Chicken tikka with fragrant rice

When it comes to cooking and baking I am definitely more of a “make it from scratch” kind of cook. There are of course some exceptions to the rule, prime example – puff pastry. I always use the ready made frozen variety and have not made it from scratch in about ten years! I recall making it as a student and it taking hours, and I rarely have spare time for that. The shop bought version is just fine for me! The other exception is curry pastes. There are some fantastic brands on the market that allow me to whip up delicious and satisfying curries in no time at all.


I have been wanting to post a quick curry recipe on the blog for a while now. On this particular occasion I turned to one of South Africa’s most well known food brands, Ina Paarman to give me the shortcut I needed to make this super quick and fabulously tasty meal. Most of the time I tend to choose curry pastes over curry sauces, but I decided to experiment with Ina’s ready-made tikka sauce in this recipe which is adapted from another quick curry recipe I put together years ago. It is so simple and ready in just thirty minutes, perfect for a winter week night supper.

The rice is delicately flavoured with whole cloves, but you could also use whole cinnamon as a substitute. The cream can also be substituted with coconut milk which I often use in my curries! I was very impressed with the well rounded flavour of this dish. The chicken tikka is creamy and has the perfect consistency – not too thick or too runny – for pouring over fluffy rice or scooping up with warm naan bread.
This recipe is also being featured on Homemade Heaven this week, where well known food blogger Rosemary Gough is looking at the differences between my quick and easy dish versus her made-from-scratch version. Pop over and check out the results. And enjoy those last few curries – Spring is definitely on its way!



For the rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 4 cups water

For the curry:

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 free range chicken breast fillet, cubed
  • 200ml tikka curry sauce
  • 400g tin of peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml cream
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of coriander leaves + extra to garnish
  • naan bread or poppadoms to serve (optional)

1.) Place the basmati rice, cloves and water in a saucepan. Cover and leave to soak.

2.) Heat the sunflower oil in a separate saucepan. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes.

3.) Add the cubed chicken and fry for 3 minutes to seal.

4.) Meanwhile, place the saucepan of rice over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through.

5.) Add the tikka curry sauce and tomatoes to the chicken. Mix well, cover the saucepan and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

6.) Stir in the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Tear the coriander leaves into the curry, mix and continue to simmer until heated through.

7.) Remove the cloves from the rice. Spoon the rice and chicken tikka onto heated plates, garnish with coriander leaves and serve with naan bread/poppadoms.

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