Food & Drink

Quick-cooking Indian food for 2? The secret is spices

Chicken tikka masala with a side of caraway-spiced rice.
Chicken tikka masala with a side of caraway-spiced rice. Patrick Farrell/Miami Herald/TNS

Hungry for Indian flavors? Here’s a shortcut dinner for two.

Delicately spiced Indian food takes time to make. For this dinner, I captured the essence of tikka masala, chicken in a creamy tomato sauce, so I can enjoy Indian food that can be quickly prepared. It’s an Indian dish with an English pedigree.

Spices are the secret. It’s worth gathering a few for this dish. Garam masala is important. It’s a combination of spices usually made with cardamom, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper and nutmeg. Use it at the end of the cooking time to retain its aroma. It is available in the spice section of the market. Try it over other foods such as vegetables or rice.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

2 teaspoons canola oil

3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup sliced onion

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 cups diced tomato

3/4 cup no-salt-added chicken broth

3 tablespoons light cream

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Heat oil in a medium-size, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onion. Saute 2 minutes, turning the chicken to brown on all sides.

Add ginger, coriander, turmeric and garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add tomato and broth and cook 5 minutes.

Ads cream and garam masala. Stir to combine and cook gently 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice.

Per serving: 381 calories (39 percent from fat), 16.6 g fat (5.8 g saturated, 6.2 g monounsaturated), 152 mg cholesterol, 43.4 g protein, 15.2 g carbohydrates, 3.9 g fiber, 157 mg sodium

Yield: 2 servings