Underwrite Your Life

Potato Tikka Masala

This is a story. So last Friday, over my lunch break while chowing down on some chicken curry salad I came across this recipe by Chef John. It looked delicious and different than the curries I have made in the past, so I decided I would give it a shot this week for my meal prep dinner.

There was just one problem… Chef John was using Chicken in his Tikka Masala. My penny-pinching butt thought that I could save a few dollars by replacing the chicken with potatoes. Genius! (or so I thought)

All-in-all, while I am categorizing this as a “recipe failure” since it definitely does not taste like traditional tikka masala, it is still completely edible and I am committed to eating it throughout the week. In fact, as I am writing this on a Tuesday, it’s actually been pretty good so far! Just not what I was expecting.

Click here to read my review about how the Potato Tikka Masala held up throughout the week.

Tikka Masala Ingredients and Seasoning Packet

As you can see from the photo above, I opted to buy a pre-mixed seasoning packet since the individual seasonings were more expensive. However, in the ingredient list below you can see the spices I would have used if I had not opted for this route.

77% Carbs
14% Fat

Ingredients Amount Cost (USD) Protein (g) Carbs (g) Fat (g) Calories (kcal)
Potato 6 potato $4.80 18g 156g 0g 1100 cal
Olive Oil 1 tbsp $0.10 0g 0g 14g 120 cal
Salt 2 tsp $0.02 0g 0g 0g 0 cal
Garam Masala 2 tsp $0.40 1g 2g 1g 12 cal
Cumin 2 tsp $0.21 1g 2g 1g 16 cal
Coriander 1 tsp $0.20 0g 0g 0g 2 cal
Paprika 1 tsp $0.03 0g 1g 0g 6 cal
Tumeric 1 tsp $0.20 0g 1g 0g 8 cal
Pepper 1 tsp $0.03 0g 0g 0g 1 cal
Cayenne Pepper 0.25 tsp $0.03 0g 0g 0g 2 cal
Cardamom 0.125 tsp $0.03 0g 0g 0g 1 cal
Margarine 2 tbsp $0.06 0g 0g 17g 200 cal
Onion 2 onion $2.00 4g 28g 0g 88 cal
Tomato Paste 1 tbsp $0.08 1g 3g 0g 15 cal
Fresh Garlic 4 clove $0.14 1g 4g 0g 16 cal
Fresh Ginger 0.5 inch $0.10 0g 0g 0g 8 cal
Tomato 5 tomato $1.45 5g 10g 5g 175 cal
Full Fat Coconut Milk 1.5 cup $1.69 6g 6g 66g 660 cal
Chicken Broth 0.5 cup $0.31 0g 0g 0g 8 cal
Cilantro 3 leaf $0.30 0g 0g 0g 3 cal
White Rice 2.5 dry cups $1.80 30g 360g 0g 1500 cal
Carrots 3 carrot $0.33 2g 18g 0g 75 cal
Total - - $14.31 68g 592g 104g 4015 cal
Total/Day – – $2.86 14g 118g 21g 803 cal
Total/Meal — — $2.86 14g 118g 21g 803 cal

Step 1

Firstly, I wanted to cook my potatoes since I knew that would take the longest. I treated the potatoes as if they were chicken (cooking and seasoning them first and then adding them to the sauce later). In order to peel the potatoes, I used a trick I have heard about and found online.

I got a big pot of water boiling on the stove to start. While I was waiting for that to boil, I chopped my vegetables.

Water starting to boil - chopped ingredients

Step 2

Once the water was boiling, I went ahead and weighed out my potatoes so I could get an accurate calorie count. Once they were weighed, I “scored” the potatoes- meaning I took a paring knife and cut a little circle around the small circumference of the potatoes. The intention behind this step is that after they are done boiling, it will help “peel” off the outside of the potato.

Once they are scored, go ahead and add them to the pot of boiling water and let them boil for about 15 minutes.

Weighed and Scored Potatoes

Step 3

Once the potatoes are done cooking, go ahead and drain them from the boiling water, refill the pot with ice water, and add the potatoes to the cold water. Let them cool off before plucking them one-by-one from the ice bath and gently peeling off their outer coat. They should peel off relatively easily- don’t worry if there are some peels still left. Once they are peeled, chop them into bite-sized pieces.

Potatoes in ice bath, peeled, and chopped

Step 4

After the potatoes are chopped, melt 1 tbsp of butter in a large skillet. Traditional Tikka Masala, from what I have read online, uses a clarified butter. However, since I didn’t have any handy, I went ahead and used the butter in my refrigerator. This probably contributed to the fact that my finished product tasted less authentic than I would have liked.

Once the butter is slightly melted, add the potatoes, stir, then season with your Tikka Masala seasoning mix or seasoning (check ingredients for full list).

Potatoes bathing in butter and seasoning

Step 5

Once the potatoes are fully coated, go ahead and use the same pot to melt the rest of your butter.

Once the butter is melted, add the chopped garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Then add your onions and carrots and cook until soft (about 5-7 minutes).

Butter/Garlic and Onion/Carrots

Step 6

Once those have fully cooked down, add 1 tbsp of tomato paste, stir until incorporated, and then add your chopped tomatoes.

Stir the mixture until the tomatoes have cooked down (another 5-7 minutes) then add 1 cup of water and a cub of vegetable broth (or just 1 cup of vegetable/chicken broth, to taste).

Sauce after adding tomato paste, tomatoes, and vegetable broth

Step 7

Let the mixture cook about ten more minutes before adding 1 can of full fat coconut milk. I read online the reason full fat was important is in order to create a thick “curry” like texture.

Let coconut milk simmer until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.

Immediately after adding the coconut milk and after simmering

Step 8

Lastly, add the seasoned potatoes to the curry sauce, stir, and let simmer until they are fully cooked. Serve with garnished of your choice!

Curry sauce with potatoes added, stirred, and fully simmered

Ultimately, this dish did not taste like traditional Tikka Masala. This is probably unsurprising due to the number of corners that were cut in regards to the ingredients, however, it did still taste decent! The coconut milk was relatively overwhelming, so if you are not a fan of the flavor of coconut milk, heavy cream would probaby be a better way to go.