I am late to the loving Indian food game.  The first Indian dish I ate, I made.  Too recently to admit publicly.  Afterward, I went to a local Indian restaurant of good regard and tried the cuisine, cooked by people raised in the region.  I nailed it, proud of myself to a ridiculous degree. My recipe has the most heat of any recipe I have ever enjoyed.  If you are used to the heat of some Indian dishes, please feel free to increase the cayenne powder to 1 teaspoon and a half.  If you find Indian food a touch too hot, or are new to heat, reduce the cayenne powder of this recipe to a 1/2 teaspoon.  This recipe is one of the few dishes that actually tastes better the next day.  Please note the heat of this recipe will mellow a bit if you are making this dish for another day.  I prepare a large batch and set aside half of it to freeze for work lunches.

Spice Mix for CElisabeth's Chicken Masala



2 lb Chicken Breasts (4-5), chopped into 1" chunks.

2T Frying Oil (I use olive)

3/4 t Curry Powder

Fry chicken pieces in a large frying pan on med-high heat, about three minutes on each side, til the pieces are almost cooked through. Turn heat off, sprinkle curry powder onto chicken and toss to make sure the chicken chunks are covered. Set aside.


2 T Butter

1 C Yellow Onion, diced.  Generally baseball size onion

5 Med Garlic Cloves

2t Minced/grated Ginger (I prefer fresh)

-1 T cumin

-1 tsp table salt

-1 tsp cayenne powder

-1/2 tsp cinnamin

-1/2 tsp tumeric

3/4 C Tomato, chopped small, discarding seeds and juice.  No need to remove skin (I use plum tomato types, look for dryer tomato with intense flavor).

15 oz can Tomato Sauce

-2 T paprika

-1 T sugar

1 C Heavy Cream

1 C fresh garden/snap peas *if you use frozen, simmer assembled dish for 45 minutes instead of 30.

Heat 2 T butter.  Saute diced onion for 2 minutes on med heat.  Add minced garlic, saute for another 2 minutes.  Add ginger, saute for another 2 minutes.  Add the 4 spices and salt.  Stir and cook for another minute.  Add tomato and tomato sauce, stir, then add heavy cream and the paprika and sugar.  Let this cook for about ten minutes before adding chicken.  if you work quickly, you can also use this ten minutes to cut and cook the curry chicken.

Once the chicken is added to the sauce, simmer for 30-45 minutes on low heat.  Your house will smell ridiculously good, expect neighbors to pop by and ask what you are cooking.  I serve this chicken masala with lightly salted basmati rice and a fruit salad.  Fruit salad is a great way to calm the palate between bites if the heat is a bit too much.  

Adding chicken to sauce for CElisabeth's Indian Chicken Masala