Tikka Masala Tasting
This is one of the things I love about private cheffing. I get to use other people’s money to compare and contrast products in order to give them the best possible final dish. This week was Chicken Tikka Masala with Coriander Cauliflower, Brown Basmati Rice and fresh Baked Naan. A refreshing Cucumber Fennel Salad introduced the meal.
I picked up 3 new tikka masala sauces that I had not used before that were all available at Whole Paycheck Foods. I tasted each one out of the jar or packet before following the preparation instructions on the package. I was surprised to find that the variation of flavor and consistency was dramatic.
Seeds of Change is certified organic and claims that tikka masala is “a shining example of ‘post colonial fusion cuisine’.” The first ingredient and the primary one in this sauce is tomato. With cilantro, cumin, and garlic being the flavors directly following the piquant tomato, it came off as more Mexican tasting than anything. It is made in New Mexico…
Tiger Tiger’s Peshwari masala is a product out of England that almost came out looking like tinted double cream, and indeed it was. After water and onion it was the third ingredient. For a 4.23-ounce portion you’re looking at 221 calories, 153 of which are fat, almost twice that of the Seeds of Change brand. The sauce was too rich and mild to be an authentic tasting tikka masala.
The third is a local product out of Hayward. Sukhi’s came in a 3 oz packet in a paste version that you add water and cream to. The top ingredient is tomato paste but that only served as a vehicle for the numerous spices that it contained. The flavor was bright and exciting and decidedly Indian. I knew after using this product there would be no better.
Ultimately I combined the three and came out with a beautiful Chicken Tikka Masala that turned out to be very popular with the family and I came out with yet another ingredient in my arsenal.