I once spent 6 wonderful months living and working in Rajasthan, India. There I worked with a women’s health and development organization. Every day we visited tiny villages across Rajasthan in a medically-equipped van. We gave out simple medical treatments and advice to the poverty-stricken women and children in the area.
While on that trip, I fell in love with the people I met. Their selfless generosity and bright optimism, despite extremely difficult living conditions, was so inspiring. The children always had huge smiles on their weather-worn, hungry faces. The women invited me into their simple, one-room homes with thatched roofs and dirt floors, and treated me like a queen. It really made me appreciate the simple blessings we take for granted- such as access to clean drinking water and reliable hospitals.
Another thing I fell in love with on that trip was the food! We ate home-cooked Indian food every day for those 6 months, and I never became tired of it. Never once did I long for a pizza or hamburger!
After I returned to the United States, and knowing how much I love Indian food, my mom clipped this Chicken Tikka Masala recipe out of a Chicago newspaper for me, almost 15 years ago. Since then, this has become my absolute favorite Indian dish to make.
First, we marinate chunks of chicken in yogurt and spices to make it wonderfully moist and tender. We then broil the chicken, and finally drown the chicken in a rich, creamy, spicy tomato sauce.
Of course you must have something to scoop up all that delicious sauce with. We like to eat this dish with either rice or homemade naan or parathas (types of Indian bread). Leftovers taste even more amazing the next day.
I have tweaked the original recipe, which appeared in The Chicago Tribune newspaper, to make it a bit less spicy and quicker to make.