Chicken tikka masala was actually developed in a restaurant in England, not India, as a solution for using leftover grilled chicken. Please note that in order to make chicken tikka masala, you must make chicken tikka first.
For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.
Have chicken tikka ready.
Note: While the chicken tikka is roasting in the oven, gather and chop all the ingredients for the curry.
Heat the ghee in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. When the ghee is hot, add bay leaf and cardamom pods. Stir for a minute.
Note: Whole spices are added for flavor only, they are not meant to be eaten.
Add the chopped onion.
Saute until edges begin to brown. Add minced ginger and chili and fry for a minute.
Stir in cinnamon, cumin powder, cayenne, turmeric, kasuri methi and salt and fry for a couple of minutes.
Add tomato sauce and one cup of water and bring it to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
Note: If the liquid gets reduced too much in volume while simmering, add more water to the mixture.
Stir in chicken pieces. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes until the chicken is heated through.
Stir in cream and cashew paste and cook for 5 more minutes.
Note: If the volume of the liquid gets reduced too much on the stove at this stage, add more cream or milk to the mixture.
Sprinkle garam masala powder and mix it in. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro leaves.
Serve with any paratha or rice.
For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.