Found on almost every Indian restaurant menu, and a countless host of many others is the ever popular Indian cuisine staple, Chicken Tikka Masala. While just looking at the long list of ingredients you may get the impression that Chicken Tikka Masala is an involved and complicated process; quite the opposite actually. There are several ingredients in the recipe (not really that many) and the technique is pretty straight forward and simple. Everyone should make it at least once. It is a nice dish to have in your recipe repertoire and a nice way to enhance your spice rack if you do not already have the spices it calls for. Try it for yourself and let us know your thoughts.
In a bowl, large enough to hold the ingredients, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, 2 tsp. Cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, ginger and salt. Add in the chicken and stir well to evenly coat the chicken pieces with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1 hour to overnight.
Remove the chicken from its marinade and discard the marinade. Cook the chicken however you prefer (grilled, broiled, sauteed...) until it is just cooked and nicely browned on all sides. Transfer to a platter.
In a heavy skillet or sauce pot, over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the garlic and jalapeno until tender. Add the remaining cumin (2 tsp.) paprika, and salt.
Stir in the tomato sauce and 35% cream. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens. Approximately 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Add your cooked chicken, mix it well in the sauce and simmer for approximately another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
On a serving platter over basmati rice (optional) or with naan bread (optional) and garnish with the chopped cilantro.