Chicken Tikka Masala

Tikka Masala is perfect when you want to spice things up in the kitchen.

Tikka Masala is not actually Indian, It is an Indian influenced dish, that was first created in Britain. Despite it’s origins, this is a vibrant curry with juicy pieces of chicken which has been marinated in yogurt and a variety spices.

Chicken Tikka Masala

A delicious curry, perfect for meal prep or a perfect dinner for the family
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 7


  • 4 cups of Basmati rice.

Chicken Marinade

  • 3 Chicken breasts cut into cubes.
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp of paprika I used hot paprika.
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 Juice from lemon

Curry Sauce

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 80 g butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Curry spices
  • 1 tin crushed tomatoes - 400g
  • 400 ml water
  • 100 ml cream
  • Pinch of salt

Curry Spices

  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp coriande
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika


Marinating the Chicken

  • Cut the chicken into bite sized cubes and put in a large bowl. Combine all marinade ingredients into the bowl and mix well, making sure that all the chicken is well-coated.
  • Cover the bowl and let it marinate in the fridge, the longer you leave it the better. Preferably overnight.

Charring the Chicken

  • In a hot pan add some cooking oil and start cooking your chicken. Make sure you don't flip the chicken frequently, by doing this you will achieve the perfect char on the chicken.
  • Once the chicken is done, add it into a bowl and set it aside. We will be adding the chicken into the curry at the end.

Making the Rice

  • While you wait for the chicken to finish cooking, now would be a good time to start cooking your rice. In a rice cooker add three cups of basmati rice and 3 cups of water.

Making the Curry

  • In a food processor add the onion, garlic and ginger, and blitz. This helps making the curry nice and smooth.
  • In the same pan we charred our chicken, use a paper towel to clean the excess bits of char. Add the oil and half of the butter. Once the butter has melted and the pan is nice and hot, add in the onion, garlic and ginger mixture. Fry for 1 minute.
  • Add in your spices and sugar, then fry, this way all the spices will release their aromas. After the spices have soaked up all the oil, pour in the crushed tomatoes and the water.
  • Stir well and simmer with the lid on. After 15 minutes, add in the other half of butter. This will help the curry thicken. Once the butter has melted, add in the cream and mix and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • Finally add in the chicken and garnish with fresh coriander or parsley. Serve with rice or naan bread. Enjoy


The onion, garlic and ginger paste will be a bit watery, you can strain the water and fry in the pan.
If you find you curry isn't smooth, you can blend it with an immersion blender to help smoothen it out
Adding more cream and butter will help the curry become smoother

About this Recipe:

After making this recipe a handful of times, each time slightly adjusting ingredients slights, I have finally put together an awesome recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. I absolutely love making this recipe for weekly lunches, as it’s fairly easy to make and delicious. I could eat this for 5 days and not get tired. The only time consuming task is marinating your chicken, but you can do it the night before. If you can’t leave the chicken to marinate overnight, marinate for at least 3 hours.With this recipe, I made 7 servings. If you marinate your chicken the day before, this dish can be served in under 30 minutes. Serve with fresh coriander and yogurt on a bed of rice or with some naan bread.

Cooking the Chicken:

When you cut your Chicken, make sure they are roughly the same size so they cook evenly. Another pro-tip is to make sure you mix the marinade very well, making sure it has coated all of the chicken. Finally and most importantly, the long you leave the chicken to marinate, the more delicious your Tikka Masala will be.

While cooking the chicken, make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan and let it cook (avoid constantly moving it). By doing this you can assure your chicken will have the perfect char. Remember in Chicken Tikka Masala, the char is what gives it, it’s authentic flavour. Once cooked set the chicken aside in a bowl till it is needed.

Cooking the CURRY:

Because I am lazy, I add my onion, garlic, and ginger into the NutriBullet and I blitz them. During my Tikka Masala research, I noticed the majority of recipes used hand blenders, I don’t own one, so processing them is the next best option. It’s also a lot faster. And this way, my eyes won’t tear from slicing onion. It might not look as appealing, but the results are exactly the same.  

Pro-tip for the smoothest curry, if you see you curry isn’t smooth you can try adding a bit more butter and some cream. If you follow this recipe though you shouldn’t need to. When it’s time to serve, garnish the curry with some fresh coriander or parsley. If you have Naan bread, it is perfect with this dish. I also love to add a big spoonful of yoghurt to this dish, as it gives it a wonderful creamy texture.

A delicious bowl of tikka masala. Serve on a bed of rice with some yoghurt on the side.


As I stated previously, I love meal-preping this dish, as it’s so easy to make and delicious. I normally eat out on Fridays, so I make four lunches, and eat the leftover servings for dinner. When I eat this at work, I simply heat it in the microwave then add a spoonful of yoghurt that I have stored in a seperate container.

Is curry not really your thing?

Try out my other meal-prep recipes or go to my meal prep page: cookwithtini – meal prep

7 Replies to “Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. This looks delicious! Do I use the curry spices in the sauce or, like in the picture, on top of the finished dish? And if it’s the first one, how much of it do I use?

    1. Hi Mika,
      I use the curry spices in the sauce. Are you referring to the photo of the chicken marinating with the spices?

      1. “Are you referring to the photo of the chicken marinating with the spices?” – Ah! Now that I looked at the pictures again (and again) they make more sense 😀 I don’t know what I saw when I first looked at them – and why.

        I will use all of the curry spices in the sauce then. I will try your recipe this weekend. Am looking forward to it 🙂

  2. I tried making this, I got a little lost on the part about a tin of crushed tomatoes. Were they drained or just the whole tin in? Also how many oz/ml is a tin? I’m from the US and used some fire roasted crushed tomatoes that were 14.5 oz / 428 ml. I accidentally screwed up and mixed up tablespoons and teaspoons and ended up making triple the recipe (I had done the curry spices as tablespoons then realized it was teaspoons after I had already mixed them up). I wish you had a picture of the paste of ginger/garlic/onions you described as when I did it in a food processor, it looked more like a slurry than a paste as it was very high in water content. You have pictures of the chicken and the prep then all of a sudden BING BANG BOOM instant curry. I wish you had some pictures of frying the paste then adding spices then adding tomatoes. I did end up having to use an immersion blender to get mine to look nearly as smooth as yours but still slightly chunky.

    1. Hi Derik,
      I put the full tin of crushed tomatoes. The tin is 400 g, which roughly is 14 oz. My ginger garlic and onion paste did have water, you can add the water to the pan as it will just evaporate or you can try and strain some. I added it with the water. I think adding the additional spices could be the reason it wasn’t as smooth but hopefully the immersion blender resolved this.
      This was my first time making this curry, next time I make this I will take more photos then upload them to this post.

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