In my opinion, chicken tikka masala is the perfect introductory dish to Indian cuisine. It’s incredibly flavorful and rich, and pairs well with either basmati rice or naan, an Indian flatbread eaten with the hands.
In fact, chicken tikka masala is so beloved even beyond its south Asian borders that it’s been declared the national dish of Britain (though Anthony Bourdain seems to think otherwise). What I love about this dish is how versatile it can be: for my pop-up episode 2 in Houston, I served it over Frito chips with a sprinkling of Monterrey Jack cheese for an Indian-inspired Texas Frito pie. On an episode of MasterChef season 3, my team served it wrapped in naan out of a food truck on Venice Beach. Try it the traditional way first, and then be inspired to cross-breed it with other cuisines and come up with new dishes that are sure to excite even your least gastronomically adventurous friends.
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