Malai Tikka Masala is a spicy and tangy South Indian cuisine that are the popular base of all south Indian curries. Made by Punjabi cooks in the old Mughal court, malai tika masala combines traditional, aromatic and spicy ingredients like cumin, coriander seeds, asafetida, red chili powder, dry ginger powder, and fried puffed rice to give it its distinct taste. The base is made from wheat flour. The delicious, aromatic, and tangy taste of malai tika masala goes well with almost any kind of Indian or non-Indian dishes. There are several options for adding the flavor in your own cooking. Here are some options to try.
First option is to add a few drops of oil in the pan to cook the spices and then add the chicken and saute it in low flame for a few minutes. If the chicken is done you can turn the heat down and add some onions and tomatoes. Let this cook for a few minutes so that the tomato puree does not stick to the bottom. You may use a food processor or blender to puree the cheese.
Then add coriander seeds, asafetida, cinnamon, and salt to the puree. Put the cheese in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth and creamy.
The second option is to use a pureed mixture of paste made from clarified butter, grated carrots, and chunk fruits to create the marinade. You can create the paste at home through a simple process. You need to start off by cooking the spices and fruits with a low flame, and keep stirring while cooking. After you are done, add a few drops of water to the marinade and mix in the cooked meat. Marinated chicken pieces can be made ahead and refrigerated to serve for lunch or dinner.
If you make the traditional Indian Malai Tikka Masala at home, you can refrigerate the leftovers until next day use them in soups, salads, and even as an ingredient in different recipes. Alternatively you can use a store bought pureed marinated chicken piece or ham to make a delicious sauce for tortilla chips or flat breads. To make the sauce, simply take the cooked ham or chicken, and squeeze out the liquid (or milk if you used the pureed variety) through a strainer. Place the strained meat into a mixing bowl and add a small amount of lemon juice to the mixture. Puree the mixture until smooth, and save the paste for another use.
Malai Tikka is usually served alongside plain yogurt, and is also a wonderful side dish to grilled chicken.
You can find delicious malai tikka chicken pieces all over the city at many of the authentic Indian restaurants. Alternatively you could make your own at home using boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Follow the simple recipe above, and add some lemon juice to the mixture before serving on top of plain yogurt with a sprinkling of almonds for a delicious and authentic taste. For a healthier option, try grilling the chicken along with vegetables (such as carrots), adding some roasted and browned peanuts, and fresh coriander leaves to add extra zing to the mix.
A popular Malai Tika recipe uses green chutney or mint to add a sweet taste to the traditionally spicy dish. The classic recipe includes green chutney or mint leaves, a tablespoon of finely chopped mint leaves, and one tablespoon of mustard seeds or cumin. Cook the mint or green chutney along with the yogurt and lemon juice, and then add the chicken back to the pan. Cover the lid of the cooker and let the sauce cook for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.