Classic Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

chicken-tikka-masala
Classic Chicken Tikka Masala. Getty
  • 3 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 4
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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 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 plain, natural yogurt
  • 1lb. 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 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup 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.