Chicken Tikka Masala

March 12, 2010 | By andrea | Filed in: Chicken, Indian, Main Dish, Recipes.

Since my folks are galavanting around London right now on holiday and enjoying the delicious Indian food that the city has to offer, I thought I’d make my own Indian food in honor of their trip. This recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala, noted as being Britain’s new national dish, is a great way to recreate this British favorite at home. Chunks of chicken are marinated in yogurt and spices, broiled in the oven then quickly simmered in a fragrant sauce of tomatoes, spices and cream. If you like Indian food, you’re going to love this recipe!

While at Whole Foods recently, I found organic bulk spices so I bought small quantities of several of the spices needed for this recipe. Usually I just buy spices in jars but these bulk spices were so fragrant that I couldn’t pass them up. The fresher spices made a huge difference in the overall dish!

For the spice paste, I only used 6 drops of red food coloring instead of 1 teaspoon. If you don’t want to use it at all, the dish will still be great…just not as red.

To make the sauce, the recipe calls for cumin and coriander seeds but I substituted ground cumin and coriander instead. I also skipped the step of straining the pureed tomatoes through a sieve. Even with the changes, the sauce was silky and delicious! Serve with steamed basmati rice and enjoy the excellent meal you’ve just created.

For other recipe ideas, check out Foodie Friday.

Chicken Tikka Masala
-recipe from

Serves 6.

1 tbsp. ground turmeric
4 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. red food coloring (optional)
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1  2 1⁄2″ piece ginger, peeled and chopped, plus julienned strips for garnish
1 jalapeño, stemmed and chopped
1  28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1⁄2″ cubes
1⁄4 cup Greek yogurt, such as Fage
Kosher salt, to taste
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1⁄2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. paprika
2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Cooked basmati rice, for serving

In a blender, purée turmeric, 2 tsp. garam masala, coloring, garlic, ginger, jalapeños, and 1⁄2 cup water. Put paste into a bowl. In the same blender, purée tomatoes and strain through a sieve. In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp. paste, chicken, yogurt, and salt; marinate for 30 minutes. Place oven rack 4″ from heating element; heat to broil. Transfer chicken to a foil-lined sheet tray; broil until cooked, 5–6 minutes; set aside.

Heat butter in 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add coriander and cumin; toast 4–6 minutes. Add paprika and onions; cook until soft, 6–8 minutes. Add remaining paste; brown for 5–6 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in cream and 1 cup water; boil. Reduce heat; simmer until thickened, 6–8 minutes. Stir in remaining masala and chicken; season with salt. Serve with garnishes and rice.

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5 comments on “Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. I have only had this dish once — with my daughter in Pasadena CA — but it is delicious and I am going to try making it myself when she is home for a visit! Wonderfully clear recipe, thanks!

  2. MaryMoh says:

    A lovely dish to enjoy. I have eaten this dish at a restaurant…really good with rice. I have to make it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. deana says:

    This is one of my favorite dishes… love your recipe!

  4. Cheryl says:

    Your Chicken Tikka Masala looks wonderful. We have had some great food while here in London…..besides East Indian, we’ve eaten Nepalese food, Thai, Belgian (Moules & Frites)etc. I could go on and on but am running out of room and time! Anyway, eating different ethnic foods is half the fun of traveling! Bon Apetite!

  5. Mrs. Jen B says:

    I have never had this but wow, it looks and sounds so good! I’ll have to see if I can sneak this on to the table sometime soon – my guys aren’t so keen on “new” foods, but I feel as though this could be a winner around here! Thank you for sharing!!