College Cooking: Chicken Masala

Photo Credit: Eliot Gentiluomo

This week, I am trying my hand at Indian food again. Indian food is all about the many different spices that mix together in curries and sauces to create wonderful flavors. To be quite frank, it can be hard to find the right spices all the time. It’s best to go to an Indian grocery store. There, you can find the best products for the lowest price. In the meantime, the most important spices here are the garam masala, coriander, and cumin.


Chicken marinade:

  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika


  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  •  ¼ cup fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Cooked rice, for serving


  • Slice the chicken into bite-sized chunks.
  • To make the chicken marinade, combine the cubed chicken with the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, salt, cumin, garam masala and paprika. Stir until well-coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  • For the sauce, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, then sauté the onions, ginger and garlic until tender but not browned.
  • Add the cumin, turmeric, coriander, paprika, chili powder, and garam masala and stir constantly for about 30 seconds until the spices are fragrant. Stir in the tomato puree, tomato sauce, and water, then bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Put in the marinated chicken and the rest of the marinade. Slowly simmer and cook till the chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice.
  • Enjoy!