It’s Meatless Monday, and eliminating meat from your diet a day or two a week is certainly a way to cut back on meat consumption. The other way is to reduce the amount of meat in a dish… like here. Classic Chicken Tikka Masala becomes Chickpea-Chicken Tikka Masala.
There would have been a time I would have called for double the chicken to serve six in a dish like this. Instead, I call for only a pound, making up the difference with two cans of chickpeas.
I’ve done two other things to take this dish from special occasion to weeknight. By using two spice blends–garam masala and chili powder–I’ve eliminated the long ingredient list typical of Chicken Tikka Masala. I’ve also replaced the heavy cream (50 calories per tablespoon) with light coconut milk (50 calories for 1/3 cup), making it equally rich and creamy, but much lighter.
So head to the store and buy the best raised chicken you can–you only need a pound for a dish that will probably serve two meals–and feel good that you’re eating less meat, better meat.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into medium dice
- 1 cup Green Valley Organics plain yogurt, divided
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons flavorless oil, divided
- 1 large onion, cut into medium dice
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) chickpeas, drained
- 1 can light coconut milk
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Mix chicken with ½ cup yogurt and the garlic; add 2 teaspoons of the oil and toss to combine. Heat a large heavy-bottomed, nonstick skillet over strong medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning only once, until well browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove chicken and add ½ cup of water to the skillet; stir to loosen brown bits and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in Dutch oven or soup kettle. Add onions; sauté until soft and light brown, about 5 minutes. Add spices; stir until fragrant, a minute or so. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk, along with the chicken and the skillet liquid. Bring to simmer, reduce heat to low and cook, partially covered, to blend flavors, about 15 minutes. Place remaining ½ cup of yogurt in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in some of the hot stew liquid to prevent yogurt from curdling. Stir yogurt mixture, along with cilantro, into stew. Heat through and serve.