Classic Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Elaine Lemm

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Marinade: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1096 Calories
62g Fat
48g Carbs
93g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 1096
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 62g 80%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 217mg 72%
Sodium 947mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 18%
Dietary Fiber 15g 52%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 93g
Vitamin C 34mg 170%
Calcium 571mg 44%
Iron 10mg 57%
Potassium 1946mg 41%
*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.)

Chicken tikka masala is one of Britain's favorite curries often top the best-loved dish lists; now it is even considered one of Britain's national dishes. There are many chicken tikka masala recipes, some hot, some creamy, some creamy and hot but this recipe is special, a spicy but not-too-hot dish with a light creaminess

This tikka is so easy to make with the success of the dish resulting from plenty of time to marinate the chicken; allow a minimum of 2 hours up to overnight in the refrigerator.


For the Marinade: 

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (finely chopped)

  • 1 tsp ginger paste

  • 1 tsp garlic paste

  • 1 tsp chilli paste

  • 2 tbsp lime juice

  • 2 tbsp garam masala

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1/2 cup yogurt

  • 1 pound skinless chicken breast

For the Sauce: 

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 medium red onion (finely chopped)

  • 4 black cardamom pods

  • 1 tsp garlic paste

  • 1 tbsp garam masala

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp almond flour

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed canned tomatoes

  • 1 cup light cream

  • dash salt and pepper

Steps to Make It

Start by Preparing the Marinade

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken Tikka Masala Gather marinade ingredients.
    Elaine Lemm
  2. Place all marinade ingredients, except the yogurt, into a food processor and blitz for a few seconds to create a thick paste. Set two tablespoons of the marinade to one side.

    Chicken Tikka Masala Paste
    Elaine Lemm
  3. Place the paste into a mixing bowl, add the yogurt, and stir well. Chop the chicken breast into 2 inch cubes then add the pieces to the marinade and stir thoroughly to make sure all the chicken is coated in the sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours up to overnight.

    Chicken Tikka Masala add yoghurt

    Elaine Lemm

  4. Thread 3 or 4 of the marinaded chicken chunks onto a wooden skewer and repeat until all the chicken is used up. Place the skewers under a hot grill for about 10 minutes, turning from time to time. The chicken is ready when the outside is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Keep to one side.

    Chicken Tikka Masala grilled
    Elaine Lemm

Make the Tikka Sauce:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken Tikka Masala ingredients for sauce
    Elaine Lemm
  2. Heat the oil a large frying pan until hot but not smoking. Add the chopped onion, cardamom pods, and garlic paste and stir well. Be careful to not brown the onions; if they start to brown lower the heat.

    Chicken Tikka Masala cook onions and garlic
    Elaine Lemm
  3. Add the garam masala, sugar, ground almonds, chopped tomatoes and the reserved marinade; stir and cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

    Chicken Tikka Masala and toms and spices
    Elaine Lemm

Finish the Dish

  1. Add the chicken pieces and the cream. Stir well and cook on a gentle heat for another 10 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste.

    Add cream and chicken

    Elaine Lemm

  2. Serve hot with either naan bread, chapatis and/or a little boiled rice.

    Chicken Tikka Finished

    Elaine Lemm

Want to serve more?

This recipe serves 2, approximately 1 breast per person. The recipe is easily adjusted for more, double up the recipe for 4, for 6, you will need six chicken breasts but use 1½ times the marinade and sauce ingredients.