Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala is a curry dish of roasted chicken chunks (tikka) served in a creamy, spiced tomato sauce (masala). It is my husband's favorite Indian dish so I had to figure out how to make it at home! Thanks to Aarti Sequeira's Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe from the Food Network, I was able to recreate it (with a few tweaks based on what I have in my kitchen).

Aarti says it takes her 50 minutes total but I find it takes closer to 90 minutes with prep, cleaning as you go, and everything in the between!

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 c plain yogurt, whisked til smooth (I used Greek yogurt)
  • 1 T grated fresh ginger (I used 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 t kosher salt (I used sea salt)
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size chunks

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3 T butter
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch thumb ginger, peeled and minced (I used 1T ground ginger)
  • 2 serrano peppers, minced and seeds removed depending on how spicy you want it (I used 3 serrano peppers from our garden without seeds)
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 t paprika
  • 1 t garam masala
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, diced (I used 7 vine ripened tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 t kosher salt (I used sea salt)
  • 2 cups water (I found 1 cup to be enough)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, whisked smooth)
  • fresh cilantro leaves, minced (I left mine kinda haphazardly chopped)
  1. In a large bowl, mix together marinade ingredients. Poke chicken with a fork and add to the marinade. Fold to cover all chicken chunks with marinade and then let it marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (make your sauce during this time).
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and olive oil. When butter has melted, add garlic, ginger, serrano peppers. Saute until lightly browned edges.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook until it has darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the paprika and garam masala; saute for about 1 minute for the flavors to come out. 
  4. Add tomatoes, salt, water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes then take pan off heat and let cool about 5 minutes.
  5. During that time, you may be ready to broil your chicken. In a broiler pan lined with aluminum foil (I used a Le Creuset rectangular baker), place marinated chicken. Place under broiler and cook for 7 minutes on each side until some charring and all the way cooked through. If not cooked though, will continue cooking in sauce later.
  6. Pour cooled sauce into blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour back into the pan and bring to boil. Add the cooked chicken. Reduce heat to simmer and cook covered (I didn't cover mine) for 10 minutes.
  7. Add cream (or in my case yogurt) and stir through. Garnish with minced cilantro. Serve over rice or with naan!


  1. Wow, sounds great! You make such delicious looking things Stephanie! :)
    - Heather

  2. Thank you Heather! You'll have to come over for dinner some time :)

  3. Yummyyyyyyyyyyy..........that looks delicious :)


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