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.
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).
How do you make Chicken Tikka Masala?
Marinate the chicken in a yogurt sauce spiced with lemon juice, fresh ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper.
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.
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.
Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
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
- 2 cups cooked white rice for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
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.