Me and My Recipe | Crystal Garland

We would like to introduce you to Crystal Garland, our new Executive Assistant, who began her career with United Way in January 2018. Crystal has over 20 years’ experience working with non-profit organizations in California and Nevada, starting her career at an adoption agency as their legal assistant.

In her spare time, Crystal likes to read and travel, although what she loves doing above all else is spending time with her twin godchildren. She is a frequent visitor to the California Bay Area, where she has a surprising favorite activity: taking her Cessna 172 Skyhawk small aircraft out for a spin! 

Crystal has many favorite recipes, but she absolutely loves Indian cuisine and this Chicken Tikka Masala recipe.

Chicken Tikka Masala


  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into one inch cubes

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger


  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 jalapeno, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 teaspoon gharam masala

  • 1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • cilantro for garnish


For the chicken:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne pepper, pepper, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cubed chicken. Stir until well combined and chicken is coated. Let marinate for at least an hour.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.

  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and wipe the pan out before making the sauce.

For sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Add in the garlic and jalapeno and saute for 1-2 minutes.

  2. Add in the cumin, paprika, and gharam masala and toast for another minute. Add in the tomato sauce, season with salt and bring to a simmer.

  3. Stir in the whipping cream and cooked chicken and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

  4. Serve hot over rice.