Chicken Tikka Masala & Chapati #CooktheBooksClub #FoodnFlix

Today’s recipe duo is for a club duo!  The One Hundred Foot Journey book was the Cook the Books Club selection for October/November and the movie was the selection for Food ‘n Flix!  In these two clubs, you read the book (Cook the Books) or watch the movie (Food ‘n Flix) and then whip up something amazing inspired by the book/film.

I’ll start with the book, since that’s what I started first (you can see my GoodReads review here).  You notice how I said started?  Yeah, as in did not finish.  It was a rare one for me.  I almost never give up on books, but I just couldn’t get through this one.  I made it about 20% through on my kindle and the book was about to go back to the library and there was another book waiting for me that I loved!

In the beginning, the book was fairly interesting.  The story was set up well, hooking the reader in with the tale of Hassan’s grandfather’s beginnings as a chef in India.  Then, as the story moved on I started getting confused about which character was being referred to and there were horrifically graphic descriptions about slaughterhouses and fish markets (if you’re on the verge of becoming vegan – this book will push you over the edge – I very nearly gagged as I was reading and I have no problem with meat!)

Then a tragedy sends the family out of India, to London, where the author proceeds to bore the reader half to death until they give up on the book.

Okay – on to the movie!  So all that, that I just summarized from the book, and entire 5th of the book, takes up about 5 minutes of the opening credits of the movie.  For reals.

It picks up with the family moving from London to France and their attempt to open an Indian restaurant in France.  At this point, I was wondering if I should give the book another chance, because I was actually enjoying the movie.

Then, more tragedy and several events that suggest that the author couldn’t actually decide what he wanted to story to be about as the focus begins to shift all over the place.  It goes from, “we want to open an Indian restaurant in France” to “Oh but our oldest son is totally going to be the chef at the French restaurant next door because the sous chef is hot” to “Wait!  Now he moved to Paris” to “oh remember that kinda romance that was going on? Oh and the dad has a little fling going on too”  Riiiiight. 

The movie totally lost me about half way through.  I won’t be giving the book a second chance.

Happily enough for me, I was able to find food inspirations in both the book and the movie.  In both, there is the opportunity to focus on French, Indian, or fusion cuisine.  Since I recently tackled French with Classic Croissants, I decided to push myself way out of my comfort zone and try my hand at (probably not very authentic) Indian food.

I started off with chapati, an Indian flat bread that (to me) tastes like a cross between a tortilla and a pita.  I chose chapati for two reasons.  First, in the book version, Hassan’s mother is described as smelling like chapati and roses.  Second, I’ve actually made chapati before in my role as room mom for Dude’s school.  Last year, for International night, the kids studied India and the teacher asked if I would demonstrate how to make chapati for the class (the kids loved it!)

I used this recipe from Journey Kitchen to a tee, so I won’t reinvent the wheel here.

For my second recipe, I chose chicken tikka masala.  Again, I have several reasons for this choice.  First, I *think* I heard tikka masala referred to in the movie when they first open the new restaurant in France.  Second, it’s pretty much the only Indian food I’ve ever tried (a friend made me some once) so I figured it was something the family would (hopefully) enjoy.

Funny story – I told the boys I was going to make Indian food for dinner (Dude was excited, having learned about India for International Night) and I told them we were having chapati and chicken tikka masala.  Dude instantly became excited because we were using Indian sounding words and angry because the word “chicken” was in the recipe title.  He thought it was superfluous because it was in English.  I was henceforth only allowed to call it tikka masala.  Haha!

Luckily for me, the recipe was a huge success!  The entire family loved it and since it was a crockpot recipe, it was super easy, too!

Thank you so much to Deb from Kahakai Kitchen for hosting this month’s book and Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla for hosting the movie!

Chicken Tikka Masala
Adapted slightly from Taste of Home

1 (29 oz) can tomato puree
1 ½ cups (12 oz) plain yogurt
1 small white onion, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 ½ tsp fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp garam masala
2 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
¾ tsp black pepper
¼ - ½ tsp cayenne pepper (I used ¼ for a milder sauce)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat & cut in 1-inch cubes
1 jalapeño pepper, cut in half, seeds & rubs removed
1 bay leaf

1 tbsp corn starch
1 cup heavy cream

Basmati rice, cooked

Place the tomato puree, yogurt, onion, olive oil, ginger, garlic, garam masala, salt, cumin, paprika, black pepper, cayenne, and cinnamon in a 6 quart slow cooker and stir to mix.  Stir in the chicken, jalapeño, & bay leaf.  Cook on low for 4 hours.

Remove the lay leaf and jalapeño.  Whisk the corn starch into the heavy cream and slowly whisk it into the hot masala sauce.  Cover the slow cooker, turn the heat to high and cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.

Serve over hot basmati rice and chapati.

Serves 8-10


  1. I'm sorry you didn't care for the book or the movie. But I'm SO glad that you cooked for the events anyway. Your chapati looks delicious and your (chicken) tikka masala is definitely going to happen in my kitchen soon. Thanks, Amy.

  2. Great job with the Indian food Amy. I was hesitant about the book because I had seen your review on goodreads but I really liked the book and I liked the movie even more. Oh well, different strokes for different folks.

  3. You've just made up my mind for me on the book. Cross it off my to buy list. I do agree, the movie does get scattered at one point. But, the recipes you've made were an excellent choice. - Kimberly (Coffee and Casseroles)

  4. Amy, like Camilla, I am sorry that you didn't enjoy the book and the movie but I am happy you found inspiration in them and a dish your family all enjoyed. I love a good tikka masala and your chapati look perfect. Thanks for joining in! ;-)

  5. Tikka Masala is one Indian dish I've yet to make, and that needs to be remedied asap. It sounds and looks delicious. I didn't care for the book either.

  6. I can see why the dish would be a huge success, love it so much and looks tasty. Sorry you hated both book and movie, it was not the best.

  7. I think it is unanimous that the book was not enjoyed as much as the film. Love this dish. I almost made a masala "something" for this post.

  8. HI -- I agree the book was less than inspiring, but I admire Helen Miren so the film was enjoyable. this looks like a great weeknight dish and thanks for sharing -- cathy from Delaware Girl Eats

  9. Glad to read I was not alone in not liking the movie, but indeed both book and movie provided plenty of inspiration. Great choice of recipe and your rendition looks beautiful!


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