Barre3 Chicken Tikka Masala

We are now halfway through week 2 of the Barre3 challenge. I'm feeling so good so far. Good food flowing inside my body and good vibes outside of it. Easily the best part of the Barre3 challenge is the "nourishment" component. The Barre3 website is full of amazing healthy recipes. I've always coveted this tikka masala recipe, so I knew I would be making it during the challenge. 

I have a soft spot for any kind of food outside American. Thai, Ethiopian, Latin, India etc. Tikka Masala is a traditional indian dish made with chunks of chicken in a creamy spicy sauce with tomatoes and indian spices. The original recipe was developed by Andrea of Dishing up the Dirt. No cream just coconut milk, brown rice instead of basmati and skipping the naan help to keep this version of masala a little more health friendly. 

There is no skimp on flavor and it's incredibly satisfying. The tikka masala was last week's B3 recipe, Kathleen made their pistachio crusted tilapia this week, and next week it's my turn again!  

Barre3 Chicken Tikka Masala
yields 4 servings

2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-inch piece of whole ginger, peeled and minced
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 Tbs. garam masala
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt
2 (14-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 cup coconut milk (from the can)
1 Tbsp. corn starch (optional)
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 cups brown rice, cooked (1 cup dry)

In a medium-size deep saute pan or heavy bottom pan, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until the it is tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger. Cook for about 3 more minutes. Add the chicken and cook until the it begins to brown on all sides, about 5-8 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, garam masala, paprika, salt, tomatoes, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook, checking often to make sure the curry doesn't dry out (add water if necessary). Cook until chicken is cooked through and tender and the masala is thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes. I struggled with my masala being really brothy and not thickening up properly so I added a corn starch slurry. Combine 1 Tbsp. corn starch and a 3 Tbsp. water then pour into your sauce. This thickened my dish perfectly!

Serve with cooked brown rice and garnish with cilantro.