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I often make tikka masala using this recipe. However, the recipe consists of three "let simmer for 10-25 minutes" periods (after adding tomatoes, cream and chicken, respectively), so the total preparation time is quickly an hour.

I'd like to be able to cut down time by simplifying the recipe or making preparations, so I can get dinner on the table as quick as possible when I get home from work already quite hungry.

  1. Is it really necessary to first cook the tomatoes for a period, then the cream for a period, then the chicken? Why can't they be added simultaneously? (An explanation if so would be nice!)

  2. I thought about pre-cooking gallons of curry sauce and freeze in smaller containers, so if I just plan to take one out in the morning, it will be thawed and ready for dinner.

I discarded the idea of keeping pre-made curry sauce in the fridge, because it would rot after a week, so the upside of pre-preparation would only last for a couple of meals.

  • You could certainly freeze the sauce without the cream. With the cream it's less forgiving. In general dairy added to sauces needs a little care to stop it curdling. Adding cream and raw tomatoes at the same time is quite likely to cause curdling. You might get away with adding the cream and chicken (cooked chicken? I don't read Norwegian but that's what it looks like) at the same time, but if your goal is to save total simmering time you'd need to reduce the amount of liquid (water) at some stage to account for reduced evaporation. – Chris H Mar 6 '16 at 14:41
  • OK, so the prolonged cooking time is to evaporate liquid. I get it. Curdling is that when the sauce has lots of microscopic white "dots" in it? I've noticed that the sauce tastes less good when it has those dots. So how if I thaw a pre-blended tomato + spices mix, cook with cream sufficiently long enough, then add pre-fried chicken? – forthrin Mar 6 '16 at 15:10
  • Probably. Adding the cream before it gets too hot and stirring as it heats through might help. You may even be able to invert the sequence and freeze sauce +chicken then add cream just before serving (for an acceptable but not identical result). This is common in recipes that give details on freezing. – Chris H Mar 6 '16 at 18:44
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Try it all the short way, and if you like it, that is OK. Or buy it pre-made.

When I have cooked curries in the past, the extra time paid off with superb taste, and I haven't found another way to get that colour except by reducing down and reducing down the tomatoes.

When you have time or want the authentic flavour, then you still have the recipe

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