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Tikka You Masaling Me Crazy!

IndianLizComment

Testing Saffron Fix's Chicken Tikka Masala Kit

One of my classmates from business school, Ankita Sharma, teamed up with Madhuri Sharma (no relation) to launch Saffron Fix. Many people consider themselves capable cooks but still find themselves too intimidated to recreate some of their favorite ethnic dishes. I'll be the first to admit that while I've mastered many other cuisines (Italian, Mexican, French, etc.) there are certain types that still scare the hell out of me. Prior to Ankita inviting me to be a taste taster of kit, I've never made Indian food. I love the company's mission; it is all about making Indian food approachable!

Our mission is to make Indian cooking easy and accessible for everyone and inspire you to cook like a pro.
— Ankita Sharma & Madhuri Sharma of Saffron Fix

In full disclosure, Saffron Fix sent me the Chicken Tikka Masala kit free of charge. In return, I agreed to write an honest post about my experience and document it (you know I always tell it like it is!). Now that we're on the same page, let the review begin!


Let's Get Cooking!

While I was at work on Tuesday, I got a notification that my package arrived around noon. I would't be home until about 7pm, so naturally I was curious to see how the temperature of the package would hold up (I live in a doorman building, so it was in air conditioning during this time)

  This is what the package looks like - impressive insulated container! Let's see what is inside...

This is what the package looks like - impressive insulated container! Let's see what is inside...

  Great packaging = everything arrived secure!

Great packaging = everything arrived secure!

  The vacuum sealed ingredients and spices!

The vacuum sealed ingredients and spices!

I really liked the presentation of the package. All of the ingredients (except the spices, garlic/ginger and lemon juice), were vacuum sealed. As I mentioned before, I was a bit worried about the items keeping cool (chicken, heavy cream, and yogurt). The inside of the package had a large gel packet that had mostly melted but was still very cold. All of the required-to-be-refrigerated ingredients were still cold. Crisis averted!

I loved the recipe sheet that was included! When I cook, I think it really helps to see images of how your food is supposed to look - this can prevent an snafus! The color photos and step-by-step directions were very helpful. 

  Side 1: The finished dish!

Side 1: The finished dish!

  Side 2: Step by step!

Side 2: Step by step!

After reading through all the directions, I figured out what I needed to do first: get the chicken marinading! I liked how the labels said "Marinade" to make it even more foolproof! 

  Chicken + yogurt + lemon juice + ginger-garlic paste + spices

Chicken + yogurt + lemon juice + ginger-garlic paste + spices

  Ready to marinade!!

Ready to marinade!!

Next step: making the simmer sauce! I got the rest of the ingredients ready for the steps below!

  Tomatoes + heavy cream + spices + ginger-garlic paste + cilantro

Tomatoes + heavy cream + spices + ginger-garlic paste + cilantro

  Melting butter (or oil if you prefer!) - this wasn't included

Melting butter (or oil if you prefer!) - this wasn't included

  Add the ginger-garlic paste + green chili

Add the ginger-garlic paste + green chili

  Add the dry spices - USE MODERATION on Chili Powder...you can always make MORE spicy but hard to make LESS

Add the dry spices - USE MODERATION on Chili Powder...you can always make MORE spicy but hard to make LESS

  Everybody is making friends!

Everybody is making friends!

  Oh HI crushed tomatoes!

Oh HI crushed tomatoes!

Once the tomatoes were added, I let it simmer for 15 minutes. At this time, I also turned on the broiler to prepare for baking the chicken that was almost done marinading and got the rice cooking. 

  Bringing rice to a boil to cook!

Bringing rice to a boil to cook!

  Chicken (with excess marinade removed) ready for some lovin in the oven!

Chicken (with excess marinade removed) ready for some lovin in the oven!

  Chicken out the oven - the edges are slightly browned - and ready for the simmer sauce!

Chicken out the oven - the edges are slightly browned - and ready for the simmer sauce!

  Heavy cream stirred into the simmer sauce!

Heavy cream stirred into the simmer sauce!

  The naan - all heated up!

The naan - all heated up!

I warmed up the naan in the microwave (on high for 30 seconds) and was ready to assemble the meal! I didn't snap a photo of the chicken after I put it in the simmer sauce, but trust that I did! I let it simmer for about 3 minutes and then got ready to make a plate! I had my friend Melissa come over to assist in eating!

  The MASTERPIECE: Chicken Tikka Masala!

The MASTERPIECE: Chicken Tikka Masala!

This was a fantastic meal - Melissa and I were both members of the Clean Plate Club! I loved making a dish that I have perceived as challenging! I also loved that I was able to make it after a full day at work - from start to finish it took 45 minutes. This is about the time it would take to get food delivered from Seamless. It was great that all I needed on hand was basic ingredients and kitchen tools: 2 sauce pots, 1 baking sheet, oil or butter and salt. Regardless of your cooking ability, you likely have these items on hand. 

The recipe box said it would serve 2 people and it would be about 500 calories per serving. I ending up having a good amount of leftovers and didn't feel guilty about my meal. Who knows what is in the stuff I order off Seamless! 

Want to make Chicken Tikka Masala at home? Saffron Fix launches on August 1st, so make sure you are ready to place your order!

Like Saffron Fix's Facebook Page and Follow its Twitter Account for updates!

Cocktail Time!

Given my love of cocktails, I paired the recipe with a signature cocktail of mine. What better name to call it than the Personalitini?

  The Personalitini!

The Personalitini!

The recipe below is ratio-based and also has suggested brands. 

2 parts vodka (Ketel One or Smirnoff - yay Diageo!)

1 part blood orange liqueur (Solerno)

1 part grapefruit liqueur (Combier Pamplemousse Rose) 

1 part elderflower liqueur (St. Germain)

1 part fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until very cold! Pour into a martini glass with a salted rim (I use flaky salt with large crystals, so Fleur de Sel or other Sea Salt). To get the salt to stick on the rim, run the sliced lemon before rolling it. 

Note: if you don't have a ridiculous supply of liqueurs (it has taken time for me to build up my collection), just substitute the liqueurs for grapefruit juice, just use a ratio of 1 part vodka to 1 part grapefruit juice (this would be very similar to a Salty Dog cocktail). I would highly recommend giving these liqueurs a try though - in the order of St. Germain, Combier and Solerno - they are very versatile and delicious!

This cocktail has a real brightness to it (from the fresh lemon juice). The contrast of the sweet and the salty is especially delicious. It compliments the Chicken Tikka Masala beautifully. 

I loved being a part of Saffron Fix's taste testing - I can't wait to order more boxes in the future.

Cheers,

Liz