Discover the Perfect Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

chicken tikka masala recipe

If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, you’ve likely heard of chicken tikka masala. This beloved dish is known for its tender chicken and creamy tomato sauce, infused with aromatic spices that create a rich and complex flavor profile. But you don’t have to go to an Indian restaurant to enjoy this classic dish. With our easy chicken tikka masala recipe, you can make this beloved dish at home with authentic and delicious results.

Our recipe is simple to follow and doesn’t require any fancy techniques or tools. With a few basic ingredients and some patience, you can create a homemade chicken tikka masala that rivals anything you’d find at a restaurant. And because you’re making it yourself, you can customize the spice level to suit your preferences, ensuring that every bite is exactly to your liking.

Whether you’re new to cooking or an experienced home chef, our chicken tikka masala recipe is sure to impress. So gather your ingredients, fire up the stove, and get ready to enjoy the delicious flavors of this classic Indian dish.

Key Takeaways:

  • Our easy chicken tikka masala recipe allows you to make this classic Indian dish at home with authentic and delicious results.
  • You don’t need any fancy techniques or tools to make chicken tikka masala. With a few basic ingredients and some patience, you can create a dish that rivals anything you’d find at a restaurant.
  • Customize the spice level to suit your preferences, ensuring that every bite is exactly to your liking.
  • This recipe is perfect for new cooks or experienced home chefs.
  • Enjoy the delicious flavors of chicken tikka masala in the comfort of your own home.

What is Chicken Tikka Masala?

Chicken tikka masala is a popular Indian dish that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people all over the world. This delectable meal is a perfect blend of succulent chicken pieces marinated in yogurt and spices, cooked until charred, and then combined with a creamy tomato-based sauce enriched with aromatic spices.

The dish has its roots in the Indian subcontinent, but its exact origin remains a mystery. It is believed that chicken tikka masala was created in the 20th century by Indian chefs who wanted to cater to the British taste for mild curries. The dish has since become a global sensation and is now enjoyed in Indian restaurants and homes worldwide.

“Chicken tikka masala is a perfect blend of succulent chicken pieces marinated in yogurt and spices, cooked until charred, and then combined with a creamy tomato-based sauce enriched with aromatic spices.”

What sets chicken tikka masala apart from other curry dishes is its unique combination of spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. These spices are blended with tomato sauce to create a rich and creamy sauce that complements the smoky flavors of the grilled chicken perfectly.

Now that we know what chicken tikka masala is let’s explore the essential ingredients needed to make the perfect version of this beloved Indian dish.

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka Masala

To make the perfect chicken tikka masala, you will need the following ingredients:

Chicken1 pound, boneless and skinless
Yogurt½ cup
Spices2 teaspoons garam masala, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon salt
Ginger1 tablespoon, freshly grated
Garlic1 tablespoon, minced
Lemon Juice2 tablespoons, freshly squeezed
Tomato1 can, crushed
Cream½ cup, heavy
Butter2 tablespoons

These ingredients can be found at any grocery store or ethnic food market and are essential to obtain the authentic flavors of chicken tikka masala.

Make sure to have all the ingredients at room temperature before starting the recipe, in order to get the best results.

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients let’s move on to marinating the chicken with the spices and yogurt to create the perfect flavor.

Marinating the Chicken

Marinating the chicken is a crucial step in creating the perfect chicken tikka masala. This process enhances the flavor and tenderness of the chicken, making it more delicious and juicy.

The marinade for chicken tikka masala typically consists of yogurt, spices, gingergarlic, and lemon juice. The yogurt acts as a tenderizer, while the spices add flavor and depth to the dish.

Tip: If you want to add an extra kick to your marinade, consider adding some cayenne pepper or red chili powder. This will give your chicken tikka masala a spicier flavor.

To marinate the chicken, simply mix together the yogurt, spices, gingergarlic, and lemon juice in a bowl. Cut the chicken into small cubes or bite-sized pieces and add them to the marinade, making sure that each piece is well-coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight for best results.

Ingredients:ChickenYogurtSpicesGingerGarlicLemon juice
Amount:1 lb1/2 cup1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt1 inch piece, grated3 cloves, minced1 tbsp

After marinating the chicken, it’s time to cook it. There are different methods for cooking chicken tikka, such as grilling or broiling. Regardless of which method you choose, make sure to cook the chicken until it’s juicy and charred, similar to tandoori chicken.

Now that you know how to marinate your chicken for the perfect chicken tikka masala, move on to the next section to learn how to cook it to perfection!

Cooking the Chicken Tikka

Once the chicken has marinated, it’s time to cook it to perfection. There are various ways to cook chicken tikka, including grilling, broiling, or baking. Whichever method you choose, follow these easy steps to cook the chicken tikka:

  1. Preheat the grill or broiler to high heat.
  2. Brush the chicken pieces with oil to prevent sticking.
  3. Place the chicken pieces on the grill or broiler pan and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, until they are slightly charred and cooked through.
  4. If you’re using a grill, you can also cook the chicken over charcoal for an authentic tandoori flavor.
  5. If you’re baking the chicken, preheat the oven to 400°F and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Once the chicken tikka is cooked, you can serve it as is with a side salad or rice. Alternatively, you can add the chicken tikka to the masala sauce to make chicken tikka masala.

Grilling vs. Broiling

Both grilling and broiling are great ways to cook chicken tikka, but there are some differences to consider:

Cooks the chicken evenly from all sidesCooks the chicken from one side only
Can add a smoky flavor with charcoalRequires a broiler pan or a wire rack set on a baking sheet
Can cook larger quantities of chicken at onceCooks smaller quantities of chicken at once

Whichever method you choose, make sure to keep an eye on the chicken and remove it from the heat when it’s fully cooked to avoid overcooking. Now that the chicken tikka is cooked, let’s move on to making the delicious masala sauce.

Making the Masala Sauce

One of the keys to a delicious chicken tikka masala is the flavorful masala sauce. It’s a creamy and tangy tomato-based sauce infused with a variety of spices, like garam masala and chili powder, that gives the dish its distinctive taste. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat until melted. Add finely chopped onions, garlic, and ginger, and sauté until soft and fragrant.
  2. Add a teaspoon of tomato paste and cook for another minute before adding a can of diced tomatoes.
  3. Stir in a teaspoon of garam masala and half a teaspoon of chili powder, or adjust the spice level to your preference.
  4. Let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens.
  5. Finally, add a quarter cup of heavy cream to the sauce, stirring until well-combined.

And that’s it! You now have a flavorful masala sauce that’s perfect for your chicken tikka masala. You can also experiment with adding coconut milk instead of heavy cream for a lighter alternative.

Tip: For a smoother sauce, you can blend the cooked onion, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes before adding the spices and cream.

Butter1 tablespoon
Onions, finely chopped1 medium-sized
Garlic, minced3 cloves
Ginger, minced1 tablespoon
Tomato paste1 teaspoon
Diced tomatoes1 can
Garam masala1 teaspoon
Chili powder1/2 teaspoon
Heavy cream1/4 cup

Combining the Chicken with the Masala Sauce

After cooking the chicken tikka and preparing the masala sauce, it’s time to combine the two for the final step. This is where the magic happens and the flavors meld together to create a delicious dish that will satisfy your taste buds. Follow these steps:

  1. Heat the sauce in a large pan over medium heat until it starts to simmer.
  2. Add the cooked chicken pieces to the sauce and stir to coat them evenly.
  3. Lower the heat to low and let the chicken simmer in the sauce for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend together.
  4. If desired, you can add coconut milk or heavy cream to the sauce to make it even creamier and richer.
  5. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure everything is evenly combined.

That’s it! You have successfully combined the chicken tikka and masala sauce to create a flavorful curry that is sure to impress. You can serve it with ricenaan bread, or any other Indian side dishes you like.

Serving Chicken Tikka Masala

Now that you have prepared an authentic chicken tikka masala, it’s time to serve it with the right accompaniments to enhance its flavor and authenticity. Here are some ideas:

RiceBasmati rice is a classic choice to serve with chicken tikka masala. It’s aromatic and has a delicate flavor that complements the dish.
NaanNaan bread is perfect for sopping up the creamy masala sauce. You can prepare it in a tandoor oven or on a hot griddle for a crispy texture.
CilantroGarnish your chicken tikka masala with fresh cilantro for a burst of flavor and a pop of color. It’s a staple herb in Indian cuisine.

If you want to recreate the full Indian dining experience, consider serving some raita or chutney on the side. These condiments are perfect for cooling the palate after a spicy bite.

And if you don’t feel like cooking, why not head to your favorite Indian restaurant? Chicken tikka masala is a staple dish in Indian cuisine, and you’re likely to find it on the menu at any Indian restaurant. You can enjoy it with some friends, family or by yourself. Either way, it’s a delicious choice!

Variations and Tips

Chicken tikka masala is a versatile dish, and there are many variations you can try to make it your own. Here are some tips and ideas to experiment with:

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

If you’re short on time, you can try making chicken tikka masala in a slow cooker. Simply marinate the chicken in the yogurt and spice mixture as usual, then transfer it to a slow cooker with the masala sauce. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, and the chicken will be tender and infused with flavor.

Adjust the Spice Level

If you like your chicken tikka masala spicier, you can add kashmiri chili powder or cayenne pepper to the spice mixture. Start with a small amount and taste as you go, so you don’t make it too hot for your liking.

Experiment with Different Spice Mixtures

Chicken tikka masala is typically made with garam masala and chili powder, but you can add other spices to the mix to create your own signature blend. Try adding cumin, coriander, turmeric, or cinnamon to see how they affect the flavor.

Serve with Different Types of Chicken

While chicken breasts and thighs are the most common types of chicken used in chicken tikka masala, you can also experiment with other cuts such as drumsticks or wings. They’ll cook up just as deliciously and add a fun twist to the dish.

Pair with Different Sides

Traditionally, chicken tikka masala is served with basmati rice and naan bread, but you can pair it with other sides as well. Try serving it with roasted vegetables, a green salad, or even mashed potatoes for a unique and tasty meal.


In conclusion, with this easy chicken tikka masala recipe, you can recreate the authentic flavors of this beloved Indian dish in the comfort of your own home. Impress your family and friends with a delicious meal that will transport them to an Indian restaurant. Start cooking this amazing recipe today and thank yourself later for a flavorful experience.

Variations and Tips

If you want to switch things up, consider making chicken tikka masala in a slow cooker for a fuss-free meal. You can also experiment with different levels of spice by adding kashmiri chili or cayenne pepper to your spice mix. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different variations until you find your perfect taste.

When making chicken tikka masala, it’s important to pay attention to the spice mixture, as this is what gives the dish its distinctive flavor. Don’t skimp on the spices, and be sure to use fresh ingredients for the best taste.

When serving chicken tikka masala, consider pairing it with aromatic basmati rice, warm naan bread, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. And for an authentic Indian dining experience, dim the lights and play some traditional Indian music as you enjoy your meal.

Start Cooking Today

Now that you know how to make the perfect chicken tikka masala, it’s time to put your culinary skills to work. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to impress. So go ahead and start cooking today for a delicious and satisfying meal that will leave you wanting more.


What is Chicken Tikka Masala?

Chicken Tikka Masala is a popular Indian dish known for its aromatic spices and creamy tomato sauce. It is a flavorful curry made with tender chicken pieces marinated in yogurt and spices, cooked in a spiced tomato-based sauce.

What ingredients do I need to make Chicken Tikka Masala?

To make Chicken Tikka Masala, you will need chicken, masala sauce, yogurt, spices, ginger, garlic, cream, butter, tomatoes, tomato paste, garam masala, chili powder, and other flavor-enhancing ingredients.

How do I marinate the chicken for Chicken Tikka Masala?

To marinate the chicken for Chicken Tikka Masala, combine yogurt, spices, ginger, garlic, and lemon juice in a bowl. Coat the chicken pieces in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to infuse.

What are the different cooking methods for Chicken Tikka?

You can cook the marinated chicken tikka by grilling or broiling it. These methods give the chicken a juicy and charred texture, similar to tandoori chicken.

How do I make the Masala Sauce for Chicken Tikka Masala?

To make the Masala Sauce for Chicken Tikka Masala, simmer tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, cream, and butter in a pan until the tomatoes break down and the mixture thickens. Add spices like garam masala and chili powder for added flavor.

How do I combine the cooked chicken with the Masala Sauce?

Once the chicken tikka and masala sauce are ready, combine them in a pan and simmer on low heat. This allows the flavors to blend together. You can also add coconut milk or heavy cream for a creamy texture.

What are the best accompaniments for serving Chicken Tikka Masala?

Chicken Tikka Masala is often served with aromatic basmati rice, warm naan bread, and garnished with fresh cilantro. These accompaniments complement the flavors of the dish and create an authentic Indian dining experience.

Are there any variations or tips for making Chicken Tikka Masala?

Yes, there are various ways to customize your Chicken Tikka Masala. You can try making it in a slow cooker for a hands-off approach, adjust the spice level by using kashmiri chili or cayenne pepper, and experiment with different spice mixtures to create unique flavors.

Do you have any other tips or advice for cooking Chicken Tikka Masala?

When cooking Chicken Tikka Masala, it’s important to taste and adjust the seasonings according to your preference. Feel free to add more spices, salt, or cream to suit your taste. Additionally, make sure to marinate the chicken for a sufficient amount of time to enhance its tenderness and flavor.

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