O for Onions

I love onions – you can do so much with them. Brown them gently and you can coax a rich, caramel flavor from them, do a quick saute and they end up sweet and crunchy.

When I am in the kitchen looking to cook myself something I start with an onion. I start slicing or dicing an onion and looking around to see what I have to make a meal with. By the time the onion is cut – I generally know what I am going to make.

Having good knife skills really helps in the kitchen. Learning to cut onions is very important, especially if Indian food is your thing.

Chicken Tikka

How do you get this glorious body – from onions. The vibrant color is of course from cayenne, turmeric and tomatoes.

This is a tried and true recipe.

3 lbs. skinless chicken pieces (breast, thighs and legs)

1 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
2 Tbs. minced fresh garlic
1 Tbs. Cumin powder
2 Tbs. Coriander Powder
½ tsp. Turmeric powder
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbs. Canola Oil
¼ cup lemon or lime juice
Salt to taste
Cilantro or Mint for garnish

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the marinade and mix well. Taste for seasoning before adding the chicken.
Marinate the chicken and refrigerate covered overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the chicken on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minute or until the chicken is cooked.
If you want the chicken to be browned while cooking, remove some of the marinade and place the pieces about ½ inch apart on the baking tray.
Serve hot, garnished with cilantro.

For Grilling:
For smaller pieces of chicken – use metal skewers, or leave the pieces large enough so they don’t fall into the grill.

To make the Chicken Tikka Masala

1 Onion, finely diced
2 Tomatoes diced or 1 cup of canned tomatoes, crushed
2 tbs Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 tsp. Cumin Powder
½ tsp. Cayenne
1 tbs. Coriander Powder
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced ginger
Salt to taste
½ cup heavy cream (optional)
1 cup water

In a sauté pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. After about a minute add the onions and salt; and sauté for about 5 minutes until they are brown and caramelized. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder and cayenne pepper. Stir well and add the ginger and garlic. Cook another minute or so and add the tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Stir and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes. Add the cream if using.

Now add the left over chicken tikka to the sauce and heat over low heat. When the chicken is heated through taste the sauce and adjust seasoning.

Serve hot.

Try it and let me know.

Until I eat again!


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