A Mild Chicken Tikka Masala with Raita and Rice

Apologies to our Indian cooks if this is far from an authentic Indian dish. Chicken Tikka Masala has made it into the fast food business in some places, but here we gave it due consideration. It was absolutely delicious one way or another, even as we kept it on the mild side.

To get the show on the road, we plugged the leaves of a bushel of cilantro and chopped up the stems. We also finely chopped a knob of ginger and a few cloves of garlic.

Everything but the leaves went into a bit of olive oil for a few minutes till the garlic was browned

In the meantime we chopped up a big onion,

added it into the pot, turned down the heat, and softened it for about ten minutes.

That gave us plenty of time to cut up a pound of boneless chicken thighs.

They got added to the veggies with a jar, about 300g, of Tikka sauce. We turned the heat back up to brown the meat a little.

We chopped up two tomatoes and opened a big can, 800g, of chopped tomatoes, which were

added to the mix. We gently got the goodness to a simmer with the lid on and let it go for 45 minutes. About ten minutes before the end we removed the lid to thicken the sauce a bit.

Now that we had a little time to our hands we got the rice going. To do so we warmed a couple of chopped cloves of garlic in some olive oil, added 3 cups of water, a little salt, and brought it to a boil.

Then we added a cup and a half of brown rice, waited for it to boil again, turned it to the lowest level with the lid on, and forgot about it till dinner time.

We also prepared the Raita by mixing a good bit of plain yogurt, a small bushel of fresh mint, and the juice of one lemon. Then we deseeded half a cucumber and shredded it into the yogurt mix.

Before dinner, we added half of the cilantro leaves to the rice and the other half to the chicken with another cup or so of yogurt and the juice of another lemon.

The cold yogurt was a wonderful touch to the hot chicken dish. Everybody loved it. It was hard to put the fork down.