Chef News

Guru Palace's Chicken Tikka Masala

We named Guru Palace's Chicken Tikka Masala one of our "100 Favorite Dishes," and today, Rana Singh Sodhi and Surinder Singh (no relation) share the mouthwatering Indian recipe.

Think they're forking over their signature secret? Not quite. You'll have to track down a clay oven to get the tender, slow-roasted goodness that is quintessential to the dish.

We're willing to take our chances with a ceramic casserole dish in a standard convection oven. Maybe we'll throw a couple bricks in too, just for good measure. That is if we can find all the ingredients...

(Click through for the recipe.)

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Kebabs
What you'll need:
2 lbs. Boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup Whole-milk yogurt
1 Tbsp Garam masala
1 Tbsp Ginger paste
1 Tbsp Garlic paste
¼ cup Vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1 Tbsp Salt
½ Tbsp Degi mirch (or Paprika)
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 Tbsp Lime juice
1 inch Fresh ginger, finely chopped
Dash of egg-yellow food coloring
4 large Bamboo skewers

What you'll do:
Mix together all the ingredients except the chicken and skewers in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Remove chicken from marinade and thread pieces onto skewers.
Pre-heat the clay oven to 550ºF.
Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Put your chicken skewers in the pan. Baste the chicken generously with the leftover marinade.
Once your oven is hot, bake the chicken skewers for about 10 minutes on one side.
Turn the chicken over, baste with marinade for a second time, and backe for another 10 minutes or until done.

What you'll need:
2 Tbsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
1 cup Onions, finely chopped (almost pureed)
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 inch Fresh ginger, finely chopped (almost pureed)
1 slice Bell pepper
1 Tbsp Garam masala
1-½ tsp Salt:
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
1 cup Tomato puree
2 tsp Degi mirch (paprika)
½ cup Heavy whipping cream
Fresh cilantro

What you'll do:
Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan.
Add onions and sauté until brown. Add garlic and ginger, and continue sautéing.
Add garam masala, salt, and turmeric powder, and sauté another two minutes.
Add tomato puree, bring to a boil, and then let simmer for about 10 minutes.
Stir in degi mirch, cream, and simmer on medium heat until the mixture is the consistency of a thick gravy.

How you'll put it all together:
Remove chicken from skewers and place in a large, shallow bowl.
Pour masala on top of the chicken tikka.
Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Enjoy over rice or with an Indian flatbread like naan or chapati.

On second thought, you could just throw in the ceramic casserole, and head over to Guru Palace. Trust us: They won't judge you if you come in every other day and order the exact same meal. Sodhi even says he eats chicken tikka masala at least four times a week.

(This is the third installment of our Chef Chat with Sodhi and Singh. Check out parts one and two to avoid looking like a fool eating Indian food Indian-style and to hear all about Sodhi's run in with the infamous White House State Dinner party crashers.)

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Hannah E Williams