Friday, April 1, 2016

Foodie Fridays: Tikka Masala Sauce

I love Indian food, but have never been very good at making it.  Recently I decided to make a type of curry using a purchased tikka masala cooking sauce by Sharwood.  The result was unbelievably good, and I even had a cooking epiphany.  I have always tried making Indian food recipes focusing on the proteins and vegetables first and the sauce second.  I decided that I was going about the process backwards, and should start with the sauce instead.

I looked for and found a tikka masala sauce recipe and gave it a try.  It was almost as good as the purchased sauce I used, plus it is easy to make with readily available ingredients.  The Sharwood cooking sauce was made with yogurt and coconut milk in addition to cream, and I may add one or both of these ingredients next time.  Now that I have a good basic sauce, I am going to try adding a variety of different ingredients to make different curries with the same sauce.  Chicken, shrimp, and vegetarian versions all sound good to me, and I can't wait to start experimenting!

Tikka Masala Sauce

2 T. ghee (clarified butter)*
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1 can (14 oz.) tomato sauce
1 C. heavy cream
2 tsp. paprika
1 T. sugar

Heat the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook one minute longer.  Add the next six ingredients and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Stir the tomato sauce into the skillet, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Bring the sauce back to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the sauce has thickened, about 10-15 minutes.  Add meat, poultry, seafood, and/or vegetables of choice to the sauce and serve.  Makes about 3 cups sauce.

*Ghee can sometimes be found in more upscale grocery stores.  You can also make it yourself, or be lazy like me and just use regular butter or a combination of half butter and half canola or other light vegetable oil.

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