More British than Indian (it’s regarded by some as the national dish of England), chicken tikka masala begins with tandoori chicken, where the skinless bird has been marinated in a spiced yogurt sauce, then cooked in the tandoor (a clay oven) until juicy and smoky. Tandoori chicken in and of itself is a wonderful dish, but Chicken tikka masala takes it one step further, by simmering it in a sauce made of onions, tomatoes, and cream (or yogurt). The dish is known for its safety-cone-orange color, usually from turmeric and paprika in the sauce, but sometimes because of added orange food coloring. Some restaurants will give the tikka masala treatment to lamb or even beef, but chicken is the O.G. protein.
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