Chicken tikka lasagne; JACKSON Stephen is co-owner and chef at T&Cake Cafe, Almondbury.
FOR THE CHICKEN TIKKA: 3 large corn-fed chicken breasts 250g yoghurt 200g Tikka paste 1 onion, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 small piece ginger, minced 200g chopped tinned tomatoes 1/2 tube tomato puree A handful fresh coriander, finely chopped FOR THE BECHAMEL: 2 pints whole milk 80g butter 80g plain flour 2 tsp Masala Chat powder Maldon salt and freshly-ground pepper TO FINISH: 500g box lasagne sheets 100g spinach 150g paneer cheese 2 tbsps strong Cheddar cheese, grated 2 tbsps Red Leicester cheese, grated METHOD: For the tikka base, dice the chicken and place in a bowl along with the tikka paste and the yoghurt. Stir well, cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, heat a little oil in a saucepan, and gently cook the onion, garlic and ginger until soft and golden. Set a frying pan over high heat and, in small batches, fry the chicken pieces along with their marinade coating. Allow it to catch a little in the pan, turning occasionally.
The objective is to blacken and crisp the spiced yoghurt-y coating of the chicken for added flavour. Add each batch to the pan of onions, then add the tinned tomato and tomato puree. Finish with a good handful of chopped coriander and simmer the sauce for about an hour, stirring regularly, while you get on with the white sauce element.
For the bechamel, first gently warm the milk until just beginning to bubble. In a clean pan, melt the butter and fry the masala chat spice for a few seconds. Add the flour and sizzle, whisking hard, for a few minutes.
Gradually whisk in the milk to make a smooth white sauce. Season with a little salt and pepper. Heat the oven to 180oC / Gas 4.
To assemble the dish, butter a suitable ovenproof dish or pan, and spoon in some bechamel. Top with a few sheets of pasta, and add a layer of tikka. Cover with some fresh spinach, a sprinkle of diced paneer cheese, and repeat the process until all the ingredients have been used up. You may not need all the may not need all the Y bechamel, but it depends on your preference for a dry or sloppy lasagne. Finish with a layer of white sauce, and sprinkle with the Cheddar and Red Leicester. Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes, until golden and bubbling.
Serve, guilt-free, with a crisp salad or some yoghurt-tossed cucumber and mint salad.
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|Publication:||Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)|
|Date:||Oct 17, 2014|
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