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Chicken Tikka Masala

Classic Indian beautifully spiced chicken dish
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
6 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian


  • 2 tbls grated ginger
  • 2 tbls minced garlic
  • 2 tbls garam masala
  • 2 tbls coriander
  • 2 tbls cumin
  • 2 tbls turmeric
  • 1.5 tbls kosher salt
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ghee, butter or vegetable oil as needed
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 6 cardamom pods crushed
  • 3-4 dried red peppers
  • 1.5 cans whole peeled tomatoes (42 ounces)
  • 2 cups cream or more to taste
  • ½ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped


  • Combine the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, and salt in a bowl and mix them well. Remove half of this mixture to another bowl and reserve.
  • Add the yogurt to the halved spices. Whisk till the spices and yogurt are combined. Add the chicken to the yogurt, toss, cover and refrigerate for six hours or up to two days. (I have a vacuum sealer so we put them in a bag in the video--I also forgot to show the salt being added!)
  • To make the sauce, add enough ghee or butter or oil to coat the bottom of a large pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and give them a hit of salt. When they're tender add the tomato paste and cook it, about a minute. Then add the cardamom, dried red peppers, and the reserved spice mixture. Stir and cook to bloom the spices.
  • Add the juice from the tomatoes and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Squeeze in the tomatoes—you want them good and crushed. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes or so, then stir in the cream. Keep the heat on low.
  • Turn your broiler to high.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade to a sheet tray lined with foil. When the broiler is hot, broil the chicken to give it color and cook the marinade, a few minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a cutting board (it need not be fully cooked inside). Cut it into large, bite-sized pieces, and add them to the sauce.
  • Return the sauce to a gentle simmer to finish cooking the chicken.
  • Remove the pot from the stove, garnish with the cilantro and serve straight from the pot.


I'm by no means an expert at Indian cuisine. But we all love this dish and my wife Ann found a recipe she liked from Bon Appetit. I used that as a base butI always improvise according to our tastes (I find most recipes that are heavy on the spices, aren't nearly heavy enough.
Keyword chicken tikka masala