This easy recipe packs a punch of flavors: the warm Indian spices mingle perfectly with sweet blackberry and acidic lemon to create a scrumptious dish. It’s a fast way to impress guests, or to get a delicious dinner on the table for your family in a matter of minutes.
If you’ve never used garam masala, do yourself a favor and pick up a jar. Garam masala is an Indian spice mix you can find in your grocery store’s spice aisle and typically includes cinnamon, cardamom, and coriander, among other spices. You can make it yourself if you’ve got the right quantities and all of the ingredients, but I prefer to go the easy route on this. It’s an important component of other Indian dishes such as tikka masala, so if you’re an adventurous cook, you’ll want to have it on hand.
Start with the blackberry sauce, which is well nigh foolproof. Rinse the blackberries and combine them in a saucepan with sugar, cornstarch, and cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and let simmer until dark and thick. It should be done about the same time as your chicken. Before serving, add the juice of half a lemon to cut the sweetness a bit.
This dish has few ingredients, but the cooking method is key. To blacken the chicken, you’ll want to have a skillet over very high heat with a little vegetable oil. Once you put the chicken in, don’t touch it until a nice crust forms. This can take some practice if you’ve never blackened chicken before, but typically it will take under five minutes. Flip the chicken and let it get a crust on the other side. Then reduce the heat and cook another few minutes to be sure the chicken is done all the way through. You only want to flip your chicken once!
Serve the sauce on the chicken with a slice of extra lemon. I decided to squeeze a bit more on my piece of chicken, and it looks pretty too! You’ll feel like a gourmet chef in your own home.
Spicy Masala Chicken with Blackberry Lemon Sauce
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 T garam masala
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
12 oz blackberries
1/4 C sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/2 C water
1 large lemon
- Rinse the blackberries. In a small saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, corn starch, and cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer while cooking the chicken, stirring occasionally.
- Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat. Mix together garam masala, salt, and cayenne pepper. Rub spice mixture evenly over the chicken breasts.
- When the oil is very hot, just about at the point of smoking, add the chicken breasts to the pan. Don’t touch the chicken! Blacken it by allowing it to cook in the hot oil for 3-4 minutes. Turn and do the same on the other side. Reduce heat to medium high and cook another 5 minutes or so, until the chicken is opaque throughout.
- Remove the chicken to serving plates. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the blackberry sauce and stir to combine. Serve sauce on top of the chicken and slice the remaining lemon to garnish.