Recipe: Robert Lustig's Quick Chicken Tikka Masala

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Serves 4

Serving size: ¼ recipe

Active time:20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Takeout food is convenient, but alas, often filled with fat, sugar and salt. This version of an Indian takeout staple is ethnic food without the guilt.


4 teaspoons garam masala[1]

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 pound chicken tenders

4 teaspoons canola oil, divided

6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 large sweet onion, peeled and diced

4 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger, or 1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes with their juices

1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Step 1: Stir together the garam masala, salt and turmeric in a small dish. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle the chicken with ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. Reserve the remaining spice mix and 1 tablespoon of the remaining flour.

Step 2: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Step 3: Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, onion and ginger and cook, stirring often until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the reserved spice mix and cook, stirring until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle the reserved 1 tablespoon flour and stir until coated.

Step 4: Add the tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 5: Stir in the cream. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro.


• Steamed brown rice

• Barley

• Salad and fresh fruit

Per serving: Calories 330, Calories from Fat 110, Total Fat 12g (18% DV), Saturated Fat 4g (20% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 85mg (28% DV), Sodium 460mg (19% DV), Carbohydrates 28g (9% DV), Dietary Fiber 5g (20% DV), Sugars 6g, Added Sugars: 0g, Protein 29g, Vitamin A 15%, Vitamin C 100%, Calcium 15%, Iron 30%.


Hudson Street Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company., from The Fat Chance Cookbook by Dr. Robert Lustig. Copyright © 2013 by Dr. Robert Lustig

[1] Garam masala is a blend of spices used in Indian cooking. Usually includes cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, fennel, cumin and coriander.