Achari Tikka Masala is a popular dish in Indian cuisine that combines the flavors of Achar (Indian pickle) and Tikka Masala. It is a tangy and spicy dish that is rich in flavors and has a delightful balance of spices. Here’s a description of Achari Tikka Masala:
Marinated Chicken Tikka: The dish begins with chicken tikka, which consists of boneless chicken pieces marinated in a mixture of yogurt and spices. The chicken is typically cubed or cut into small pieces, making it easy to cook and enjoy. The marinade is usually made with yogurt, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, and other aromatic spices. The yogurt helps tenderize the chicken while the spices infuse it with a vibrant flavor.
Achari Masala: The highlight of Achari Tikka Masala is the Achari masala, which is a blend of spices used in Indian pickles. The masala typically includes a combination of mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji), and other flavorful spices. These spices give the dish its distinct tangy and slightly sour taste, reminiscent of traditional Indian pickles. The Achari masala is usually prepared by dry roasting and grinding the spices to release their aromas and flavors.
Sauce/Base: A rich and creamy tomato-based sauce forms the base of Achari Tikka Masala. The sauce is made by sautéing onions, garlic, and ginger in oil until they are soft and aromatic. Tomatoes are then added and cooked down until they break down and create a thick and flavorful base. The Achari masala is then added to the sauce, along with other spices like coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, and garam masala. This combination creates a complex and spicy sauce with a tangy twist.
Cooking and Assembly: The marinated chicken tikka is cooked separately, either by grilling, baking, or using a stovetop pan. Once the chicken is cooked and slightly charred, it is added to the prepared Achari masala sauce. The chicken is gently simmered in the sauce, allowing it to absorb the flavors and become tender. The sauce coats the chicken tikka, creating a mouthwatering and spicy dish.
Garnishes and Accompaniments: Achari Tikka Masala is often garnished with fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) for a touch of freshness. It is typically served hot with steamed basmati rice or naan bread, which help to balance the spiciness of the dish. Some people also enjoy it with roti or paratha, which are traditional Indian breads.
Achari Tikka Masala is a flavorful and tangy dish that combines the vibrant flavors of Indian pickles with tender chicken tikka. It is a popular choice for those who enjoy spicy and aromatic Indian cuisine.