Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Indian Dinner! Chicken Tikka Masala, Melon Salad with Honey-Lime Yogurt Dressing

This past Christmas, my friend Kelli Hamm Tamvada invited some friends down to the beach for an Indian meal that she likes to cook for her husband Arvind (his family is from India, although he himself has never been he told us). We had chicken tikka masala and lamb curry for our first experience with Indian food and it was spicy and delicious. I was especially pleased when Al liked it so much, since he is not known for his adventurous taste buds. The recipe that I share with you tonight is the recipe for the chicken tikka masala that Kelli made for us that night and so graciously shared with me. The melon salad isn't Indian, but it is a way to 1) use up the left over non-fat yogurt from the first recipe and 2) it will be a cool, refreshing addition to the spicy main dish (sort of like an Indian raita).

Chicken Tikka Masala

1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon minced, fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bit sized pieces
4 long skewers

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper (seeded), finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream (since we are being healthy, I substituted fat-free half-and-half)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, ginger and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in chicken pieces and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat grill to high heat. Lightly oil grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear. Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoon cumin, paprika, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Stir in chicken and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Serve over basmati rice and garnish with fresh cilantro. If you don't like it really spicy, cut back on the amount of cayenne and jalapeno.

Melon Salad with Honey-Lime Yogurt Dressing

1/2 cup lowfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
Splash of vanilla flavoring
Assorted melon (cantelope, honeydew, watermelon) cut into bit sized pieces

Combine yogurt, lime juice, honey, and vanilla and chill. Serve drizzled over melon (or any other assorted fruits that you might have lying around!). This would probably be good with fresh mint in it too, but I didn't have any. Just a thought!

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