Rick's better Tikka

Composite image; GIF 82K

I'm not a curry person really. I wouldn't sing 'Vindaloo' on principle, and I wouldn't make it as a good crew member aboard the Starbug...

But I like my food to have a little bite; salt&vinegar crisps as opposed to ready salted, a real lemon squeezed directly into my mouth as opposed to lemonade, and Tikka as opposed to a mild "some kind of meat with grated coconut in a dowdy cream sauce".

The tikka that I recommend is one of my favourites - and I've tried a few! I'm not being paid to promote any of this stuff, feel free to experiment with other brands. Let me know how you get on.

This recipe requires you to Wokify. The secret to a good wok cook is to do it hot and do it fast... Therefore if you are young, you may appreciate some parental guidance here.
When I mention about the oil bubbling gently, it is boiling ... at around 180 degrees centigrade (about 350 farenheit). Don't take risks - 'cos you'll certainly feel that for the rest of your life!


The sauce bottle includes a recipe on the label. In good Rick tradition we shall ignore their good advice and create something that is richer and more succulent!


Ingredients; GIF 52K
You will need the following ingredients to feed TWO people:
  1. About half a small packet of Uncle Ben's rice (in my experience, this is a good rice).
  2. "Chicken Tonight" 'Sizzle & Stir' Tikka Masala sauce.
  3. About 400g (14oz) of chicken or turkey; see below. This is about the same as four average breast pieces (of chicken).
  4. A desertspoon of sunflower oil; see below.

And the following equipment:

  1. A good wok, preferably non-stick.
  2. A wooden spatula (there should have been a suitable one supplied with the wok).
  3. A saucepan.



This recipe is presented in three parts:

  1. Preparation
  2. Creation
  3. Finish...ation :-)



For a mellower taste and melt-in-your-mouth chicken; begin cooking the rice when you add the orange sauce to the cooked chicken, and simmer the chicken over a very low heat for the twelve or so minutes it takes for the rice to cook.



Note about the meat:
You should go for breast meat. Whether it is chicken or turkey depends upon your preference. You can buy it pre-chopped, or whole. If you buy it whole, you should cut it into cubes roughly an inch (two and a half centimetres) in size.
Vegetarian option - replace the meat with lumps of carrot, broccoli, etc. Allow to marinade as per instructions, but I don't think you'll need to do the initial frying. Again, experiment...

Note about the oil:
Initially the wok should be heated very hot - until the oil starts to bubble gently. Peanut oil (also known as 'groundnut oil') does not have good thermal qualities and may start to burn. The oil has a noticable taste, and it isn't good for you. Virgin olive oil is expensive, and whilst it is good for you, the thermal properties are against flash-frying. Don't even think about using butter or margarine - they'll smoke!
The recommended best general purpose frying oil is pure sunflower oil.

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Copyright © 1999 Richard Murray