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Chicken Tikka Masala with Kashmiri Chili

We've updated Ronit's classic Chicken Tikka Masala recipe to include this colorful, fruity pepper. We used the powdered Kashmiri chili, which is also available in whole pods (known as Kashmiri Dhegi Mirchi) that can be soaked or roasted. You can dial up the heat in this dish by adding a dash of cayenne.

(Serves 4)
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, cubed into bite size
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cinnamon sticks
5 green cardamom pods
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
1 3/4 tsp. Kashmiri chili powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
pinch ground asafoetida
2 tsp. tomato paste
3 Tbsp. plain yogurt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
When hot, add the cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks; leave for 2 minutes and then remove. This will flavor the oil, giving it a wonderful aroma.
Add the onions and cook while stirring for approximately 10 minutes, until brown.
Add chopped garlic and ginger; sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the following spices: cumin, coriander, chili, turmeric, paprika, garam masala, salt, black pepper, and a pinch of asafoetida; sauté the spices for about 2 minutes.
Add tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk.
Mix all ingredients well, then add the chicken, making sure it is coated with the sauce.
Add water to the sauce-coated chicken, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Add methi leaves and fresh cilantro; cook uncovered for about 8 minutes to thicken the sauce.
Serve over rice.