Classic Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Classic Chicken Tikka Masala. Getty
  • 3 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 4

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of Britain's favourite foods. It is even considered one of our national dishes. There are many chicken tikka masala recipes, some hot, some creamy, some creamy and hot but this recipe is my favourite, a spicy, but not too hot or creamy dish.

This Tikka is so easy to make with the success of the dish in allowing plenty of time to marinate the chicken; allow a minimum of 2 hours up to overnight in the refrigerator.

If you like a creamier, less spicy then you can check out my other recipe Creamy Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

What You'll Need

  • For the Marinade
  • ½ cup/4 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp garam masala spice mix
  • 1 tsp red chili paste
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ cup/115ml plain, natural yogurt
  • 1lb/ 450g skinless chicken breast, cut into 2"chunks
  • For the Sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala spice mix
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 can/400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup/230 ml light/single cream

How to Make It

Serves 4

Start by Preparing the Marinade:

  • Place all marinade ingredients, except the yoghurt, into a food processor and blitz for a few seconds to create a thick paste. Place the paste into a mixing bowl, add the yoghurt and stir well. Add the chicken pieces and stir  thoroughly to make sure all the chicken is coated in the sauce. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours up to overnight.
  • Thread 3 or 4 of the marinaded chicken chunks onto a wooden skewer and repeat until all the chicken is used up. Place the skewers under a hot grill for about 10 minutes, turning from time to time. The chicken is ready when the outside is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Keep to one side.

Make the Tikka Sauce:

  • Heat the oil a large frying pan until hot but not smoking. Add the chopped onion, cardamom pods and garlic paste and stir well. Be careful to not brown the onions, if they start to brown lower the heat.
  • Add the garam masala, sugar, ground almonds, chopped tomatoes, stir and cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Finish the Dish

  • Add the chicken pieces and the cream. Stir well and cook on a gentle heat for a further 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with either naan bread, chapatis and/or a little boiled rice.

Watch My Video on How to Make a Chicken Tikka Masala