The days of poor English cooking are gone. New British cuisine is international, as Caroline Grinsted, owner of Berlin's Muse restaurant, proves. Her recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala might just be England's national dish.
Caroline Grinsted: "Immigrants have enriched our food culture"
When Caroline Grinsted moved to Berlin with her husband, Tobias Zeller, in 2009, she roughly knew her way around the city, but she didn't have any contacts here.
The event manager, who was born in the English city of Bristol and spent years living in London, missed meeting up with her friends and eating together. So to fill that gap, the couple started Berlin's first "supper club." The concept was to cook at their apartment for strangers, who would help to cover the cost of the meal. The idea caught on - the seats around the supper club table always filled up quickly. When restaurant space became available in their neighborhood, the pair didn't hesitate for long. Thus, Muse was born.
Muse in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district
Muse is located in the eastern part of Berlin - in the former working class neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg. Nowadays, it's a relaxed district where lots of families live. And it's here that Caroline Grinsted and Tobias Zeller serve up international British cuisine, without having to follow every new culinary trend.
Chicken Tikka Masala
For the chicken and marinade:
For the sauce:
Cut chicken into chunks. For the marinade, mix all other ingredients together in a blender or food processor until you have a smooth paste. Cover chicken in the marinade and leave in the fridge for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
Heat oven to 200°C. Break cauliflower into florets, drizzle with a little oil and roast for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned in places.
For the sauce, peel and chop onions, garlic and ginger. Warm oil over medium heat in a large saucepan and add onions, garlic, ginger and spices, along with a pinch of salt. Fry until starting to soften, then add tinned tomatoes, coriander, and almonds. Turn heat down and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened. Blend with a hand blender until sauce is smooth. Season with salt and a little sugar to taste.
Meanwhile, on a hot griddle pan, or under a hot grill, cook marinated chicken pieces until just cooked through, and charred in places.
Add roasted cauliflower and grilled chicken to blended sauce, along with butter, cream, and spinach. Stir until spinach has wilted.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with flaked almonds, slivered ginger, and coriander leaves. Serve with rice or naan bread.
I. The quantity of chili powder can be increased or decreased, depending on how spicy you would like the dish to be. If you find your sauce too hot, adding more cream at step 5 will make the curry milder.
II. For a vegetarian version, omit the chicken and add cubes of grilled paneer instead.
III. Cauliflower can be substituted for other vegetables: broccoli, potatoes, carrots, peas and green beans are all good here. Just make sure the vegetables are cooked before adding them to the sauce. Roasting is not authentic, but I do tend to find it gives a more concentrated and intense flavor.
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