Indian Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

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Indian Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

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Indian Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Indian Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Chicken Tikka Masala is a beloved dish worldwide, known for its tender chunks of grilled chicken enveloped in a creamy, spiced tomato sauce. This dish combines the aromatic flavors of Indian spices with a rich and luscious gravy. Here’s how to make an authentic Chicken Tikka Masala that will delight your taste buds.


For the Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Masala Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish


  1. Marinate the Chicken: In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, garam masala, chili powder, paprika, turmeric, and salt. Add the chicken pieces and coat them well with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  2. Cook the Chicken: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Spread the marinated chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and slightly charred. Alternatively, you can grill the chicken pieces for added flavor.
  3. Prepare the Masala Sauce: In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the oil or ghee over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and ginger, and cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add Spices and Tomatoes: Stir in the ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and paprika. Cook the spices for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning and to release their flavors. Add the tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Finish the Sauce: Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream, yogurt, and sugar (if using). Add salt to taste. Let the sauce simmer gently for another 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  6. Combine Chicken and Sauce: Add the cooked chicken pieces to the sauce, stirring well to coat the chicken with the masala sauce. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the chicken is heated through and has absorbed some of the sauce’s flavors.
  7. Garnish and Serve: Garnish the Chicken Tikka Masala with chopped fresh cilantro. Serve hot with basmati rice, naan bread, or roti.

Tips for the Perfect Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Marination: Allow enough time for marinating to enhance the flavors and tenderness of the chicken. Overnight marination yields the best results.
  • Grilling: Grilling the chicken pieces adds a smoky flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
  • Creaminess: Adjust the amount of cream and yogurt to achieve your desired level of creaminess. For a richer sauce, you can add more cream.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the chili powder according to your heat preference. You can add more or less depending on how spicy you like your food.

Side Dishes to Pair with Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Basmati Rice: Fluffy basmati rice is perfect for soaking up the rich sauce of the chicken tikka masala.
  • Naan Bread: Soft, buttery naan is ideal for scooping up the delicious sauce.
  • Cucumber Raita: A cool, refreshing cucumber raita balances the spiciness of the dish.
  • Mango Chutney: Sweet and tangy mango chutney adds a delightful contrast to the savory chicken tikka masala.


This authentic Chicken Tikka Masala recipe brings the rich and diverse flavors of Indian cuisine to your home. With its tender chicken pieces and creamy, spiced tomato sauce, it’s sure to become a favorite dish in your household. Enjoy this delightful meal with family and friends, and savor the taste of authentic Indian cuisine.