My husband and I love Indian food, and I've spent several years working on home versions of our favorite dishes. The one I absolutely cannot get right is chicken tikka masala (and yes, I know this isn't an authentic Indian dish, but it's one of our favorites).
Every time it turns out the same: a lumpy, thick, overly-spiced gravy. I have tried literally a dozen different recipes, from the Internet (Epicurious, All Recipes, Food.com, etc.), and from the two Indian cookbooks I own. While some of the versions I have made have been pretty good, they taste absolutely nothing like what you get in any Indian restaurant.
I use good quality spices. I use ghee for sauteing. I stir fry the spices to make them fragrant. I guess what I'm saying is, I'm pretty sure it's not my technique, but the recipes that are off.
So my question is, does anyone know the secret to making tikka masala that tastes like it does at a curry house?
And, in addition to taste, do you know how they get the texture to be perfectly smooth? Every recipe I have made calls for onion (usually lots). I always end up blending or food processing the sauce to try to make it smooth, but it always ends up lumpy.
Help would be greatly appreciated!
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