Saturday 13 September 2014

Chicken Tikka Masala | Family Friendly Food

It’s that time of year again when the kids go back to school, the evenings gradually start to get a little shorter, and the leaves on the trees look somewhat tired. Gone are the lazy days of Summer (well thankfully they’re not completely gone just yet- hello Indian Summer!) when it was perfectly acceptable for little ones to stay in pyjamas until at least 12, and when ‘just winging it’ was allowed. Don’t get me wrong I’m very accepting of routines, but still, I did enjoy those days of not running to the clock!

Despite that, I’m completely ready for the beautiful month of September, a month when I’m always compelled to buy school supplies (for myself!), and for some reason I have a tremendous urge to get more organised.

So in keeping with this months organised philosophy, every so often for the rest of the school year, I’ll post recipes titled FAMILY FRIENDLY FOOD. Handy meals to cook when I’m back to schedules and routine. Meals that are easy to prepare, healthy, that taste delicious and that also get a unanimous thumbs up from the whole family. Reminders for me of dishes loved by everyone, and hopefully helpful suggestions for others, who may be looking for an uncomplicated family recipe to add to their collection.

I’ve been making this dish - chicken tikka masala since my oldest was a toddler, it’s stood the test of time and everyone still adores it - including our new additions.

So here is the recipe - I urge you to try it, it’s a really tasty family meal.


One of the reasons this dish is so effortless is because everything apart from the sauce and rice is cooked together in the oven. No standing over pans browning chicken and cooking vegetables!

4 chicken breasts

1 pepper (red or yellow, or a mix of both)

2 - 3 small sweet potatoes

1 red onion

Olive oil

400g (2 cups) of brown rice


800ml tomato soup

4 heaped tbsp tikka masala paste

250ml (1 cup)  Greek yogurt

Salt and pepper

Chopped coriander to garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the chicken breasts in a casserole dish, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Cube the pepper, onion and sweet potato so they are all roughly the same size. Place in a second casserole dish, drizzle your chopped vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. The sauce is easy as pie so once this part is done you’re on your way to a delicious dinner.

Pop both the chicken and the vegetables into the oven at 180°C for about 40 minutes.

Now start your rice. Place the brown rice in a pot with plenty of boiling water. Bring to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes until the rice is plump and cooked through.

For the sauce heat the tomato soup with the tikka masala paste over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Next add the Greek yogurt, now ’this changes everything’ - sorry just had to jump on the back of that iPhone bandwagon for a sec!

The dish turns from a very good Chicken Tikka Masala into something spectacular - a delicious, creamy, tangy creation (I know because I’ve forgotten to add the yogurt before and it just didn’t have that je ne sais quoi).

Leave on a very low heat until you are ready to add the rest of the ingredients.

When the chicken has rested for about 10 minutes, slice and add to the sauce with the roasted vegetables.

Finally heat everything together for 5 minutes.

At this stage I used to whizz up a portion of the chicken tikka masala in the food processor for the babies. Then I’d mix the puréed chicken tikka with the rice, but now they’re at an age where I can just chop it all up.

Serve with brown rice and garnish with chopped coriander.

A wonderfully scrumptious family friendly meal.

It’s time for us to head to France again, so look out for my promised steak tartare recipe over the coming weeks (which I won’t be making for the kids!) - and posts from even sunnier skies. Au revoir!

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