Oh tika tika. It’s been way too long since I’ve written – lots going on with this home cook, including leaving my long-term job to start a small business. So now that I’ve had a week to let it sink in, get sick, sleep A LOT and get a tiny start on a few projects, I’m ready to get back to the routine and back to cooking.

In need of some somewhat healthy comfort food, I pulled out my favorite Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. I have a lovely little cookbook made by my former housemate, Amanda Younessian. This girl is one of the healthiest, smartest chics I know, and I always think of her when I cook this recipe. I’ve made a few amendments to the original recipe (substituting coconut milk for heavy cream for instance) – don’t be scared off by the list of ingredients – this is worth the effort!

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Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken:
1 c. Greek yogurt
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. sea salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
Sauce:
1 tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 small white onion
2 tsp. ground cumin
4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. sea salt
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 c. Coconut milk
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Rice:
1 c. Jasmine white rice
2 c. Coconut milk
Dash of salt

In a medium bowl combine yogurt, lemon juice and spices listed under “chicken.” Stir in chicken pieces and let marinade in the fridge for at least an hour – overnight if you can. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, spread marinaded chicken on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through.

While chicken is in oven, put the rice, milk and salt in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic, jalapeño and onion for 1 minute. Season with cumin, paprika and salt; add tomato sauce and coconut milk. Simmer on low heat 10 minutes. Add chicken and cilantro and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Top rice with chicken mixture and enjoy! Makes a great leftover lunch, too.

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