Laziz Tikka Masala (Boneless Tandoori Chicken in Spicy Sauce)

Laziz Tikka Masala (Boneless Tandoori Chicken in Spicy Sauce)

I’ve teamed up with some wonderful food bloggers to form a group called Virtual Potluck. Basically, we all get together and, occasionally, post about the same topics on the same days. Today is our first “party” and several of us will be featuring recipes from cookbooks published by Abrams Books (Stewart Tabori and Chang imprint). If you want to join us on Twitter, we’ll be using the hashtag #virtualpotluck.

The folks at Abrams Books were kind enough to send me a copy of Sanjeev Kapoor’s How to Cook Indian. I was expecting a paperback, maybe 300 pages at the most. This baby is a 600-page hardcover! And guess what? You have a chance to win a copy as well! More about that later.

I actually thumbed through all 600 pages of this cookbook and skimmed each recipe. I must have marked about 50 recipes I wanted to try. Narrowing it down was tough, especially since there weren’t any photos. Since Chicken Tikka Masala is my favorite dish to order when I go to an Indian restaurant (or “tiki marsala” as The Grillmaster refers to it), I decided to make Kapoor’s variation. I did try a few other dishes from the cookbook as well and will be featuring at least one more later in the week.

Don’t mistake the word “laziz” for “lazy.” This is not a lazy person’s dish. It’s a little complicated to prepare, but there aren’t any tricky techniques to master. The chicken requires some marinating and you need to make the Garlic Paste and Ginger Paste before you start. Read over the recipe and plan ahead; you’ll be fine. “Laziz” is the Urdu word for “luscious,” by the way.

You may have trouble finding a few ingredients if you don’t live near an Indian market. I was never able to locate refined mustard oil or dried fenugreek leaves, for example. I replaced the mustard oil with a little bit of vegetable oil and skipped the fenugreek. (I have encouraged our community gardeners to plant some fenugreek next spring, however.)

The chicken tikka is delicious on its own. If you don’t feel like making the sauce, make the chicken at least. It’s tender, juicy and moist. I couldn’t stop “tasting” it while I was making the sauce.

This dish was not exactly what I was expecting. The Chicken Tikka Masala I’m used to is composed of tiny pieces of chicken swimming in a flavorful, deeply red-orange colored sauce. This version has bigger chunks of chicken and less sauce. The sauce here also has more texture. All of the flavors of tikka masala are present, but the form is a bit different. Both versions are great.

This would be the perfect dish to serve friends who haven’t tried Indian food before or people who have tried it and claim they don’t like it. The dish is spicy in the sense of being well-seasoned, but it doesn’t have a lot of heat. It’s a good source of Protein, Niacin and Vitamin B6. You may want to serve Laziz Tikka Masala with basmati rice. One-half cup of cooked rice will add about 100 calories and 22g carb.


There is a copy of How to Cook Indian by Sanjeev Kapoor up for grabs. If you do any of the following, you will be entered to win. If you do all of them, your chances of winning will increase. (You get one entry in the contest for each thing you do.)

  1. Make a comment on this post.
  2. Visit the Virtual Potluck roundup post and comment there. Let me know you’ve done so by posting a comment here.
  3. Visit one of the other blogs listed in the Virtual Potluck roundup post and comment there. Come back here and tell me which blog you commented on.

The contest ends at midnight Eastern on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. The winner will be announced on Sat., Nov. 19. You must have a U.S. mailing address to win. Good luck!

How to Cook Indian by Sanjeev Kapoor
Buy from Barnes & Noble
Buy from IndieBound

Laziz Tikka Masala

Adapted from How to Cook Indian by Sanjeev Kapoor

1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1½-inch pieces
2 tsp chili powder
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 Tbsp Ginger Paste (see below)
1 Tbsp Garlic Paste (see below)
1 tsp garam masala (if you can’t find it, make your own)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil or 2 Tbsp refined mustard oil

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp butter
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp Ginger Paste (see below)
2 tsp Garlic Paste (see below)
½ tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp ground coriander
4 medium Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup tomato purée
½ cup water
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp garam masala (if you can’t find it, make your own)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
¼ cup fat-free half and half

Make the Chicken Tikka:
In a gallon-size zipper-top bag, combine chicken, chili powder, lemon juice and salt. Squeeze to coat all sides of chicken and place in refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes or so.

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, garam masala and oil. Mix well, then add to zipper-top bag with chicken. Squeeze the bag to evenly distribute the yogurt mixture over the chicken and place in refrigerator to marinate for about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Thread the chicken onto metal skewers, then place skewers on a baking sheet. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and then slide the chicken off the skewers. Set aside.

Make the Sauce:
Place a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil and butter. Once butter melts and there are small bubbles on the bottom of the pan, add the cumin seeds. Cook for a minute or two, then add the onions. Sauté until the onions have browned.

Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the ground cumin and coriander; stir well.

Add the tomatoes and stir. Reduce heat to low and sauté for about 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes have completely cooked. Add the tomato purée and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes and add the water. Cook for about 2 minutes and add the chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the chili powder, garam masala and 1 Tbsp of cilantro. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in the fenugreek, if using, and the half and half. Remove from heat and garnish with remaining cilantro. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 367 calories, 19g fat (4g sat), 73mg cholesterol, 731mg sodium, 15g carb, 3g fiber, 7g sugar, 34g protein

Ginger Paste

7-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp water

Place ginger and water in a food processor. Process to a smooth paste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Makes 6 servings
Per serving (1 Tbsp): 17 calories, 0g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 4g carb, 0g fiber, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Garlic Paste

25 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup water

Drop garlic cloves through tube of food processor while processor is running. Add water and process to a smooth paste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Makes 6 servings
Per serving (1 Tbsp): 19 calories, 0g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 4g carb, 0g fiber, 0g sugar, 1g protein

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of How to Cook Indian by Sanjeev Kapoor from ABRAMS Books. I also received a copy to give away on my blog.

This recipe has been linked to The Hopeless Housewife’s Link Party.


  1. says

    Indian food is something I seldom try and yet when I do try it I love it. I’ve never tried making an Indian dish yet. The cookbook would sure help!

  2. says

    Totally making this recipe tonight. Hubbie’s been craving Indian food, and this looks rather simple once you round up all the ingredients! Cool concept- Virtual Potluck!

  3. says

    This dish is very tempting but I’m afraid to engage in it and run out of time. It would be nice to see a summary of both preparation and cooking times to give an idea of how much time ahead we need to start.

  4. says

    I was just over at Donna’s Virtual potluck post and your recipe was the first one I wanted to check out. Love Indian food, and this dish sounds fabulous! Looking forward to more Virtual Potluck dishes :-)

  5. sherri m says

    This looks laziz. One I’ll have to try. Also visited Farmgirl and Cookistry for potluck round up.

  6. says

    I made this tonight & it turned out wonderful!! (also ‘liked’ virtual potluck on FB and look forward to following the developments).

  7. says

    I love Indian food and would love to know how to make some chicken tikka masala or naan at home! Thanks for the chance to win :)

  8. says

    I commented on the Virtual Potluck roundup post… I said “So many great cookbook giveaways… I want to enter them all!”

  9. says

    I did comment as well on the virtual potluck round up, it was a blast looking at all of the recipes and getting introduced to the new blogs. I make a yummy Chana Masala…cant wait to try this Laziz Tikka Masala. P.S. I have the hardest time finding the fenugreek leaves though. Even the local East Indian Market here doesn’t have them

  10. diabeticFoodie says

    Jennifer – I love Chana Masala. The last time I had it was from a food truck in Santa Monica. Penzey’s ( has ground fenugreek seeds, but not the leaves. We’re starting a community herb garden in the spring and I’ve requested fenugreek be planted!

  11. diabeticFoodie says

    Savorique – Thanks for the suggestion. I’m thinking of redesigning the site and will take this into consideration.

  12. Susie Mills says

    This sounds great! Indian food is one of my favorites (next to Thai). We used to have an Indian restaurant near us in No. Virginia and their buffet was unbelievable!!!!

  13. Susie Mills says

    Wow! What a selection! I commented on 30AEATS blog; Miss in the Kitchen Blog; Not Rachel Ray’s blog;and Food Hunter’s Guide blog! I am going to have some fun cooking this holiday and have some great ideas for Christmas gifts for my friends who love to cook as much as I do! Since Indian food is one of my favorites (next to Thai) I can’t wait to try the Masala recipe!!! Thank you.

  14. Annie Ritter says

    Wow-Shelby, your blog is awesome! While neither Sam nor I are diabetic, we’ve both become very diet/health concious. Diabetic friendly recipes are right up our nutritional alley! He’s lost over 100 lbs in the last couple years-you’d hardly recognize him! I’ve lost 50 myself and never felt better. Can’t wait to check out the rest of your recipes. My bro-in-law is type 2 also and I’m definitely going to share this with my sister.
    Miss you and Rick, hope you have a great Thanksgiving. One of these days we’ll get back down your way-it’s still one of my favorite places in the whole world.

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