Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Chicken Tikka Masala is a beloved Indian dish featuring grilled, marinated chicken chunks in a creamy tomato sauce. The chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices, then cooked for a smoky charred effect. The sauce, made with tomatoes, cream, and aromatic spices, offers a rich and savory taste. This mildly to moderately spicy dish is often served with rice or naan bread, making it a globally adored Indian classic.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala – creamy, perfectly spicy, and ready in 30 minutes! you won’t believe how easy it is to make this at home
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian


Chicken Tikka Masala:

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup masala paste recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 –2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 1 cup heavy cream sub a 14-ounce can of regular coconut milk
  • 1 –2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro

Masala Paste:

  • 2 onions about 3 cups when chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon each chili powder turmeric, and cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • a small pile of cilantro stems
  • juice of one lemon


  • MASALA PASTE: Pulse all ingredients into a food processor until smooth. Set aside about 1/4 cup of the paste for this recipe – freeze the rest for your next batch! Boom!
  • MARINATE CHICKEN: Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Marinate with 1-2 tablespoons of masala paste and the yogurt for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • COOK RICE AND CHICKEN: Get your rice started cooking according to package directions. Then, heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Cook the chicken in batches, undisturbed, until each piece is nice and browned on the outside. Remove from pan and set aside. (Chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point.)
  • SAUCE: Add 2-3 tablespoons of masala paste to the same skillet. Stir fry for a few minutes. Add the tomato puree and browned chicken; simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • FINISH: Stir in cream or coconut milk. Season with salt. Let stand for a while so the sauce will thicken up a bit. Serve over rice with cilantro.
Keyword Chicken Tikka Masala

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