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Lady’s Chicken Tikka Masala and Pillau Quinoa

Ladys' Chicken Tikka Masala with Pillau Quinoa

I love chicken curry! It is in my top 5 for meals I love to enjoy! However, I am not a big fan of having to prepare an entire chicken when the only part I enjoy is the breast! My mum noticed that I only enjoyed chicken breast when I was a teenager, so around the late 1990’s, my mum, my late father and I began experimenting in the kitchen with chicken tikka masala. My dad had friends who ran Indian restaurants and after some advice, we decided to have some fun in the kitchen!

Coming from a family and culture based on a daily staple of spicy and tasty Indian food, I knew I had to learn from the best, my parents, and so chicken tikka masala was the first dish I ever created with them!

For me, chicken tikka masala is probably the easiest dish to prepare. Having lived away from home in both the UK and Germany, I could rustle it up with pillau rice in about 45 minutes. Living on my own, I also developed my own way of cooking it with some tweaks here and there to help give it a sweeter base for taste through using a mix of onions to adding in vegetables to increase the nutritional value.

Since it was International Ladies Day on Sunday 8th March 2015 and today is Sunday 15th March 2015, i.e. Mother’s Day here in the UK, I decided to add some greens in the form of okra aka lady’s fingers, hence the name, Lady’s’ Chicken Tikka Masala!

Traditionally, all Indian dishes are served with rice or chappati. Since I am off both due to health reasons, I decided to spice up the quinoa just like we spice up our pillau rice!

You will be seeing my favourite ingredients today which are onions, red onions, spring onions, garlic, ginger and of course chilli! Give me those ingredients, and depend on the order they are used, I can cook you Indian, Italian and Turkish dish!

Here is my first ever cooking video! It’s very long at 23 minutes but my aim is to create videos of about 5 to 10 minutes in length to keep you informed and entertained!

Ingredients Board!
Ingredients Board!


Chicken Tikka Masala

2 chicken breasts

1 onion

1 red onion

3 spring onions

4 cloves of garlic (I love garlic in my food)

1 cm of ginger

1 red chilli

1 green chilli (I didn’t have any to hand but do use one for colour and extra spice!)

1 long red pepper

1 long green pepper

6 okra aka lady’s fingers

1 tablespoon dried coriander

¼ teaspoon powdered tamarind

Olive oil



1 litre of filtered and boiled water

1 tin of chopped tomatoes (you can use fresh if you wish but it’s quicker and easier to use a can!)

200ml of filtered water, boiled.

Pillau Quinoa

100g quinoa

1 onion

4 cardamom seeds

8 cloves

8 black pepper seeds

200ml of filtered water, boiled.


Olive oil


Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. In a saucepan on ¾ heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil (put the water on to boil);
  2. Slice and dice the onions (hold back the green leaves of the spring onions until the end), garlic (I cut the garlic knobs up, press them in a garlic crusher and add them directly into the saucepan) and ginger to the saucepan to sauté. Stir regularly until the mix starts to bronze;
  3. To the onions, add in the tin of chopped tomatoes, dried coriander, tamarind and a half a teaspoon of salt and chop in the chillies (if you want your dish less spicy, add the chillies in with the other vegetables in point 7);
  4. Allow to simmer and continue to stir gently until the water evaporates;
  5. Cut the chicken breasts into cubes, add to the saucepan and cook until all raw bits disappear, keep stirring gently;
  6. Add the boiling water and then add in the okra and chopped peppers and stir gently for a couple of minutes;
  7. Turn the heat down to a quarter, taste the soup and add salt and pepper to taste;
  8. Cover with the lid and leave the mix to cook for about 10 minutes;
  9. Add the chopped spring onion leaves and cover for 5 minutes
  10. Feel free to add any coriander to finish and you are ready to eat!

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves up to 4 people

Pillau Quiona

  1. Begin making your quinoa preparations at point 6 of cooking the chicken tikka masala;
  2. In a saucepan on ¾ heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (put the water on to boil);
  3. Slice and dice in the onion and stir, sauté until the onions caramelise;
  4. Add in the spice mix of cardamom, black pepper, cloves and cinnamon sticks;
  5. Add in the boiling water and a ½ teaspoon of salt;
  6. Add the quinoa and stir gently. I gently rinse the quinoa first in lukewarm water and then drain it before adding it to the saucepan;
  7. Allow the quinoa to simmer, turn the heat down to a quarter, and cover with the lid;
  8. Check on it 3 to 5 minutes later and gently turn the quinoa over with a plastic or wooden spoon to ensure you keep your quinoa seeds in tact;
  9. Repeat step 8 until the quinoa is cooked and all the water evaporates;
  10. You are now ready to eat!
 Ladys' Chicken Tikka Masala with Pillau Quinoa!
Ladys’ Chicken Tikka Masala with Pillau Quinoa!

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves up to 2 people –I made enough chicken to last us another day and my mother and I like to eat our quinoa fresh!

Let me know how you get on and please feel free to provide feedback 🙂

Happy Mothers Day!
Happy Mothers Day!

Welcome to Spiced Up By Bilal!

Hi! My name is Bilal Bham and I would like to welcome you to my blog, Spiced Up By Bilal!

I decided to create this blog because:

  1. I have some big health challenges which are lactose intolerance which means I can’t digest any dairy products like milk, cheese or yoghurt; and I have issues digesting refined carbs like bread, chapatti, rice and pasta. So I need to make food without dairy and refined carbs – no pizza for me! I also suffer from acid reflux and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
  2. I have some big fitness goals and lead a healthy and active lifestyle by going to the gym 5 times a week and dancing salsa in the evenings – so I need food that will provide me with a lot of energy and also help me keep making gains in the gym!
  3. I have some big taste needs! Much of the healthy food I see out there is pretty bland and boring and coming from an Indian background, I need a daily dose of tasty and mildly spicy food!

I know there are many people out there like me who have similar health challenges and lifestyle needs but still want to enjoy healthy tasty and spicy food!

So, I hope you enjoy what I will be serving up to you via Spiced Up By Bilal!