Chicken Tikka Masala

This week we will be traveling with our tastebuds to India to try a delicious dish called Chicken Tikka Masala. A friend of mine named Moses was kind enough to share one of his favorite recipes with me and I am thrilled to share it with you. It was definitely one of the more difficult recipes I have made so far, but it was totally worth it!

When you start cooking, make sure to wear an apron for this one. The turmeric will stain basically anything it touches, so watch out! Also, since there a so many different unique spices to be used, a fun and cheaper way of bringing the dish together is by inviting friends or family to take part of the cooking and each bring a spice! Asian food stores will be the best place to find a majority of the spices for a lower price.

As we get started cooking, lets take a look at some fun facts about India!

  1. India is the largest democracy in the world

  2. India has the lowest meat consumption in the world per person

Who knew, right?

Also please note that this recipe will take a total of about 3 hours due to marinading the chicken. Let’s get started friends!

For a printable version, click here.



  • 2lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch pieces

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • Lemon juice from ½ lemon

  • ½ cup greek yogurt plain

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tbsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves 

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 tbsp oil


Ingredients for sauce

  • ½ a stick of butter

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 green cardamom

  • 3 cloves (can use up to 5)

  • 4 inch cinnamon stick

  • 2 onions big, thinly sliced

  • 2 tbsps ginger garlic paste

  • 2 big tomatoes pureed (or I just use a good tomato pasta sauce)

  • 1 ½ tbsp coriander powder

  • 1 tbsp paprika

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 4 tbsp cashew nut or almond paste (optional)

  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional, can even use smooth almond or cashew milk)

  • 1 tsp Garam masala

  • cilantro chopped

  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)

Vegetables (chop large cubes)

  • 1 onion large, separate the layers of onion cubes

  • ½ green bell pepper, small

  • ½ red bell pepper, small. (optional)

  • 1 to 2 tomato (remove the pulp) (optional)



Making the chicken tikka

  1. Add the marinade ingredients to a bowl and marinate the chicken. Set aside in the refrigerator for at least 2 hrs. You can marinate it overnight for best results.

  2. After the chicken has been marinaded for at least two hours, place the chicken on a pan and scrape off excess marinade (save for the next step). You can grill these on a grill or in a preheated oven at 460˚F for 20 minutes. I prefer the grill because it gets that good smoky flavor but oven works just as well too.

  3. While the tikka is in the oven, marinate the veggies in the left over marinade that was taken off the chicken. Cook the veggies in a pan on medium heat until they are slightly sifter, but still a little crunchy. Transfer this to a wide tray. The chicken should look moist, tender and veggies crunchy, with the marinade almost dried up.


Making the sauce

  1. Heat the butter for the sauce in a large non-stick pot. Add the cumin, bay leaf, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick and allow them to sizzle.

  2. Add thinly sliced onions, fry evenly till turn golden

  3. Add garlic ginger paste, fry till the raw smell disappears

  4. Pour in the tomato puree, paprika, coriander powder, turmeric, and salt. Mix and cook for 2 to 3 minutes

  5. If adding the cashew paste, add it now and fry till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan

  6. Add sugar, tikka pieces and veggies, stir well and fry for 2 to 3 minutes

  7. Add water just enough to make a thicker sauce. Bring it to a good boil

  8. Add dried fenugreek, cook for 2 to 3 mins.

  9. Pour in the cream(almond milk or cashew milk), add garam masala and add chopped cilantro. Take it off the stove top, stir well but gently. Keep covered for at least 15 minutes

  10. Serve with rice, roti, or naan. For a good homemade naan recipe, click here. You can also get some good naan at a local Indian restaurant or even at Walmart!



Samantha CouickComment