The First Tikka Masala (1961, India)


First printed in 1961, it is asserted that Mrs Balbir Singh’s ‘Shahi Chicken Masala’ is the original Tikka - now Britain's national dish. The recipe is an addictive, tomato-based curry.

Ingredients: (Serves four)

680g of chicken
85g of ghee
85g of thinly sliced onions
85g tomatoes
45g ground almonds 
150ml cream 
20g of root ginger, roughly chopped
9 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 teaspoons of cumin seeds
1 tablespoons of coriander seeds
1 tablespoon of chopped green coriander leaves 
12 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
4 green cardamoms, crushed
1 to 2 teaspoons of chilli powder (to taste)
1 to 3 teaspoons of salt
240ml water
1 and 1/2 teaspoon of cornflour in 120ml water

Items it is recommended you include if available: 115g khoa, 2 Indian bay leaves

  1. In a pan, brown the onions in the ghee. Remove the onions once done and set aside.
  2. Grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and black peppercorns to a powder, and mix with ginger and garlic. Grind to a fine paste.
  3. Blanch the tomato, peel and chop. Reheat the ghee and add the crushed cardamoms to let the spices absorb, then add the spices paste, onions, and the tomato, and fry for 5 to 7 minutes, adding water every once in a while.
  4. Add chilli powder and stir into the mix, add your meat and salt, then fry for 10 minutes. Add the cornflour/water mix, cream, ground almonds, and garam masala, then let simmer until a desired consistency.
  5. Sprinkle on top green coriander leaves and serve!

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