I’ve tried garam masala from both Spice Islands and McCormicks and I have no problem with either. I have not tried the above recipe (yet) so I can’t compare.
I do make a mean chicken tikka masala, but I don’t know how to make a decent tandoori chicken to go in it. Does anyone have a good recipe for that? By way of trade, here’s my tikka. It’s a heart-attack with a stoke chaser, but if chlorestol doesn’t scare you, you’ll love it…
Soak 2-5 boneless, skinless, fatless, tendonless, cubed, chicken half-breasts (1 per person you plan to serve) 12-24 hours in half a bottle of Italian dressing. Use a non-metalic container (of course) and keep it in your refrigerator.
After it soaks, put the whole mess in a frying pan and cook it just long enough to turn the chicken cubes white all the way through. Drain and set on paper towels to dry.
Blend the following together into a sauce:
1/2 large onion
1 T chopped garlic (I like the big jars from WalMart!)
2 t garam masala
1/2 t ground white pepper
1/4 t salt
1/8 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground cardamom
1/4 t ground corriander
1/8 t ground clove
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
1/2 c condensed Campbell’s tomato soup
3 T butter
1 T honey
Cook on high until it starts to bubble. Cover and reduce heat as low as your stove can go. You might even use a double-boiler if you have one handy. Add chicken. Stir frequently to keep bottom from burning and top from skinning. Let simmer and cook rice. When the rice is nearly done, check the sauce thickness. If it is too runny, allow to cook uncovered until it thickens up.
Cook the following in a rice cooker:
2 c of basmati rice
2 1/2 c water
1 stick of cinnamon (do not try powder!)
1/8 t ground cardamon (unless you can get whole white cardamom seeds, then use about a tablespoon worth and remove after cooking)
small pinch of saffron (if you have it or don’t mind buying it)
Serve tikka over rice with naan if you know how to make it (does anyone have a good recipe?).
Also, I’ve found that you can add a package of sliced almonds to the chicken as you fry it. It will not change the tikka’s taste, but it has a nice texture. I’ve never tried to make a vegetarian version, but I would bet you could replace the chicken with almonds, potatoes, and tofu. Consider that your homework, you vegetarians out there.
Good tikka will cause drowsiness just like turkey and stuffing will. Don’t try to operate heavy machinery afterwards.