This essentially British co-option of Indian cooking is very tasty and a popular favorite. It comes from Alison Roman in NYTimes Cooking and it needs a bit of prep work, but it’s worth it. Increasing and adjusting the spice mixture on the cooking side (as opposed to the marinade side) will give more depth and/or kick if that’s your preference.
For this you’ll need: 2 lbs chicken (breast or thighs, depending on your preference), 1 cup + 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1 Tbsp garam masala, 2 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground pepper, 2 Tsp fresh lemon juice, 6 cloves garlic (peeled and grated), 2-3″ piece fresh ginger (peeled and grated), 1 yellow onion (chopped), 3 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, 3/4 cup heavy cream, vegetable oil, salt and pepper for seasoning.
Combine the cumin, garam masala, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place 1 cup yogurt in a separate, larger bowl and add in lemon juice, 3 grated garlic cloves, 1″ piece of grated ginger and half of the spice mixture. Stir together well and add in your chicken (you can add in whole pieces of chicken here and cut them after they have been broiled, or cut them into 1″-1.5″ pieces here and marinade smaller pieces). Cover and place in the fridge and allow to marinade for at least 4 hours but as much as 8 hours.
In a large pot or dutch oven add a good glug of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until just beginning to brown – about 6-8 minutes. Add in the remaining (3 cloves) grated garlic, remaining (1″ piece) grated ginger, the other half of the spice mixture and the tomato paste. Stir well over medium heat until combined well and just starting to caramelize. Add a splash or two of water to reduce the sticking, and then add the whole tomatoes, breaking them apart with your hand as you add them. Pour in the remaining juices from the tomato can and add the cream. Stir well and bring to a gentle simmer. Add in some salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer, uncovered, until reduced and combined – about 20-25 mins. Stir every 5 mins or so just to ensure there’s no sticking.
Turn on the broiler to high. Place a raised wire grate into an aluminum foil lined baking tray. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on top of the grate and place under the broiler. Allow to broil until brown – about 5-10 mins – and then turn over and brown the other side. (If you’ve used whole pieces of chicken, carefully cut them into 1″-1.5″ pieces and) Add them to the tomato mixture along with 1/2 cup of yogurt. Stir well and allow to gently simmer until the chicken is fully cooked, the mixture is further reduced and the flavors are infused throughout – about 15 mins.
Serve over rice with naan bread on the side.