Test Kitchen: Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow cooker upgrade!

Slow cooker upgrade!

Chicken Tikka Masala

So over the Indigenous People’s Day holiday, I went to the outlet mall to get some exercise, fresh air, and one of my favorite things of all…a good deal! If you recall, I mentioned once before that I have been doing a lot more “nest” shopping. And though I adore my little slow cooker that I purchased many moons ago from Target, the ceramic is now starting to spider and it’s often too small for some of the roasts and other recipes I cook so the hubs and I have food in advance.

I went into Williams-Sonoma to get a new meat thermometer and saw a woman inside with two of these slow cooker boxes inside her cart. (Sometimes good deals require a bit of super-sleuthing!) I poked around until I found them stacked outside the front of the store and snagged the second-to-last one: $89.99 for an All-Clad, 4-quart slow cooker with aluminum insert that normally retails for $199.99! Wooo!!

Anyhow, I busted it out of the box almost immediately so I could try this Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala recipe I found on Pinterest, courtesy of The Lemon Bowl. I didn’t take too many culinary licenses with this because I don’t know anything about Indian cooking so I was concerned about messing it up.

Being super anal, I’ve got all kinds of gadgets to help me measure things out and while I don’t mind trying my hand at substituting ingredients, I usually follow a recipe to the letter in terms of amounts of the ingredients/substitutes listed. I did have a hard time finding a spice mix called garam masala that the recipe called for, so I also found a recipe for that online.

Bottom line is, dear readers, that this was not my favorite cooking trial. It could be that despite all my caution, I still managed to mess it up. However, I’ve also noticed that I often find many of the recipes I try to be too heavy on the use of spices, sugar, flavoring, etc. So perhaps that was what happened here…it was a palate overload in terms of the amount of spices, or perhaps a combo of a not very good garam masala mix recipe, plus too much of all the other spices.

I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and post this recipe in case those of you with a little more experience cooking Indian food can take this recipe and make it to your own taste.

Here’s the Garam Masala Recipe from AllRecipes.com, with the ingredient list posted below:

1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Here’s the Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe, with ingredient list posted below:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cubed
1 medium onion – diced
15 oz can coconut milk – light
1 cup plain yogurt – low fat
¼ cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons grated ginger root
2 garlic cloves – grated
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne – optional
¼ cup minced cilantro – optional garnish
cucumber raita (yogurt sauce) and brown rice – to serve

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