My husband is British, and therefore incredibly picky about Indian food. He bemoans the lack of restaurants that serve “proper curries” in our neighborhood.
This is why, on our annual trek back to UK to visit his family over the holidays, we’ve started the tradition of going to an Indian restaurant on New Year’s Eve. We skip the champagne, the sparkles, and the countdown in favor of eating our fill of spicy curry.
In an effort to ensure that we’re not deprived of Indian food the rest of the year, I am learning how to cook more Indian dishes at home. I’m starting off with the quintessential British Indian dish: chicken tikka masala.
How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala
Make this tikka masala in just a few (easy!) steps — the whole dish is ready in under 45 minutes!
Marinate the chicken with yogurt. This tenderizes the chicken and adds flavor.
Cook the chicken.
Make the masala sauce. This involves simmering onions, spices, and tomatoes, with a little yogurt added at the end for creaminess and tangy flavor.
Combine the sauce and the chicken. And you’re done!
Tips for Making the Best Chicken Tikka Masala
This easy chicken tikka masala recipe calls for a number of spices, but they all add to the deep flavors of the tikka masala. This recipe is worth the raid on your spice cupboard.
Here are a couple tips for this recipe:
My husband and I both preferred the chicken tikka masala with a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper. However, if you prefer less spice, you can cut that back to just a quarter teaspoon or just leave it out entirely.
For the best flavor, you’ll also want to marinade the chicken for 4 to 6 hours, or even overnight. This gives the meat time to fully absorb the spicy marinade. However, if you’re in a time crunch, you can just marinate the meat for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Avoid using Greek yogurt if possible for this recipe; regular plain yogurt is best. If Greek yogurt is all you can find, buy the Greek yogurt with the highest fat content you can find and mix it with a little whole milk to get the consistency of regular yogurt.
My husband gave this chicken tikka masala recipe his seal of approval. I hope you like it too!
What to Serve with Chicken Tikka Masala
Before you start cooking the tikka masala (since the cooking goes so quickly!), get a pot of rice going. Spoon the tikka masala over a scoop of rice and top with a sprinkle of cilantro!
Want something a little more special? Try making Indian-Style Rice or Savory Coconut Rice!
Looking for More Indian Recipes?
Pressure Cooker Saag Tofu (Indian Spinach and Tofu)
Turmeric Cauliflower Curry
Potato and Broccoli Curry
Red Lentil Dal
Updated January 16, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe.
For the chicken:
1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or a mix
6 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
For the tikka masala sauce:
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 5 ounces, or 1 1/2 cups sliced)