I’m not one to buy a sauce in a jar—I love making them from scratch—but there is something so inviting about cookbook author Maya Kaimal’s line of Indian sauces found in Dean & DeLuca stores that I just had to try one. And suffice it to say that an extra quick cooking shortcut is welcome during these dog days of summer, without compromising on flavor and fresh produce.
I decided to make this quick chicken tikka masala that I think you’ll enjoy if you love the tanginess of tomatoes combined with the coolness of yogurt—a winning summer combination—plus garlic, cumin, ginger, chilis and paprika.
It’s quick, it’s spicy (but not overly so) and it’s the next best thing to homemade.
Chicken Tikka Masala
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 medium shallot, sliced
1/2 pound of green beans, ends cut and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 jar of Maya Kaimal’s tikka masala Indian simmer sauce
Make the Dish
In a medium sauce pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. First add shallots and sauté until aromatic, about 1-2 minutes. Then add chicken and continue cooking for about 3 minutes. Add the green beans and sauté until chicken is browned. Add Maya Kaimal’s tikka masala sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with rice and/or (preferably homemade) flatbread.
Makes 4 pieces
This is NOT a quick recipe, but homemade flatbread—ah, warm right out of the oven—is so worth the time and effort. Make before starting the tikka masala.
1 ½ cups warm water
½ teaspoon active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon nigella seeds (optional)
Make the Bread Mix water and yeast in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Gradually pour in 2 cups of the flour and stir to combine. Stir for about 1 minute to form a sponge. Let stand, covered (I use a kitchen towel), for an hour and a half.
Oil a bowl with olive oil. When the hour and a half has passed, place the sponge in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the dough hook on medium speed. Add the salt and oil, then add the flour, slowly, to form the dough. Remove from bowl and knead together. Place in the oiled bowl and let rise, about 3 hours. Divide dough into 4 balls, let rise again for ½ hour, and then roll out as desired. Grill in a pre-heated griddle pan or cook in a frying pan for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle dough with desired amount of nigella seeds or whatever spices you like.
You may want to serve the flatbread along with Major Grey’s Mango Chutney.The sweetness balances the spiciness of the tikka masala.
Need new + creative ideas for dinner? Tracey Ceurvels is a writer, recipe developer, travel writer, food lover and mom who creates easy and elegant dishes in her NYC apartment. For more recipes and food ideas, visit her web site, The Busy Hedonist. And check out her app, iFoodShop: A food lover’s guide to shopping in NYC.