Indian food bursts to life with exotic and vibrant flavors. However, the same exotic flavors in these dishes can be intimidating to cook at home – limiting delicious Indian food as something enjoyed at a restaurant.

Believe it or not, these dishes are not as hard to make as they may seem, even for an inexperienced chef! There’s no reason you can’t prepare healthy, fresh Indian food right at home whenever your heart desires. Not a believer? Start with this recipe for one of the most iconic Indian dishes – chicken tikka masala.

Chicken tikka masala, chicken marinated in a spicy yogurt sauce, is often served alongside or on top of a plate of rice and is a great example of uses all the vibrant spices that go hand-in-hand with Indian food. But this recipe is getting a little Randall Beans twist, balancing the spicy chicken with a sour and savory pinto bean salad.

Marinating the chicken and pickling you own beets takes a bit more time, but trust us, it’s worth it. The marinade recipe makes enough for marinating 3 to 4 lbs chicken thighs.

Put your cooking skills to the test with this deceivingly simple and extraordinarily delicious Indian recipe!



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Zesty Red Chicken Tikka Masala with Pinto Bean Salad



Pinto Bean Salad with Pickled Beets

  • 2 cups of Randall Pinto Beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup cubed small pickled beets (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chiffonade cut
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 34 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Red Marinade for Chicken Tikka Masala

  • 34 lbs. chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted cumin and coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp. black pepper corns
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt


  1. For the salad: Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let rest at room temperature for one hour.
  2. For the Chicken Tikka Masala: Toast cumin and coriander seeds separately in a skillet until fragrant and there is a slight change of color to the seeds. Grind in a spice grinder cumin, coriander and black pepper corns. Transfer spices to mixing bowl.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet on high heat. Once simmering, add chili flakes, stir and then add tomato paste. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly, careful to ensure that mixture doesn’t burn (you might have to add some water).
  4. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  5. Cut the chicken thighs into strips about an inch wide. Place them in a resealable plastic bag and add enough marinade to coat chicken thighs completely. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or more.
  6. Thread chicken on skewers and let the kabobs come to room temperature.
  7. You can grill up the skewers over a hot fire until the meat is seared and then cooked on the cooler part of the grill with the lid closed.
  8. Alternately, one can achieve the sear under the broiler in the oven, and then reduce oven to 350 and cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes.
  9. Serve with the Pinto Bean Salad with Pickled Beets on the side.