First the name. Why Double Up? Two reasons: 1. twice the sauce you need and 2. the marinade and the sauce take the same spices, but you put twice as many spices in the sauce and in the marinade. So, Double Up Chicken Tikka Masala.
If you weren’t in a hurry, you’d make the sauce below, you’d make the Chicken Tikka Bites properly, and then you’d mix the two. But let’s face it, I’m almost always in a hurry, and if you’re trying to feed your family after work, I suspect you might be too. So I figured I’d try it as one step. It’s not as good as making it separately but I ate it a little too quickly to care.
What I did was, I marinated the chicken, I put in all the ingredients for the sauce in the pot, and I cooked everthing together. Once the chicken was cooked, I took it out and reverse-seared it, which is just a fancy way of saying I browned the cooked chicken. You could easily skip the browning bit, and just enjoy it as it is.
Okay I know you’re going to think I’ve lost my mind. A carrot?? In the sauce?? Yes. A carrot. In the sauce. Why you ask me? To add body. If I made it without it, I’ll hear a lot comments about how it didn’t feel like the restaurant version of chicken tikka masala. But I didn’t want to fill it with junk, so I thought of what would enhance the taste and thicken the sauce at the same time. So I added a carrot. You won’t taste it, but you’ll feel it in the thickness of the curry.
So the steps for this recipe are:
- Marinate the chicken with yogurt and spices
- Add the sauce ingredients to the Instant Pot
- Cook it all together, purée the sauce with an immersion blender, brown the chicken (or not)
- Take out half the sauce for later. Put chicken into rest.
- Eat over rice or with naan, or over cauliflower rice.
I know it looks like a long list of ingredients. But guess what? The spices for the chicken and for the sauce are almost the same. What’s more, the marinade has half of each spice as the sauce. Hence the name double up. See? I had a point when I named it. So it should go fast.
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken (breast or thighs), cut into large pieces
- ½ cups Greek yogurt
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger minced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika for color and a slightly smoky taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (omit if unavailable)
- 4 ounce half and half (use full-fat coconut milk if dairy free)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ¼-1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Marinate the chicken with the ingredients specified making sure to beat and blend the yogurt well so it doesn't separate later. Let is rest for 1-2 hours if possible.
- Place sauce ingredients into the Instant Pot. Place the chicken with the yogurt on top of the sauce ingredients.
- Cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes and release pressure quickly.
- Remove chicken and either set aside, broil, or put in your air fryer to brown, as you choose.
- Meanwhile using an immersion blender, purée the sauce well.
- Add 1/2 cup of half and half, cream, or coconut milk and stir well.
- Remove half the sauce and freeze for later.
- Put chicken back into the remaining sauce, garnish with cilantro and serve.
The spices for marinating and for the sauce are almost the same. The marinade takes half the spice the sauce does. To be efficient, put the sauce ingredients in the Instant Pot, and the raw chicken in a bowl. As you add turmeric to the marinade, add twice that amount of turmeric to the onion and tomato sauce as well.