If you like to make Indian food at home, run out and buy Sukhi brand spice packettes, imported from India. I found it at Wild Oats..
I normally don't do "packaged " mixes. I make almost everything from scratch, buy bulk spices and grind my own etc etc. And I have tried Pataks all different varieties, Yet I have NEVER been happy with the results when cooking Indian food at home. I have also searched the web and used recipes from India , and have even tried some posted here by resident experts of Indian cuisine...no success. What I wind up with is always nothing close to the flavors I want.
Then, I had a craving and the colorful packaging of SUKHIS dal mix intrigued me. I bought some , made it, with green lentils and some extra cilantro, and WOW...the best dal I have ever made at home. It just had a certain balance , and it has the same spice ingredients I have always used, ( except I don't normally use asafoetida, which is so hard not to overdo, and this has it in it)
So then last night I had the craving again, and tried the Tikka Masala mix.
I tweeked the instructions a bit, marinating the chicken in a bit of yogurt and tandori spice, and then searing the chicken first, removing it from the pan while I made the sauce , and returning the chicken to just simmer bit.
HOLY COW ( sorry to any Hindus) this was the BEST Tikka Masala I have ever had....
In fact with the Saag Paneer ( made paneer from scratch, from organic whole milk ) and homemade nan which cooked up quite nicely on my pizza stone, this was one of the best Indian meals I have ever had.
Heres how I put it together:
The meat from 2 'leg and thigh ' (Rosie) chicken parts
marinated for a couple hours in 2 tables Yogurt
half a yellow onion sliced and sauted in 2 tablespoons ( Strauss) butter
then add the chicken and sear til just browning, remove.
Tikka Masala mix and a handful of chopped cilantro to the saute pan, heat a bit then I added about a cup of top milk from a jug I had of Raw milk, it was a little thinner than half and half. Simmered this til it thickened a bit, added a handful of frozen peas for some color, the chicken chopped into bit size bits and simmered on the very lowest heat for 5-10 minutes til the rest of dinner was prepared.
sprinkled a bit of cilantro on top