Chicken Tikka Masala is probably one of the best known Indian dishes. Made from chicken, cream, tomato, and spices, the origins of the dish are disputed--some claim that it was invented by a chef in Glasgow in the 70s and others claim that the dish has ancient origins. Whatever the case, Chicken Tikka Masala is undisputedly gateway Indian food. Through the powers of Tikka Masala I've convinced friends and acquaintances from far flung places like South Dakota, Alabama, and upstate New York that Indian food isn't nearly as scary as they imagine it to be. But not all Chicken Tikka Masalas as created equal--there isn't a standard recipe for the dish--and as I discovered this past week some Tikka Masalas are superior to others...
Lately I've been on a bit of an Indian lunch kick. I used to be a fairly regular customer at Minar on 46th Street, but for some reason and I'm not quite sure why, my lunchtime visits have dropped off. On a whim I decided to hit up Minar for lunch last week. When I get Indian food I love to have different things to sample, so the Everyday Combo with the choice of one meat and two vegetables rice or naan was an obvious choice. I completely agree with Zach Brooks that having to choose between rice and naan kind of stinks. I want rice AND naan. If you're willing to throw in the extra buck you can get both which is exactly what I did. The vegetable dishes that I ordered were tasty--you can't go wrong with channa masala and curried veggies, but let's talk about the main event...the chicken tikka masala. Minar makes a mean chicken tikka masala. Their sauce had just the right balance between tomato, cream and spices. And it even has a little bit of a kick at the end. Delicious. And bountiful.
On Wednesday I made a lunchtime visit to Indus Express. Still on a Minar Chicken Tikka Masala high, I decided to try it out at Indus Express. The same sort of combo--1 meat, 2 vegetables, and rice plus naan are included. The price is the same as Minar--about $9.70.
Unfortunately their Tikka Masala was not worth it. The sauce was sweet to the point of being utterly cloying and almost tasted ketchupy. Not for me.
I couldn't even finish it. If you have a Chicken Tikka Masala craving, I say Minar all the way.
Where do you go for Chicken Tikka Masala?