Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Chiken Tikka Masala
Image © Yogi Studio/ Getty Images
Prep: 12 hrs
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 13 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1109 Calories
78g Fat
44g Carbs
70g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1109
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 78g 100%
Saturated Fat 27g 135%
Cholesterol 397mg 132%
Sodium 1060mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 70g
Vitamin C 63mg 313%
Calcium 342mg 26%
Iron 8mg 43%
Potassium 1779mg 38%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The word Tikka means chunks, pieces or bits. Chicken tikka masala is a delicious North Indian dish in which pre-marinated pieces of chicken are grilled and then added to a thick, creamy gravy. The result is a lovely smoky flavor. You can cook and freeze this dish quite well or marinate the chicken ahead of time and also make (do not add the cream) and freeze the sauce beforehand.

When you are ready to serve, just grill the chicken and heat through the gravy, add the cream and mix the chicken and gravy, then serve. Serve Chicken tikka masala with hot naan (leavened tandoor-baked flatbread).


For the chicken marinade:

  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste

  • 3 tablespoons garlic paste

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons garam masala

  • 6 peppercorns, or 2 dry red chiles

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, or lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon orange food coloring

  • 1 cup yogurt

  • 2 1/4 pounds chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 2-inch chunks

For the gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, or canola or sunflower oil

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped

  • 5 whole cardamom pods

  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons garam masala

  • 2 teaspoons soft brown sugar

  • 6 medium fresh tomatoes

  • 3 tablespoons almonds, blanched and ground

  • 1 cup cream

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Grind the chopped coriander (keep some aside for garnishing) and all other marinade ingredients (except yogurt) to a smooth paste in a food processor.

  2. Pour the above mix into a large bowl and add yogurt. Mix well. Add the chicken pieces and mix well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate. Allow to marinate overnight.

  3. Thread the chicken onto skewers and keep ready.

  4. Preheat your oven or grill to medium-high (200 C/400 F/Gas Mark 6). Place the skewers on the grill racks in your oven with a tray underneath to catch drippings. Roast open till the chicken is browned on all sides and tender. Keep aside.

  5. Heat the oil in a deep pan on a medium flame and add the onion. Cook till soft.

  6. Now add the cardamom and the garlic. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

  7. Add the garam masala, brown sugar, tomatoes, almonds and mix well. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and a thick paste forms.

  8. Add the grilled chicken tikka (chunks/ pieces) and stir. Cook for 10 minutes.

  9. Add the cream and mix well. Turn off the flame. Garnish the dish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with naans.

Recipe Variation

For a smokier chicken flavor:

  • Make a small bowl out of aluminum foil and place on top of chicken tikka masala when it is cooked.
  • While you are cooking the curry, burn a golf-ball-sized lump of coal till red hot. Place this piece of coal in the foil "bowl" and immediately cover the chicken dish.
  • Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Uncover, remove coal and foil "bowl," garnish chicken tikka masala and serve.