$25 Chicken Tikka Masala

Weekend Challenge #1: Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala split between 8 people. That's less than $3.25 a serving!

I love Indian food. My favorite restaurant back home is Raaga and I highly recommend that you try it out if you are ever in the D.C. area. One of my favorite dishes is the Chicken Tikka Masala, or butter chicken. I found a great crockpot recipe posted by Chung-Ah on her blog Damn Delicious. I substituted some ingredients for more budget-friendly ones and came up with this warm, subtly spicy dish.

What You’ll Need:

Grocery List:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 6-oz. cans tomato paste
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • McCormick Recipe Inspirations
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
    Total Grocery Price:

Already Have:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick of butter (it is called “butter chicken” for a reason after all)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes (cayenne pepper can also be used)
    • crock pot
    • cutting board
    • 2 mixing bowl and spoons

$7.89
$1.20 (for entire onion)
$0.99
$2.12 (for entire root)
$0.50
$0.99
$1.78
$3.99 (for 6 cups)
$1.67 (for two individual cups)
$1.99
$1.50 (for large bottle)
$24.62

How To Do It:

1. Finely chop your yellow onion and mince garlic cloves. Grate 2 tbsp. of fresh ginger (I recommend you freeze the ginger root first to ease grating process). Add all three ingredients to mixing bowl.

Ginger

2. Cut jalapeño pepper into thin strips. Remove all seeds. Add these to the mixing bowl.

3. Add juice of one lemon along with olive oil into the same bowl with the other ingredients.

4.  In a separate bowl, combine both cans of tomato paste with 2 cups of water. Stir until the solution has a thinner consistency, more like tomato puree. After mixing, transfer the tomato mixture into the same bowl containing the other ingredients.

5. Add all spices (only using the paprika and garam masala from McCormick Recipe Inspirations pack), plus salt and pepper, to the bowl. Add in the yogurt as well. Mix everything together.

By this point, all ingredients with the exception of the milk, butter and chicken should be combined in one bowl. 

6. Place half of this tomato mixture into the crockpot.

7. After washing hands thoroughly and sanitizing your cutting surface, trim the fat off of three chicken breasts. Cut them into small pieces. Add to crock pot on top of the tomato mixture.

8. Add remaining contents of mixing bowl to the crock pot on top of chicken pieces.

9. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, all deepening upon the flexibility of your own schedule.

This is how the Chicken Tikka Masala looks by the end.

10. 20 minutes before your Chicken Tikka Masala is ready, cook 2 cups of rice according to the instructions on the bag.

11. Melt stick of butter and combine with milk. Stir this mixture into the crockpot with 20 minutes left to cook.

12. Pile your plate high with rice and Chicken Tikka Masala and enjoy your hard-earned dinner.

 

Chicken Tikka pairs well with a chick pea and spinach side dish know as Channa, seen in the background.

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