Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

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1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Natural Grocers raw honey
2⁄3 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
1 cup water
1 13.5-oz can tomato puree
1 medium jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons organic butter
3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Natural Grocers Brand Bulk Organic Chili Flakes
1 tablespoon Natural Grocers curry powder, divided
5 garlic cloves, minced, divided
2 thumb size pieces fresh ginger root, peeled and minced, divided
1⁄2 cup plain yogurt, or homemade coconut kefir*
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh organic cilantro
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 pound organic boneless-skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite sized pieces (~2" cubes)

Mix together the marinade ingredients (yogurt, one thumb sized piece fresh ginger root, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp curry powder, red chili flakes, black pepper, lemon juice)  in a large casserole dish. Add the chicken (save the coconut oil and cilantro for when it is time to cook the chicken) and move around to ensure all of the pieces are completely covered with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of two, or up to 24 hours for best results.

For the sauce, use a heavy, wide 4-quart pot or large sauté pan and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently until the onion becomes translucent (about 5 minutes). Reduce the heat to moderate then stir in the remaining garlic, ginger, curry powder, and the jalapeño. Add the tomato purée, water, coconut milk, honey, and salt, and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and simmer uncovered until thickened slightly about 10 minutes. <em>Note</em>: This sauce can be made a day or two in advance and kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the chicken.

In a large skillet over moderately high heat add 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. Working in batches, lay the chicken piece by piece to cover the pan, turn each piece until just cooked through and browned well on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer the cooked chicken to the simmering sauce. Wipe the griddle or skillet clean between batches, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil to the pan and repeat the process. When all of the chicken is cooked and has been added to the sauce let it simmer for 5-8 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro, and season with salt, to taste.

Serve over basmati rice, cauliflower rice, steamed vegetables or any combination.

*to make homemade coconut kefir,  simply follow the instructions on the kefir starter package using canned coconut milk instead of dairy milk 24 hours ahead of time. Stir in one tablespoon maple syrup prior to fermenting. The sugar in the maple syrup will effectively feed the lactic acid bacteria giving the coconut kefir the ideal sour flavor.

Source: Karen Falbo