East India Grill shares chicken tikka masala recipe | PHOTOS

East India Grill has established a reputation as one of the best ethnic restaurants in Federal Way and the region.

Owner and food guru Kabal Gill, with three-plus decades of restaurant experience, has a genuine passion for cooking. He is all about sharing the love. Diners at East India Grill can watch the kitchen action via TV monitor.

He enjoys showing people how to cook Indian food at home. Each week, Gill shares his mouth-watering recipes in a cooking class where the seats fill up fast. On March 10, he whipped up a batch of chicken tikka masala from scratch (recipe below). This is one of the most popular dishes in Indian cuisine. As the number-one restaurant meal in the United Kingdom, chicken tikka masala has even been called "a true British national dish."

Throughout this recent cooking class, attendees sniffed concoctions like curry mixed with cinnamon, or a garlic-ginger mashup. His house-blended spices tickled noses and cleared sinuses with their intoxicating aroma. Guests sampled Gill's custom-crafted chai tea while watching the action. (SEE PHOTOS)

Less than an hour later, dishes of steaming chicken tikka masala were served alongside either rice or warm garlic naan, a type of soft bread cooked in a clay oven. The naan was perfect for sopping up the savory sauce. The tender chunks of chicken bursted with well-balanced flavors.

Chicken tikka masala is the perfect introduction for newcomers to Indian food (see recipe below). It is offered on East India Grill's daily lunch buffet, which stands apart from typical buffets because of its high-quality made-from-scratch approach. The lamb curry is fall-off-the-bone tender, while mushroom and lentil dishes will satisfy the vegetarian palate. Other tasty items include little fritters called vegetable pakoras, as well as tandoori chicken, which pops in the palate with bold roasted flavors.

Cooking classes

• East India Grill is located at 31845 Gateway Center Blvd S. in Federal Way (near I-5 and South 320th Street). Cooking classes run 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Saturdays through April. Cost is $20, and registration is recommended. Call (253) 529-9292 or visit The next cooking class on March 17 will explore bread and seafood.

• East India Grill is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Aside from a daily lunch buffet, the restaurant has a full menu with appetizers, entrees and desserts.

RECIPE: Chicken tikka masala

chicken tikki masala

The following recipe is courtesy of Kabal Gill, owner of East India Grill in Federal Way. The recipe consists of three steps. Gill recommends keeping water handy to cool the sauce in case it burns.

Step 1: Marination ingredients

• 2 pounds of chicken breast

• 1/2 cup of yogurt

• 2 tablespoons of garlic and ginger (mashed together)

• 1 tablespoon of salt

• 1 tablespoon of curry powder

• 1 tablespoon of black pepper

• 1 tablespoon of methi

Directions: Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and marinate for four hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Sauce ingredients

• 3 pounds of fresh tomatoes, diced

• 1/2 cup of chopped onion

• 1/2 cup of vegetable oil

• 1/2 cup of tomato paste (optional)

• 2 tablespoons of curry powder

• 2 tablespoons of garlic and ginger (mashed together)

• 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder

• 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of salt

• 2 cups of cream

• 1 and 1/2 cups of water

• 2 tablespoons of cumin seed

Directions: Warm up a large saucepan, add vegetable oil and let it get hot. Add cumin seed for a minute, then add onion and cook until brown. Add garlic/ginger, cook 2 minutes. Add curry powder, turmeric and salt. Turn the heat to low for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes and cook about 10 minutes until you lose water from the tomatoes. Now add tomato paste. Let it mix well with the sauce for 2 minutes. Put all gravy in a blender, then return to same pan and add water.

Step 3: Putting it all together

Add chicken and cream to the sauce in the pan. When the mixture thickens, add meth (fenugreek) for about 4 minutes. Check the salt for taste. Serve with basmati rice or garlic naan (bread).


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