Chicken TIkka Masala with Wilted Spinach
- Prep Time 0:45
- Cook Time 0:22
- 8 Comments
I really, really wanted to call this Chicken Quick-a Masala, but I figured that the tiny smidgen of credibility I’ve garnered in my food-writing career thus far would probably be revoked if I employed such a cheesy pun.
That said, it’s amazing how quickly this deeply flavorful and rich Indian take-out staple comes together. I like to keep it a bit lighter than traditional Tikka Masala, so I use non-fat Greek yogurt, as opposed to whole-milk, as well as half-and-half instead of heavy cream. I also throw in some fresh spinach to increase the fiber content. If you prefer your Tikka Masala creamier and veg-free, feel free to use whole milk yogurt and cream and to skip the spinach.
The higher price tag is mostly due to the spices, so, if you have a decent spice collection already, you should end up spending a fair bit less than the amount listed. For super-cheap Indian spices, go here.
- 1 cup low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt $1.50
- 2 garlic cloves, minced Pantry
- 1 1” piece ginger, peeled and minced $0.50
- 1 tsp cinnamon $1.50 for 1 oz.
- 2 tsp. paprika $1.50 for 1 oz.
- 1 tsp ground cardamom $1.50 for 1 oz.
- 2 tbsp honey Pantry
- salt and pepper Pantry
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” chunks $5
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter 1 for a stick
- 1 onion, diced $1.50
- 4 tsp. curry powder $1.50 for 1 oz.
- 1 cup half-and-half *
- 1 6-oz. can tomato paste $1
- 2 tsp (or more/less to taste) Sriracha or other smooth Asian chili sauce $2 for 16 oz.
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves $1
Total Cost of Ingredients $19.50
Whisk together the yogurt, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, honey in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cut-up chicken and mix well to ensure all chicken is well-coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or for as long as overnight).
Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent. Add the curry powder and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until very fragrant.
Add the half-and-half and stir well to make a creamy yellowish sauce.
Stir in the tomato paste and stir well.
Use a rubber scraper to scrape the chicken and all of its marinade into the half-and-half mixture. Stir well and cook until the mixture comes to a light simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until chicken is fully-cooked (but still tender). Just before serving, stir in Asian chili sauce and spinach.
Serve over rice or with naan.