However, it is not that simple as it seems! Heston Blumenthal travelled to India to find out more and things got even more confusing. He met several people who insisted that it was an Indian dish, after all spices belong to India. Finally, when he was back in England he went to his favourite Indian restaurant to have a plate of chicken tikka masala. Only now he realised that what he really loved about the dish was coconut milk.
There is no better proof of Blumenthal's vocation in the search of perfection than the MRI scan to find out if the marinade penetrates the meat or only coats the surface. That helped to find the best way of preparation of the chicken meat. The best result was achived with the chicken that had the rub for 5 hours and was marinated for 10 hours. So everything was ready for cooking, however an ordinary housewife has no tandoori oven at home. Blumenthal found a simple, yet effective way to solve this problem. Well, we do not own such a grill and I didn't want to buy one, so we improvised.
The preparation? Well, it is neither complicated nor time consuming! Everything starts the same way like with the perfect roast chicken: the chicken thighs spend 6 hours in salty water, then another 2 in water where you gotta change it every 30 minutes. Okay, that is the worst part, but it is worth it! Then comes the preparation of the rub using raw and baked garlic, ginger and olive oil. The deboned chicken thighs spend 5 hours in the rub. After it is time for the yoghurt marinade that contains home made garam masala (coriander, green and black cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, cumin, mace, bay leaf) chili and fenugreek leaves. I didn't manage to get the leaves so I used ground fenugreek, but only a 1/4 of the required amount. After 10 hours of marinating it is time to cook the chicken! And finally, you only have to prepare the masala. For this you need a pressure cooker, but I do not own one, so I baked the tomatoes covered in foil in the oven. Then the rest is really quickly: add ginger, baked garlic, chili, yoghurt and coconut milk. Finally, stir in cashew nut butter and butter and sprinkle with melon seeds and fresh green chili. Serve with freshly baked naan and enjoy.
The taste? Brilliant, simply BRILLIANT!