Tikka Masala Stew

Tikka Masala Stew

Serves 6

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half

Salt and pepper

Vegetable oil (I like to use coconut oil for this, but any vegetable oil you like will work)

1 large onion, minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

1 serrano chili pepper

2 tablespoons garam masala

1 tablespoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon mild smoked paprika

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2/3 cup water

4 large red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into one-inch dice

1 large head cauliflower, cored, and cut into small pieces

8 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

1-1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed

1/3 cup cream or evaporated full-fat milk

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces, and then brown them quickly on both sides, about 3-4 minutes each side. You’ll probably have to do this in two batches. Remove the chicken pieces to a plate as they’ve browned. Add a little more oil to the skillet, if necessary. You’ll want between 1 and 2 tablespoons — then add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Cut a slit lengthwise in the serrano pepper and throw it in. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the cumin, cayenne, garam masala, paprika, cinnamon, and a teaspoon of salt. Cook for about a minute, until everything smells beautiful.

Add the tomatoes and potatoes, and scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate any browned, spicy bits. Then put the chicken pieces back in the pot with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes, stirring a few times. When you stir, check to see that the mixture isn’t too dry, and add some water if you need it. Then add the cauliflower and tofu. Bring the pot back to the boil, then cover and simmer 10 more minutes. Stir in the peas and cream and let it all sit for a couple of minutes, then taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

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