Chicken Masala is a popular Indian dish made with chicken pieces cooked in a rich, flavorful sauce made with a variety of aromatic spices and herbs. The dish is typically prepared by marinating chicken pieces in a mixture of spices and yogurt, then cooking them in a tomato-based gravy with a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala.
Ingredients for Chicken Masala
The ingredients for Chicken Masala can vary slightly depending on the specific recipe and personal preferences, but here are some common ingredients:
- Chicken: bone-in or boneless pieces, typically with the skin removed
- Yogurt: plain, full-fat yogurt is used for the marinade
- Tomatoes: fresh or canned, used to make the base of the sauce
- Onions: chopped or sliced, used to add flavor and texture to the sauce
- Garlic and ginger: finely chopped or grated, used to add depth of flavor
- Spices: a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder are typically used to give the dish its characteristic flavor and heat
- Oil or ghee: used for cooking the chicken and sautéing the onions and spices
- Fresh cilantro: chopped and used as a garnish
Optional ingredients that can be added for additional flavor and richness include cream, butter, or coconut milk. Lemon juice or vinegar can also be added to balance out the flavors of the dish.
Preparing Chicken for Masala
Here are the steps for preparing chicken for Chicken Masala:
- Clean the chicken: Rinse the chicken pieces under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels.
- Cut the chicken: Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, removing any excess fat or bones.
- Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, mix together yogurt and spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Add the chicken pieces to the mixture and toss to coat evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight for best results.
- Cook the chicken: Heat oil or ghee in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside on a plate.
- Make the sauce: In the same pan, add chopped onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and cook until the mixture forms a thick sauce, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken to the sauce: Return the chicken pieces to the pan with the sauce and stir to coat them evenly. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency.
- Garnish and serve: Garnish the Chicken Masala with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice or naan bread.ui