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  • One Elephant

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

I’ve got a secret – I’m Indian and I can’t handle spicy food. I know! I can’t believe it either at times. My Mom loves spicy food, she always say if her nose isn’t dripping, eyes watering, and mouth on fire, the food is bland. I do wonder if I’m just missing the spicy gene? One minute, just adding that to my list of things to research 😃

I love to cook and I love Indian food just as long as that spice factor is in check. I’m sharing my recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala and I hope you love it as much as I do. This is one of my go to recipes - it’s fast, easy and delicious!

This chicken tikka masala recipe includes yogurt which helps to tenderize the chicken. You can sub coconut yogurt for a dairy free option and tofu for a vegan option.


8 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated

3 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger

4 teaspoons turmeric

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1½ cups plain yogurt 1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise

3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil or regular butter

2 small onion, thinly sliced

¼ cup tomato paste

5 cardamom pods, crushed

2 dried red chilies or 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

2 cups heavy cream

¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish

Recipe Preparation

*Tip– put the chicken in the oven to cook and then start to work on preparing the sauce.

1. Preheat oven on broiler setting. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack inside sheet. Arrange chicken on rack in a single layer. Broil until chicken starts to blacken in spots (it will not be cooked through), about 10 minutes

2. Combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl. Whisk yogurt, salt, and half of spice mixture in a medium bowl; add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and chill 4-6 hours. Cover and chill remaining spice mixture.

3. Heat ghee or butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, tomato paste, cardamom, and chilis and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining half of spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pot begins to brown, about 4 minutes.

4. Add tomatoes with juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes.

5. Add cream and chopped cilantro. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 30-40 minutes.

6. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, add to sauce, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Serve with rice and cilantro.

7. Do Ahead: Chicken can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Reheat before serving.

Eat well


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