Chicken Tikka Masala

An easy Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. Make this classic Indian dish at home with yogurt-marinated grilled chicken and a rich, creamy tomato sauce. Tikka lovers, you will adore this recipe!

Chicken Tikka Masala is a spicy Indian chicken curry dish with a creamy tomato sauce served over rice.

It’s comfort food of a different sort and one of my favorite recipes to make and eat. If you have ever enjoyed a forkful of curry, you’ll want to try this. I won’t let you down.

An easy Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. Make this classic Indian dish at home with yogurt-marinated grilled chicken and a rich, creamy tomato sauce. Tikka lovers, you will adore this recipe!

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Where did Chicken Tikka Masala originate?

Humanity has not yet agreed on the origin of Chicken Tikka. It may have originated in the Punjab region in India or in Glasgow, Scotland.

By either account, it is certainly one of the most (or THE most) popular dishes in Britain.

What is the difference between Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala?

These two curry dishes are pretty similar. Depending on who is making them, you might mistake one for the other. Both are made with chicken in a creamy tomato sauce.

The main difference is that Butter Chicken uses more makhan (butter) and Chicken Tikka Masala uses more masala (spices).

An easy Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. Make this classic Indian dish at home with yogurt-marinated grilled chicken and a rich, creamy tomato sauce. Tikka lovers, you will adore this recipe!

How do you make Chicken Tikka Masala?

Marinate the chicken in a yogurt sauce spiced with lemon juice, fresh ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, and s&p.

The recipe is for 1 pound of chicken, but there is enough marinade for 2 to 3 pounds of chicken if you’d like to make more.

While the chicken is marinating, make the creamy tomato sauce with butter, jalapeños, garlic, cumin, paprika, tomato sauce, and cream.

Grill the chicken on skewers until tender and cooked through and toss in the delicious creamy tomato gravy.

An easy Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. Make this classic Indian dish at home with yogurt-marinated grilled chicken and a rich, creamy tomato sauce. Tikka lovers, you will adore this recipe!

Is Chicken Tikka Masala hot?

You can make Chicken Tikka as hot as you want (or not). The marinade uses a combination of cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper (which you can omit or adjust to taste), and fresh ginger.

The sauce is spiced with fresh jalapeños which you can also omit or increase to taste.

Save this Chicken Tikka Masala to your “Main Dishes” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

5 from 5 votes

Chicken Tikka Masala

An easy Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. Make this classic Indian dish at home with yogurt-marinated grilled chicken and a rich, creamy tomato sauce. Tikka lovers, you will adore this recipe!
Course Main Course
Cuisine British, Indian
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 447kcal

For the chicken marinade:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1” cubes
  • 4 wooden skewers soaked 30 minutes

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeño seeded and minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream

For serving:

To make the marinade:

  • In a bowl or large zipper-lock plastic bag, combine yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper.
  • Add chicken and mix until evenly coated. Refrigerate at least one hour or overnight. 

To make the sauce:

  • In a large skillet melt butter over medium-high heat until the foaming subsides. Stir in jalapeño and garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add remaining cumin, paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in tomato sauce and heavy cream. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, until sauce has thickened.

To grill the chicken:

  • Thread chicken evenly on 4 skewers, discarding excess marinade. Lightly oil grill and preheat over high heat.
  • Grill chicken until the internal temperature of the largest piece registers 165°F on a thermometer, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil until the sauce has thickened.
  • Add the chicken to the sauce and stir until heated through, about 10 minutes longer. Serve the chicken with sauce over rice, garnished with cilantro if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 447kcal

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  1. Clare

    Thank you Reba for your insight :)5 stars

  2. Bethany

    Can I substitute a “Tikka Masala” spice blend for the spices you have listed to put in the sauce?

    1. meggan

      I’m not sure! I imagine something like Tikka Masala spices could vary widely, but I also feel like it would probably be fine. What could go wrong, right? :D I would say if you have a blend and it mostly resembles my spices, then yes. And actually, even if it doesn’t, as long as you like it that’s what matters!

  3. Jackie

    I made this tonight and followed the recipe exactly.  Came out great! It was a little labor intensive, but some food is a labor of love. This was simple enough and I would definitely make this again. Thank you!5 stars

  4. Jess

    Hi! Looking forward to trying this. Can I use plain greek yogurt? Thank you!

    1. meggan

      Hey Jess! Yes. I am sure it will work just fine! I will be sure to test it that way next time I make it so I can update the recipe. Thanks for visiting!

  5. Jill

    I think I have missed a lot here in the recipe. What do “T” and “c” stand for in the recipe?

    1. meggan

      Hi Jill! Sorry about that. Tablespoon and cup. I am working on going back and changing the abbreviations to the full words, I apparently missed this recipe. Sorry about that!

  6. Madras man

    First and foremost Tikka was invented in Glasgow,Scotland.I don’t regard it as a spicy curry either prob next upgrade from a Korma.Looking at all the ingreidients,time and power costs here seems like a lot of hassle to me unless you enjoy cooking and have time on your hands.Cooking to me is like building a wall unless you know what your doing you aint goin to get it spot on.The only way to master Indian cooking is to go to cooking lessons or get a job in an Indian restaurant .

    1. meggan

      You make some really great points! I will have to review this post and see what I wrote (I posted it a few years ago, who knows what I wrote back then). It’s true that I’m not a master of Indian cooking. I also don’t focus on recipes that are quick & easy, I enjoy cooking and have time on my hands. So a lot of my recipes are like that. All I can say is, the recipe tastes good in my opinion. But, I’ll have a look over the post and see if I can improve it. Thanks for your feedback!

  7. HanneGee

    Hi, first time I’ve come across your site, it looks delish! I have two questions before attempting this recipe. 1. do you mean pickled jalapeno? (like for tacos?) and 2. tomato sauce, do you mean crushed tomatoes or what does it contain. Sorry, but here in Norway we don’t have the same ingredients ;) 

    1. meggan

      Hi Hanna! I was only in Norway once but it was lovely. :) Back to your questions! 1). I mean regular, fresh jalapenos. The tomato sauce is a product that is completely smooth, not like crushed tomatoes which have some texture. It is similar to puree tomatoes but with more liquid. It is basically watered-down tomato concentrate. Here is a link to a popular brand if you want to read more about it! http://amzn.com/B00JWXLDL6 I hope this helps. Good luck to you, and thank you for your comment! :)

  8. Jessica

    Made this for dinner tonight. Ahhhhmazing! So delicious. This will be a regular! Can’t wait to make it again.

    1. meggan

      Yay, I’m so happy to hear that Jessica! I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s on my agenda as well. Have a great weekend! :)

  9. I can’t believe I missed this! My husband and I freakin’ love Chicken Tikka. This is going on the list for dinner next week. Thanks for the recipe Meggan!

  10. Elizabeth LaBau

    I have so many good memories of Indian food in England! And yes, it could definitely get spicy (but I loved that!!). I rarely make it myself at home because I’m usually disappointed it doesn’t taste as good as the restaurant version. But I’m excited to try this one–we love tikka masala!5 stars

  11. Favia's Faith

    This sounds very delicious. I will definitely be adding this recipe to my meal plan for next week! :)

  12. We certainly do love our curries in the UK, Meggan … especially when we’re students! You’re right, though, they aren’t always of the best quality. I would say this tikka masala of yours is definitely one to save and cook later. It sounds so fresh and delicious, and I love the little tips you’ve given. Actually, I love the little tips you ALWAYS give – so so helpful! Thanks, Meggan!5 stars

  13. I love Indian food and I love (even more) that I have all of these ingredients (except the jalapeno which I can easily get). Looks great!

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

  14. I’m a huge fan of Indian food, but I rarely make it at home, as I haven’t found good recipes. Needless to say, I’m so glad you posted this!

  15. I am picky like Jim, but this sounds sooo good. Even though it’s 8AM, I could easily devour a big ol’ plate of this:)

  16. Janette @ Culinary Ginger

    Ah, a girl after my own heart. I’m so glad you’re an Indian food fan I use their spices a lot. This recipes looks amazing! :)5 stars

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