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How To Make Chicken Tikka Masala

My original chicken tikka masala recipe is available in my ebook!

chicken tikka masala

A slightly healthier chicken tikka masala!

I have been asked many times for a healthier takeaway style chicken tikka masala. This recipe may be lower in fat but it is still just as good if not better than most takeaway curries. Here I have downsized my original recipe so that you can make it for a group of four without having to make my curry sauce. Both the original restaurant curry sauce recipe and chicken tikka masala recipe are available in my ebook here.

My original ebook version is best for cooking for large groups or when you are making many different curries in one go as they do at Indian restaurants. It is also closer to what you would find in your favourite Indian restaurant. This recipe is perfect for a family dinner or when you just want to cook a nice small and healthy meal for friends.

Learn to make chicken tikka masala like they do in the busy restaurant kitchens!

 

Curry book including chicken tikka masala

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My ebook is available now

for Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac and PC right here.

 

This recipe could of course be made closer to the takeaway version by using ghee instead of olive oil and using twice as much ghee. However you decide to cook this chicken tikka masala, I hope you enjoy it. I’ve been experimenting with this one. Judging from the reaction I received from my kids, I think it’s there now!

I recommend serving this chicken tikka masala with plain white rice and another curry such as chicken korma or my mildly spiced pork patia.

5.0 from 7 reviews
How To Make Chicken Tikka Masala Like They Do In The Indian Restaurants
Author: 
Recipe Type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
I like to marinate the chicken for 48 hours. You could get away with an hour or two but the longer you marinate the chicken the better.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 4 chicken breasts - cut into one inch chucks
  • Juice of two lemons
  • Red food dye - (optional)
  • 100ml plain low fat greek yogurt
  • 200ml double cream (You could substitute low fat yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 fresh green chilli pepper - finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tablespoons mild smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper
  • FOR THE SAUCE
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 600ml chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon clove powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander.
Instructions
  1. First prepare your chicken.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If using red food colouring, dye the meat at this stage to the redness you prefer.
  3. Let sit for about 30 minutes and then add the one tablespoon of garam masala, the yogurt, cream, white wine vinegar, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, chilli, paprika and chilli powder if using.
  4. Marinate in the fridge for one to 48 hours. Remember the longer the better.
  5. When ready to cook, heat your oven to it's highest setting.
  6. Now make the sauce.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and throw in the chopped onions.
  8. Allow to fry until light brown and translucent - about 15 minutes.
  9. Add the garlic and ginger purees and mix to combine stirring continuously for about two minutes.
  10. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and simmer for a further five minutes.
  11. Now add the clove powder, chilli powder, cinnamon powder and cumin.
  12. Simmer for about five minutes and then add the sugar and the remaining tablespoon of garam masala.
  13. Allow to cook a little and then blend for two minutes until nice and smooth.
  14. Remove as much of the marinade from the chicken as possible and add the marinade to the tomato sauce mixture.
  15. Place the tomato sauce back in the pan and simmer slowly while you cook the chicken.
  16. Place the chicken pieces on a rack in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes. The chicken should then be cooked through and slightly charred on the outside.
  17. Remove when cooked through and then add the cold butter (if using) one tablespoon at a time to the sauce, stirring continuously.
  18. Add the chicken to the sauce, check for seasoning and sprinkle with chopped coriander.
  19. I like to serve this chicken tikka masala with white rice and fresh naans.
  20. Tip: To get that curry house chicken tikka masala look, you may want to add a drop or two of red food colouring to the sauce.

 

 

Chicken tikka masala doesn’t get much better than this!




65 Responses to “How To Make Chicken Tikka Masala”

  1. nettie moore says:

    Looks fabulous, I can’t wait to try it! Nettie

  2. liz says:

    this looks fantastic – my husband’s favorite…maybe a Valentine’s Day treat!

    Quick question on your curry gravy: The recipe you link to makes “8 main course servings” – would one serving be the 3 c. you call for tikka masala?

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Liz

      Thanks for stopping by.

      I have now corrected that. The sauce makes enough for approximately eight curries. Each of my British Indian restaurant (BIR) curries like this chicken tikka masala serves 3 to 4 people. The leftover curry gravy freezes very well.

      Thanks for trying the recipe. Let me know how it goes. :)

  3. MIchael Gardner says:

    I can’t seem to find a garam masala recipe on your site – I have a a couple of versions I bought from Indian Grocers but they all seem to differ somewhat and I’d like to make my own as I’m buying a spice grinder next week (Yessss…) so I can also make your Tandoori mix and Curry Powder. Any hints?

  4. MIchael Gardner says:

    Hi, found it in your “larder section” – cheers, Michael.

  5. Dave Piggott says:

    Hi, I would like to make this recipe as it’s my families favourite, tho some recipes I have seen talk about coconut, perhaps half a cup added at the end?
    Love you site!
    Thanks
    Dave.

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Dave

      Thank you. I have read and tried hundreds of different chicken tikka masala recipes. It seems no two are the same. I love a bit of coconut in this curry. My kids aren’t convinced so I leave it out. If you add 1/2 cup of coconut milk at the end it would taste great.

  6. Jason says:

    I try this last night done this and the madras, previously done the gravy the night before, loved it was the best curry I have made, easy to follow steps and I’m beginner cook so must be easy. Thanks.

  7. Erafrey says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share this recipe, for the time it takes to develop this whole website, I have cooked this particular recipe and have not tasted better. I am sharing recommending to my family and friends, to come here for recipes and other information. Good on ‘ya mate… well done :-)

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Thank you very much Erafrey! It comments like that that make all the blogging worthwhile. I’m really glad you liked the recipe.

  8. Gillian says:

    I made your chicken tikka Marsala this evening for the first time. It is absolutely lovely and so easy. Thank you.

  9. Jon says:

    Dan,

    Just to say thanks agian for your great recipes. Made Tikka Masala as above at my very first attempt and it was absolutely delicious.

    Just as you’ve said, it tasted like a real British Indian Restaurant Curry.

    Thanks!

    J

  10. colin says:

    incredible! i love it

  11. Remi says:

    Dan,

    Love your curry sauce recipe and am busy experiementing with a range of flavours and textures. Thank you.

    I found 2 versions of Ch. Tikka masala. Which one is your favouraite and the one I should cook for my family?

    http://www.greatcurryrecipes.net/2011/05/23/how-to-make-chicken-tikka-masala-the-most-popular-restaurant-curry/

    http://www.greatcurryrecipes.net/2012/01/31/how-to-make-chicken-tikka-masala-like-they-do-in-the-indian-restaurants/

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Remi

      Thanks for your question and leaving a comment.

      The newer of the two chicken tikka masala recipes is closer to what you would find in an Indian restaurant. The other was written about a year ago and is much closer to authentic Indian cooking. Personally I think both are really nice but if you are going for the takeaway look and flavour, go with the latest version.

  12. Michelle says:

    Wow – I’m so glad I found your site. I love it. Problem is that the sirloin steak I’ve been looking forward to all day suddenly doesn’t seem so appealing!

    Note to self… Do not look at anything on this website after the dinner’s gone in. Ever! Even if it’s that wonderful, low temperature cooked steak. The one that always cooks to perfection and looks like something out of an M&S food advert. Even if it’s also going to have that amazing mushroom, chili, garlic, bacon and cream sauce! No. Don’t do it. You’ll just want curry instead!

  13. Rosco says:

    Hi Dan,

    Once again you are the man. I have been experimenting with cooking Curry for around 15 years now and the recipes on your website are far superior to any others. I cooked the Chicken Tikka Masala tonight and my wife & kids couldn’t get enough.
    Just wondering if you would have a recipe for Indian style Spiced & Grilled fish. An indian friend of mine which I have lost contact with now cooked it for us one night and it was amazing.
    Thanks for sharing all your fantastic recipes, I look forward to future posts.

    Regards,

    Rosco

  14. Metharb says:

    Pre cooking chicken is a restaurant time saver and should never be done at home !!

    If you stop trying to be Indian take aways at home your food will enter another dimension.

    Indian restaurant chef Birmingham UK

    • Dan Toombs says:

      I agree with you Metharb. I just want to explain how it is done in most Indian restaurants. Many people like that Indian restaurant flavour! I also have a lot of authentic Indian recipes on my site. :-)

  15. I love chicken tikka masala and i am going to be trying your recipe soon! precooking chicken is a brilliant idea.

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Thanks. You don’t have to pre-cook the chicken. Only if you’re in a hurry. I love to cook it in a tandoor oven. Enjoy.

  16. Kev says:

    Hi Dan ,just finished base and pre cooked chicken so that I can cook it later ,even at this stage house smells like a Birmingham Balti House.I make a similar base for baltis .One thing though when I liquidised the garlic and ginger I found that 1/2 pint of water was to much to make a paste .We are all looking forward to this one though

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Kev – Thanks for trying the recipe. I do usually use less water when making pastes. I’ve found thought that it works ok in the curry sauce as it is cooked quite long and the water evaporates. That said, I will try less next time. :-)

      Thanks and I hope it all goes well for you.
      Dan

  17. Nixie says:

    oooh this looks good, I cannot wait to try and make it… I will get some ingredients sorted and give it a try – thank you for posting it up, I’m glad I’ve found your website! :) Nixie

  18. Ian Inglis says:

    Hi Dan, This dish looks great! One thing though, I’m not a fan of tomato puree as it seems to impart a ‘burnt’ flavour to dishes. Maybe I’m using an inferia type? I’m guessing homemade tomato paste would be ok instead? Could you let us know which brand of tomato puree you use? Many thanks :) Ian.

  19. Annie says:

    Hi Dan,
    Just got to tell you that your recipes are fabulous! The only problem is that we now eat so much curry, that my part of Hertfordshire has now moved to India! I want to get a spice grinder and not sure which type to buy. What would you recommend? Kind regards Annie

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Thank you very much Annie. Really glad you like the recipes.

      I use a Krupps grinder and it works really well. Any good quality coffee grinder will do the job though. Don’t spend more than about £20.00.

      Thanks
      Dan

  20. Mick says:

    Hi Dan,
    Thanks for all your endeavors mate, great job. Question, do you have the mint yogurt recipe famously served in the Indian restaurant with Shish Kebabs and Popadoms.

    Much appreciated.

    Mick

  21. Grant says:

    Hi Dan,
    Living in New Zealand for 12 yrs, orig. from Zimbabwe, I have found very few C.T.Masalas that I like. I have been following yr blog for the past year and only now have I tried one of yr recipes. I decided to cook it for work last week for my monthly lunch contribution, what can I say, it was very very good, thank you :) Please could you tell be what the cabbage does to it, I love your site and will be cooking much more recipes of yours in the future, thanks again for sharing your cooking skills.

    Grant

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Grant

      Thanks very much for that. I’m really glad you tried and liked the recipe. The cabbage idea was given to me by the ex chef of my local tandoori recipe. It adds very little flavour but does thicken the sauce and it’s nice to have the extra vegetables.

      I think is does add to the sauce a little so if you have it on hand, use it. If not, don’t let that stop you from making a batch.

      Cheers
      Dan

  22. Natalie says:

    Hi Dan

    You are a savior! Am a Scot now living in the USA and tried a few other recipes on the net with not a lot of sucess before coming across your site. My husband and my dinner party guests loved this! I am making it this weekend again (currently making your naans as a trial run) but the guests this weekend prefer milder curry – can you tell me how to make it milder if that isn’t a silly question? Less curry powder? Thanks a lot in advance and well done on your fab site.

  23. Lottie says:

    Hi Dan,
    I’ve been searching for a while and can’t track down fenugreek leaves. Is there anything I can substitute for them?
    Thanks a lot
    Lottie

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Lottie – Just leave them out. They are nice but as long as the other ingredients are there, you won’t miss the fenugreek.

      Thanks
      Dan

      • Shelj says:

        Hi ,
        Just to say Lottie Fenugreek is called Methi in Punjabi so most asian shops will have it listed as that, hope this helps

  24. simon says:

    Hi Dan, i have made about 5 different c t mos dishes and none of them have come close to yours, taste texture and presentation were all spot on. 5 stars from the wife too. Thanks.

  25. sara wiltshire says:

    hello just wondering at what temperature the oven needs to be for the chicken to cook? :)

  26. Euan says:

    Thanks so much, I have been living in China for a few years now and curry is my favourite meal but just can’t seem to find a good curry anywhere in the place where I live…so thanks so much for sharing your skills. You’re a legend! Just hope the ingredients will be easy enough to find! Keep up the good work!!! Bless you and your family. Wish you go from success to success!!!

  27. Louise says:

    Hey Dan
    Cooked this one today……..as a lover of Indian Cuisine and having been praised for my previous curries I am totally in awe of you recipes……I think I may have quite a hot chili powder because it came out much hotter than a takeaway tikka masala….but that was fine for me….I usually ask them to make mine hotter anyway…..my partner just added more yoghurt….I made it really red like a take away as well which is so pretty…..I know it is a British invention but it is one of my favourites…..Thanks again.
    Regards
    Louise

  28. Neil says:

    Thanks for this! Tikka Masala in a jar just isn’t right. Just put the chicken chunks in the fridge to marinate. It won’t get 48hrs but it should get a good 16-18. Can’t wait to get the sauce done and give it a try now.

    Only had dried garlic and ginger so it won’t be perfect but should still be tasty. Also didn’t have clove powder but hoping I get away with it. Going to chuck in 1/2 cup of coconut milk at the end as per your suggestion.

    • Neil says:

      Update: Beautiful curry. Mild, creamy, perfect for my spiceaphobe mum. The chicken after 14hrs or so marinading was out of this world. My sauce ended up a little bitter. Not sure where I went wrong there, perhaps extra juicy lemons? but a tablespoon extra of sugar brought it around. I need to be more careful next time.

      If I wasn’t cooking for my mum after her foot op I’d have been happy just to use the gorgeous pre-marinade sauce but it was too hot for her. Make sure you give it a try anyone attempting this recipe!

      • Dan Toombs says:

        Thanks for that Nell. Great to hear you got the sauce just right in the end. It does take some experimentation from time to time.

        Dan

  29. Keith says:

    We as a family have just finished our first proper tikka masala meal from raw ingredients and not out of a jar! Firstly I would just like to say what a buzz I got from cooking it and my ten year old son helped and loved it too!
    I marinated the chicked over night and it was out of this world and succulent, when removed from the oven it looked amazing, tandoori chicken!
    The flavour was great but could be dabbled with to suit individuals tastes!

    Our local curry house tikka masala is a lot sweeter than this version,
    what would we add to get a sweeter taste?

    sugar?, syrup? coconut?
    I am thinking of throwing all three of them in next time!
    That is what I love about curries, you just cannot be wrong!

    • Dan Toombs says:

      So true. Really glad you liked the recipe. Yes, sugar will do the job just fine. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but my kids do and they add sugar when cooking. Some chicken tikka masalas have coconut milk while others don’t. I like to add it sometimes and it will make the curry sweeter.

      Cheers
      Dan

  30. Adam D says:

    Hi Dan
    I tried your chicken tikka masala from your e book last night. I found that curry was over-spiced even though i decreased the spices by 1/3. It differed significantly in taste from the tikka masala in Kris Dillon’s The Curry Secret which I liked a lot (I’m new to BIR cooking). Yours has about five or six times more the quantity of total spices (cumin, coriander, curry powder, garam masala etc) as well as a more flavoured basic curry sauce. My questions:
    Have you since revised this recipe at all?
    Or do you have any advice on how I could amend your ebook tikka masala recipe?
    Thanks.
    Adam

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Adam

      It’s all a personal thing. My recipe was shown to me by a chef whose food I really like. Why not leave all of the chilli out and then sprinkle it in slowly at the end or not at all.

      Thanks
      Dan

  31. Andrew says:

    I loved the recipe, especially how you cook the chicken. I will be doing it this way all the time now.

    The only thing for me was mine was very thick so I wondered if I did something wrong. I did try and cook it on a low heat but it was still thick. I wondered if I would be able to add some water to the tomato to achieve this so it looks a bit more like it does in the picture?

  32. Tony says:

    Hi dan love this recipe, tried to make it red as in the picture I’ve put red dye in but I can not get it like yours , I’ve heard beetroot juice is good. Any ideas?

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Beetroot juice is a good alternative to red dye. You may want to use a little more. To be honest, I rarely colour it at all. There is no added flavour.

      Dan

  33. Jensen says:

    Looking to try this recipe, just a bit uneasy about adding marinade to the sauce.
    Also can’t find fenugreek leaves, will it matter much?
    Thanks

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Hi Jenson

      Don’t worry about adding marinade to the sauce. Just be sure to cook it at a high temp for a few minutes so that it cooks all the raw chicken juices. If you can’t find fenugreek leaves, try a pinch of fenugreek powder. Not too much though as it is a lot stronger than the leaves. You could leave it out too.

      Dan

  34. Zoe Hermitage says:

    Just made the marinade and put the chicken in and placed in the fridge for 48 hrs ready for my hubby on Wednesday and I’m sure I’ve used way too much fenugreek (only had powdered and used a couple of teaspoons) is there anything I can do to rescue it ! Really don’t want to waste it by binning it.

    • Dan Toombs says:

      Sorry Zoe

      It sounds like you did use too much. Fenugreek powder is quite potent. Double or triple the recipe. You may even need to make more than that. It freezes well though.

      Dan

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