Recipe: Chicken Tikka Masala


Fun fact about myself: despite my now developed (I like to think) palate, I was a notoriously picky child. I hated Indian food. Hated it. Now, it's one of my all time favorite cuisines. When I was around 15 I tried Chicken Tikka Masala for the first time and I instantly fell in love. It's mild, but incredibly flavorful. I've explored a lot more of Indian cuisine since, but this dish has always stood out to me. It's pure comfort food. Shockingly, it's not even an actual Indian cuisine, it was created in Great Britain (side-eyeing them for inventing an Indian dish and making it their national cuisine). In American restaurants it's made with heavy cream, however I personally enjoy a lightened up version. Trust me, the few adjustments to the traditional recipe I make here in no way sacrifice flavor.

Ingredient List: 

- 1 Pound Chicken Thighs
-1 Onion (white or yellow, just not red)
-1/4 cup Tomato Paste
-5 Garlic Cloves
-1 Tablespoon Fresh Grated Ginger (you can sub in powdered)
-1 cup of Crushed Tomato
-1 can Coconut Milk or Greek Yogurt
-1/2 cup Chicken Broth
-Olive Oil
-Fresh Cilantro for Garnish

Spice Mix:
-2 teaspoons of Salt, Garam Masala, and Cumin
-1 teaspoon of Coriander, Smoked Paprika, and ground Turmeric
-1/2 teaspoon Ground Pepper
-1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
-1/8 teaspoon Ground Cardamom

I used a dutch oven to cook the entirety of this recipe.


Step 1: Mix Spices in a Bowl

Step 2: Coat Chicken in a light layer of Olive Oil and then rub into spice mixture to coat each side.

Step 3: Cook Chicken on both sides and remove to a plate after both sides are brown.

Step 4: Place chopped onion into the same dutch oven used to cook chicken and cook for about 5 minutes until it's translucent. Add in tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes until its beginning to caramelize. Then, add freshly grated ginger and minced garlic and cook in for 2 minutes. Scrape bottom of pan into sauce. Then, add in the 1 cup of crushed tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Step 5: Add chicken broth and coconut milk/greek yogurt. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 7: Return chicken to pot and let simmer for 5-9 minutes mixed with the sauce.  
Step 8: Plate over rice, I used brown jasmine. Top with cilantro. 

Thats all there is to it! Quite simple, and I enjoy that the olive oil and coconut milk/greek yogurt lighten it up compared to the ghee (clarified butter) and heavy cream that is traditionally used. Please let me know if you try it out!

Current Wardrobe Essentials: Winter 2015


(Things that are still for sale will be linked)

As per usual, my current essentials are filled with monochromatic basic pieces. I personally feel that simple pieces and layering is the way to go for everyday style. Comfort too, is key. I hate nothing more than sitting in class freezing in uncomfortable clothes, but I also happen to be way too uptight to show up to class in sweatpants. I just can't do it. I do manage to have the occasional "colorful" (read: the most neutral version of whatever color) piece in to keep things from being too boring. 

First I like to start with my base pieces. Layering is key for winter and I like to start with my most comfortable pieces. Currently I'm loving a long sleeved striped Zara shirt, a light blue American Apparel Sweatshirt, and a black skintight Brandy Melville long sleeved shirt. For jeans I like the Citizens of Humanity Avedon Slick Skinny in Black. These are possibly the most comfortable jeans I've ever worn. Think jeggings but incredibly thick material. I'm so glad I finally got them in black. The second pair I've been wearing like crazy are these ASOS Petite Ridley High Waisted Skinny Jeans. They're inspired by a seventies wash and I love them so much. High waisted jeans are so flattering with a skinny jean and I love that they lengthen my legs because I am seriously short. 

Next up are some sweaters I've been loving. Forever 21's new contemporary line is amazing. They finally have styles that are clean and minimalistic as well as being cheap! The first two shirts are cropped, ribbed, lightweight sweaters that have been a staple in my wardrobe from the minute I first tried the style. They're incredibly flattering but are still enough to keep me warm with a jacket over top. The second is thicker knit cropped sweater from Alexander Wang that I usually wear on days that are a little chillier. 

The main jacket I've been wearing is a bomber jacket that I got off Amazon (not sure of the brand but they're super popular and you should have no problem finding one anywhere) and this vintage army jacket I got off of Ebay. I usually layer the Fletcher Jacket with a thicker sweater underneath because it's not incredibly thick. It's a little thicker than a flannel. 

Shoe wise, I love boots. Almost everyday I switch between these Alexander Wang cut out boots and these Forever 21 Shearling Boots. On days when I know I'll be walking around like crazy I finally got myself a cute pair of sneakers: the Nike Airmax Leather Thea (sold out) in Mahogany. I think you can still find these on Ebay in a few sizes, but I'm so glad I snatched these up. The leather gives them a more polished look and I actually feel comfortable wearing sneakers with regular outfits.

I've been using my white Proenza Schouler PS11 Mini Crossbody  when I don't have class and I love that it makes me consider what I really need to carry on my person. Lastly, I've been loving my new clear frames from Warby Parker as well as the shades I just picked up from them. 
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