Being familiar with the Indian cooking process enables me to develop a recipe using leftovers for an amazing result. Learning the basics teaches us how to adapt. That is the key.Jump to Recipe
Simply stated, the basics of Indian cooking are a combination of toasted spices, a mixture of herbs and a sauce. Put all three of these results in to a pot, mix it up, and see what comes out. In my Easy Indian Tomato Chicken Masala, I combined some leftover masala puree, with leftover tomato sauce and mixed in toasted cumin seeds with more tomatoes and onions. Yes, the tomatoes and onions were leftover as well. The masala herb recipe is the base and the recipe is in the below link:
Now, I do not want to overstate my knowledge of Indian cooking but I like to make it a lot. There are some variations for sure, but generally, a dish begins with toasting some spices, adding some liquids and blending into a simmering sauce. Then, more spices and a gravy are added to the simmering sauce enhancing the depth of flavor. The dish comes together when a protein or a vegetarian main ingredient are added. In this case, as the title suggests, chicken was added to make the dish hearty.
For those of you that love Indian food and want to explore Indian cooking techniques, the following LINK provides information on the most common techniques including Tadka Or Baghar: Tempering; Dum: Steaming; Bhunao: Sautéing; Dhuanaar: Smoking; Talina Or Talna: Deep-Frying and Tandoori: Roasting/Baking. These techniques show, like so many ethnic foods, that the offerings are quite varied. Usually, those unfamiliar with Indian food, assume Indian food means curry. Indian food is so much more and I encourage you to explore and try this type of food. I think you will like it.
Building the tomato masala.
The Easy Indian Tomato Chicken Masala plated.
Easy Indian Tomato Chicken Masala
Use leftovers to build on techniques one has learned to come up with amazing results as I achieved in this Easy Indian Tomato Chicken Masala.
- 8 Whole Boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 8 Ounces Tomato sauce
- 4 Ounces Masala sauce
- 8 Ounces Grape tomatoes
- 1/2 Whole Red onion
- 2 Tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 Tbsp Curry powder
- 2 Tsp Turmeric
- 2 Tsp Cumin powder
- 2 Tsp Coriander
- 1 Tsp Smoked paprika
- 2 Tbsp Canola oil divided
Begin by spicing the chicken thighs with the curry powder. Add oil to a pan and warm on medium high heat. Cook the chicken thighs for 2 – 3 minutes per side getting some color on them. Remove from pan and set aside.
There should be enough oil in the pan – now add the tomatoes, red onions and cumin seeds. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes. Remove from pan and add to a small blender and blend. Set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pan. Once warm, add in the masala sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes. Next, add in the tomato sauce and mix well. Simmer for another couple of minutes. Add in the remaining spices and mix well. Simmer for 1 minute. Add back in the tomato onion mix. Mix well and simmer for 1 minute. Add the chicken back into the pan. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
Serve over white rice. Enjoy!