureeing.

Three and a half cups of chopped fresh tomatoes can be used instead of the crushed tomatoes.

Cooking and Serving Tips

For the best flavor, plan ahead to start marinating the chicken early on the day you plan to serve this meal.

If you don’t have garlic infused oil on hand, add a clove of garlic, cut into large pieces, to the oil when you temper the spices. Remove the pieces of garlic before adding the tomatoes and chicken broth.

Low-FODMAP chicken broth is one without onions or garlic. Be sure to read the ingredients label carefully before purchasing.

Asafetida, a spice used in traditional Indian cooking, adds an "allium" flavor note to this dish.

Fortunately, it tastes much better than it smells. Try to borrow a small amount from a friend or buy just a little at first to make sure you like it. If you can't find it, omit it.

This sauce can be started well ahead of time. After cooking and pureeing it, refrigerate the sauce until shortly before serving. Re-warm it on the stovetop, then stir in the yogurt just before serving. Don’t allow the yogurt to boil or it will curdle.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 (3 oz. chicken, 1 cup sauce)
Amount per serving  
Calories 380
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 100mg 33%
Sodium 540mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 14g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 43g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 238mg 18%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 1243mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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