Classic Chicken Tikka Masala

Classic Chicken Tikka Masala

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  • Total: 3 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
583 Calories
33g Fat
34g Carbs
38g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 583
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 43%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 125mg 42%
Sodium 396mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 38g
Calcium 255mg 20%
*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 foods. 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-or-creamy dish.

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.

If you like a creamier and less spicy dish, then try this Creamy Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe.


  • For the Marinade: 
  • ½ cup cilantro/coriander leaves (chopped)
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp. garam masala spice mix
  • 1 tsp. red chili paste
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • ½ cup plain, natural yogurt
  • 1lb. skinless chicken breast (cut into 2" chunks)
  • For the Sauce: 
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala spice mix
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. ground almonds
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup light/single cream

Steps to Make It

Start by Preparing the Marinade

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place all marinade ingredients, except the yogurt, into a food processor and blitz for a few seconds to create a thick paste.

  3. Place the paste into a mixing bowl, add the yogurt and stir well. Add the chicken pieces 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.

  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.

Make the Tikka Sauce:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  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.

  3. Add the garam masala, sugar, ground almonds, and chopped tomatoes; stir and cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Finish the Dish

  1. Add the chicken pieces and the cream. Stir well and cook on a gentle heat for a another 10 minutes.

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