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Lighter Tikka Masala

March 19, 2010

Mom is here, and we are about to chow down on some homemade food she brought with her — yum! I love my Mom’s cooking šŸ™‚ So since I’m not cooking tonight, here is a recipe I made last week that was, in one word, delish!

I obviously have a mild obsession with Indian dishes. Ever since I have developed an (almost) fully stocked spice cabinet, it is so easy to throw a few ingredients and a lot of herbs into the pot, cook, and create an amazingly flavorful and aromatic meal. I love how if you don’t have all the spices it doesn’t matter, but instead can use what you have on hand and get a similar result. I love how the aromas waft through the apartment, always bringing Z to the kitchen to find out whats cooking. And I love how all of these dishes are healthful, with minimal fat and calories for maximum taste. For me, Indian food is a win-win.

Growing up in England, Indian food never seemed foreign. Actually, curry has been named England’s National Dish. London has a huge Indian population, and I loved going down to Brick Lane and visiting all of the bakeries and coming home smelling of curry and coconut milk. The British-ification (is that a word?) of Indian cuisine also reaches chicken tikka masala. While many Indian chefs claim a similar dish was eaten by the Mughal emperors, a chef at a Bangladeshi restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland, claims to have been the first to make the dish. The city’s PM is going so far as asking for the city to be given EU Protected Designation of Origin status for the curry. Whether the dish was created in the 1700s or by using a can of condensed soup, it still remains top on my list. (Source 1, Source 2)

All of my Indian dishes so far have been amazing and healthful, but then there was chicken tikka masala. Every recipe I came across called for vast amounts of butter and heavy cream. Not really my bag, baby šŸ™‚ Then, on what I felt would be another disappointing recipe hunt, I found a recipe on that rang my bell; instead of cream, it used Greek yogurt! Genius! And, whats more, I had some StonyField Farms Okios Greek yogurt from the coupons I received last week (fat free!). At that moment I believed it was fate for me to finally make my own, healthified chicken tikka masala.

Chicken Tikka Masala adapted from

1 lb chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of the following spices:

Cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons Greek yogurt (I used Okios!)
Brown rice for serving

In a pan, saute the onion until soft. Add the spices and cook for an additional minute.

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken and cover with the sauce. Cook, uncovered, for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the Greek yogurt and stir through.

Serve atop brown rice.

MMMMMmmmmmMMmmmmMMmmMMm! This was amazing. The spices meddled perfectly, which just the right touch of hotness. The greek yogurt made all the difference! Okios is thick and creamy, adding a mildness that wasn’t overwhelming. It took the edge off of the acidity of the tomatoes, which increased as the liquid boiled down; the dish would have been lost without it! I am so glad I found a lighter recipe to make. There is nothing as warming as a big, steaming bowl of chicken tikka masala when it is pouring rain outside. Plus everything was so easy and quick, I know I can turn to this instead of getting take out. This will definitely become another go-to recipe of mine.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2010 5:13 pm

    Oh girl, this looks amazing!! Andrew and I love indian food and healthy indian food is even better!! šŸ™‚ I especially love that it uses greek yogurt!! I love how enthusiastic your review of the recipe is!! Makes me want to try it even more!! šŸ™‚

  2. March 19, 2010 6:43 pm

    LOVE ME some Indian food. I remember having Indian in London and loving it. I also like the Japanese version of curry! Everyone has their interpretation. šŸ™‚ I think the spices are missing from your recipe, though…? Can’t leave those out!!!!

  3. March 19, 2010 6:58 pm

    I absolutely love Indian food. You`re right that it`s cool to come home smelling of curry and coconut milk, but leaving the house smelling that way is another matter.

    I made some curry soup this week and forgot to close the door to my bedroom. All the clothes on my bed reeked of curry afterwards šŸ˜¦

  4. March 20, 2010 9:57 am

    I love lightening up traditional dishes! Yours looks like a fantastic version of such a beloved meal. Do you know that I’ve never had Chicken Tikka Masala? What’s wrong with me? I think this looks like something I’d like though- full of flavor!!
    Have a wonderful time with your mom!! Can’t wait to hear about it!!

  5. March 20, 2010 9:32 pm

    Mmm, this looks so flavorful and I love how you lightened it up! I’m with you on Indian food – I just got an Indian cookbook – yay!

  6. eatspinlive permalink
    March 21, 2010 3:17 pm

    Hey girl! I just stumbled upon your blog and love it! What a great site! Spending time with your mom is always a wonderful thing:) I look forward to reading more!

  7. March 22, 2010 1:35 pm

    I love your lightened up version! I have seen a lot of not-so-healthy recipes for this so I’ve shied away. I hope you had a great weekend with your mom!

  8. March 23, 2010 10:02 pm

    Mmm, yes, i need to try this šŸ™‚

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