Chicken Dinner Gluten Free Healthy Indian Romantic

Chicken Tikka Masala

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Chicken Tikka Masala is the most popular Indian restaurant dish in the Western world, and with this recipe you can enjoy it any day of the week, right in your own kitchen!

I made this for dinner and didn’t get too many shots of it, but it was good and I thought it was worth a share.  Chicken Tikka Masala is probably the most popular order in Indian restaurants, and I know it’s a lot of people’s favorite.  This dish is all about the sauce and the chicken; the name translates to chunks (tikka) of chicken in a mix of spices (masala).   It looks like a long list of ingredients, but the spices are listed twice, first for the chicken and again for the sauce.   And once you have the spices in your cabinet, it’s an easy recipe to put together.  It’s great the next day, too.

The chicken gets marinated in a luxuriously spiced yogurt and then blackened in the broiler to mimic the super hot tandoor ovens of India.  Like curry, garam masala is an Indian spice mix that varies quite a bit.  If you can’t find it you can buy it online.


You might want to try this with the Indian cheese paneer and maybe some big chunks of cauliflower in place of the chicken for a vegetarian version, and I think I’m going to try it with coconut milk in place of the cream, next time.

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3 from 2 votes

Chicken Tikka Masala


for the chicken:

  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger

for the sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 10 cardamom pods crushed
  • 4 small dried hot chilies crushed, seeds and all
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 14 oz cans of good quality whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish


  • To marinate the chicken, mix the yogurt with all the spices and coat the chicken on all sides. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to marinate.
  • Put the chicken on a foil covered baking sheet (leave the yogurt coating on) and put in the broiler for about 10 minutes until the surface starts to char. The chicken will not be completely cooked, it will finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Cut the chicken into large chunks and set aside.
  • To make the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot and saute the onions, tomato paste, cardamom, chili, garlic, ginger and spices for about 10 minutes. Stir often.
  • Add the tomatoes, crushing them through your fingers as you add them. Cook the sauce for another 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the cream and 2 Tbsp of the fresh chopped cilantro. Bring to a boil and let the sauce cook gently for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Add the chicken, and finish cooking for another 10 minutes. Add a little water if the sauce seems too thick. Check the seasonings and add salt to taste.
  • Serve over basmati rice, garnished with more fresh cilantro. Serve yogurt and chutney on the side.


To crush the cardamom pods, roll over them gently with a rolling pin, but don’t lose any of the precious little black seeds! Be sure to chop your chicken in large chunks, it’s more authentic that way and it gives the dish a more appealing look.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit


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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    August 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight. Incredible! And so easy. I added eggplant and it was devine.

    • Reply
      August 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

      So glad you made it, we loved it. I am planning a vegetable version for the blog this fall. Eggplant sounds great.

  • Reply
    June 26, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Just made this with coconut milk…. awesome!! Great background flavor layer.

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    June 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    my favourite meal!

  • Reply
    June 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Great flavor addition of coconut milk for the cream. I, sometimes, substitute evaporated milk for heavy cream but using coconut milk here sounds much better. You always have good ideas here.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    June 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Love, Love, Love Chicken Tikka Masala and your recipe sounds fantastic!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    June 23, 2013 at 11:44 am

    When I look at this I can just imagine how good it smells. – this is one of my favourite indian dishes. Love it.

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    June 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I love the color of the sauce. I am not usually a fan of Indian food, but this really looks delicious.

  • Reply
    Sophie Brown
    June 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    This looks DELICIOUS. Going to have to try this one out!

  • Reply
    MD White
    June 23, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Funny! We were just at a craft show with food booths. They were cooking chicken Tikka Tikka there. They took whole pieces of chicken (legs or breasts) that were marinated in the sauce and skewered it. Then they bbq’ed it over hot bed of coals. Delish!

    I was just telling my husband, that I wanted to try this at home! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my absolute favorites whenever I have Indian food!!!!! I looove the flavor of the sauce! Yours looks amazing!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    June 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    This is making my taste buds go into overdrive! fabulous chicken tikka masala recipe.
    Mary x

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    June 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I make this dish a lot and love trying out slightly different versions of it.I’ll be giving this a try soon.

    Btw, Whole Foods, at least here in Dallas as well as Sprouts both have spice counters in their bulk food sections. For pennies you can purchase small amounts from a large selection of spices and 99% of the time they are very fresh!