Chicken Tikka Masala

Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes Serves- 6

Marination time: 2-8 hours

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka masala is a delicious and easy Indian one pan dish in spice gravy:

This rich and creamy chicken tikka masala is a popular dish in Indian restaurants. But why going out to enjoy this when you can make it better at home. An aromatic and succulent piece of roasted golden chicken pieces immersed in an incredible spicy tomato based curry sauce is a close cousin to butter chicken.

However, for chicken tikka, flavors are more intense, and you can experiment with the spices used according to your choice. For chicken tikka masala, you cannot find a single recipe, and you might find over 50 recipes for the same. The following is my style of making chicken tikka masala in restaurant style at home and it is really great.

Skip the takeaway and spice up your dinner with this flavorful and delicious chicken Tikka masala in a tomato-based sauce. It is a type of comfort food that makes you feel homely and tastes great when paired with rice or roti (bread) for a simple yet lip-smacking dinner.

How is chicken tikka masala different from Butter Chicken?

Both chicken tikka masala and butter chicken use creamy tomato sauce base and similar spices, but for chicken tikka masala we need to use boneless chicken breasts, and for butter chicken, it uses chicken with bones and that is the traditional style.

The origin of chicken tikka masala is heavily disputed, and the most popular version is that it was developed in an Indian restaurant in Scotland.

Chicken Tikka masala is usually cooked with boneless chicken pieces marinated in Indian spices and yogurt for 6 hours and then traditionally prepared in a tandoor oven. However, as most people don’t have tandoors at home, broiling it in the oven is the best alternative. If you want to get that unique and bright orange color for your dish, the secret ingredient is food coloring. However, using Kashmiri chili also does the trick of bringing in a beautiful glow to the dish. 

Traditional chicken Tikka recipe uses yogurt to add richness and creaminess to the dish, but there are plenty of recipes using coconut milk instead of yogurt. Adding yogurt to any dish has the problem of curdling, and the best alternative to overcome the cooking problem is to use coconut oil by substituting yogurt.

Regarding nutrition, yogurt is an excellent probiotic containing special nutrients and proteins loaded with, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B-12, etc. The significant advantage of yogurt is that it is light in the stomach and digests easily than milk. The live active cultures in yogurt are great for improving your immunity and keep your gut protected. For having more protein, you can use boneless chicken thighs for this recipe as this holds it up well.

If you want to enrich the flavors, you can follow a 2 step marination process. First, marinate the chicken pieces in lemon juice and salt for half an hour. Then later marinate it with the ingredients for a marinade for another 2 hours or 6 hours.

The best part of this recipe is the freedom to experiment with cooking the chicken; you can either pan fry or grill it by placing the chicken pieces on skewers. Until you finish cooking chicken, you can continue with preparing the sauce.

Making the sauce is easy as well; add in onions and other ingredients in the given measurements. Adding ginger and garlic to the sauce gives an awesome flavor and spices also adds unique flavor and aroma to the dish. The tomato paste also contributes to giving its iconic color to the dish and the yogurt added neutralizes it. As per your convenience, you can also use canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones.


For marinade:

  • Chicken – 500gm
  • Garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon
  • Yogurt – 3 tablespoons
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – To taste

For gravy:

  • Ghee – 1 tablespoon
  • Onion, chopped – 1 medium size
  • Garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon
  • Tomatoes, pureed – 2
  • Kashmiri red chili powder – 1 or 2 teaspoons
  • Coriander powder -1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Garam masala powder – ¼ teaspoon
  • Sugar – 2 teaspoons
  • Kasuri Methi – 1 teaspoon
  • Cooking cream – ¼ cup
  • Salt – as required
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped – for garnishing


  1. Using the ingredients mentioned, marinate the chicken for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Pan fry the chicken by adding 2 tablespoons of ghee or cook in the oven.
  3. In the same pan, add onion and sauté till slightly browned.
  4. Add garlic paste and ginger and cook until it becomes free from the raw smell.
  5. Add in all the spices and sauté for a minute.
  6. Pour 2 tablespoons of water and cook till the paste become dry.
  7. Add tomatoes and cook for 4 minutes.
  8. Mix puree tomatoes to the mixture and cook for about 15 minutes.
  9. Transfer the masala to a blender and blend until smooth and transfer it back to the pan.
  10. Add in about 1 cup to water and add the fried chicken pieces.
  11. Add salt and a pinch of sugar and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
  12. Add cream and mix
  13. Add coriander leaves and crushed Kasuri Methi.
  14. Finally, add a teaspoon of ghee and mix well. Allow it to come to a boil and take off from the stove.
  15. Serve hot.


  • You can grill the chicken in the oven if you want to make it healthy.
  • Adding ghee towards the end will enhance the flavors and gives a beautiful aroma to the dish.

Nutritional information:

Calories: 684 | Fats: 53gm | Cholesterol: 230mg | Sodium: 1414mg | Protein: 38gm | Dietary fiber: 3gm

Don’t this yummy chicken Tikka masala sounds absolutely delicious? Share your opinions and thoughts and do comment once you try it.