Chicken Tikka Masala recipe

Indulge in the irresistible flavors of homemade Chicken Tikka Masala, a dish that balances spiciness, creaminess, and rich aromas with ease. With this simple, time-tested recipe, you’ll make Tikka Masala that rivals restaurant quality. Choose from a variety of cooking methods, such as the oven, air fryer, griddle, or skillet. Combine it with fluffy Basmati rice, Cumin rice, or your favorite flatbread for an unforgettable culinary experience.

About Chicken Tikka Masala:

Chicken Tikka Masala is a culinary masterpiece that features tender, char-grilled chicken chunks immersed in a luscious tikka masala sauce. The term “Tikka” refers to char-grilled grilled chicken marinated in spiced yogurt. These tender chunks are then cooked in a creamy onion-tomato masala, resulting in a dish with a smoky, addictive flavor profile.

Origin and Variations:

Chicken Tikka Masala, which originated in Northern India, has become a global favorite. It’s often confused with Butter Chicken, but it’s distinguished by its spicier kick, chunky sauce, and use of onions. Tikka Masala, in contrast to the silky-smooth Butter Chicken, has a robust flavor profile, making it a distinct and delightful dish.

Indian Tikka Masala vs. British Tikka Masala:

Indian Tikka Masala uses fresh tomatoes, resulting in a vibrant, creamy, and rich dish with little cream. The cashews add a magical creamy texture. In contrast, British Tikka Masala relies on passata for deep flavors, necessitating the addition of more cream to balance the flavor. The recipe is adapted for both variations because the choice of tomatoes has a significant impact on the outcome.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala is atraditional Indian/British dish that features soft, tender chunks of grilledchicken in a flavourful, aromatic tikka masala gravy. This recipe yields thebest tikka masala! It goes well with butter naan or Basmati rice.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chicken tikka masala
Servings: 2
Calories: 660kcal


  • 1 Bowl For Marination
  • 1 Large pot For making gravy
  • Few skewers For making Tikka
  • Basics Cooking Utensils


  • 1.4 lbs. 630 grams chicken boneless (Preferably thighs, or breasts)
  • ½ cup 120 ml Greek yogurt (hung curd)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder use less for low heat
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon oil mustard oil if you have
  • For the tikka masala
  • 3 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • cups 150 grams onions (fine chopped, 1x – 1 large or 2 medium)
  • 1 green chilli optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder use less for low heat
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar adjust to taste
  • 1.1 lbs. 500 grams fresh tomatoes (pureed or 1x – 10 oz., 1¼ cup tomato puree/ passata)
  • 1 cup hot water double if using cashews
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves
  • ½ cup heavy cream/whipping cream or 1x – ⅓ cup whole raw cashews, 30, refer notes
  • For Garnish
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or any cream
  • 3 tablespoons coriander leaves fine chopped


Chicken Marinade

1. Dice the chicken into 1-to-1 ½ inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. To remove any excess moisture, pat dry with a few kitchen tissues. This recipe calls for 22 to 23 oz (635 to 650 g) boneless chicken thighs or breasts. A little more or less is fine.
Include the following:
½ to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt
2. Stir in 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp oil. Avoid using lime juice in this recipe. Use mustard oil for authentic Indian tikka flavors.
3. Combine 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste and 1 tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) in a mixing bowl.
4. Stir in 12 cups of Greek yogurt/strained yogurt/hung curd. You won't use runny yogurt with whey in this recipe because it will release a lot of moisture and ruin your tikkas. If you don't have it, you can make your own by following the instructions in this post: Strained Yogurt or Hung Curd. However, because this takes time, you must prepare it 12 hours in advance.
5. Combine everything thoroughly. Cover with cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 48 hours. If you're in a hurry, you can cook them after 3 hours, but the longer you cook them, the more juicy they become and the more flavors they absorb.

Make Tikka Masala

6. Pour 3 tablespoons oil, ghee, or a combination of the two into a pot or pan. When it begins to heat, add 12 cups onions (1 large or 2 medium) and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat until they turn a deep golden color. We don't want the onions to be undercooked.
7. Stir in 1 tablespoon of ginger garlic paste and 1 chopped green chili (optional). If you don't have any on hand, you can make your own using this Ginger garlic paste recipe. Cook for 40 to 60 seconds, or until you can smell the ginger garlic.
8. Reduce the heat to low and add
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin powder
9. Quickly stir everything together. We don't want the spices to burn.
10. Pour in the tomato puree right away. If using fresh tomatoes, puree 500 g (1.1 lb) ripe red tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Alternatively, use 114 cups (10 oz) of bottled tomato puree/passata.
11. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the masala thickens as shown in the photo. This step takes time, so be patient and cook down the tomatoes while the curry develops flavor. For consistency, refer to the video in the recipe card. While the tomatoes are cooking, bring 1 to 2 cups of water to a boil in another pot.
12. When the tikka masala thickens, add 1 cup hot water (if using heavy cream) or 2 cups cashew cream. Make a good mixture.
13. Cover and simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens and becomes fragrant.

Cook the Chicken Tikka

14. Grill your chicken tikka while the tikka masala is cooking. Thread the chicken onto the skewers and arrange on a tray. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes on the middle rack of a preheated oven at 240 C or 460 F.
15. Bake for another 9 to 10 minutes after turning them with a tong. If the tikkas appear to be dry in between, baste them with the marinade. Broil your chicken for 2 minutes, or until slightly charred.
Place the tikkas in your tray or basket to air fry. Air fry for 6 minutes at 200°C/400°F. Turn them over and air fry for another 6 minutes.
To cook them in a skillet or pan, 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet or cast iron pan. When the pan is hot, place the tikkas in it one at a time, spacing them apart. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on medium-high heat before flipping them. Cook until your chicken is almost done and charred on the other side. I've included a photo of this at the end of this step-by-step photo section.

Make the Chicken Tikka Masala.

Pour in half a cup of heavy cream or thickened cream once the tikka sauce has thickened. Alternatively, you can make your cashew cream. To make this, grind 30 whole cashews into a fine powder, then add 1/3 cup water and grind to a smooth puree. You'll get 12 cups of thick cream, which is similar to thickened cream. Pour 2 to 3 tbsp water into the grinder and gently swirl before adding to the tikka masala. If you don't have a powerful grinder, follow my advice below.
17. Stir in the sugar thoroughly.
18. Simmer until thickened and aromatic.
19. Stir in 1 tablespoon kasuri methi and all of the grilled chicken tikka. Before adding the chicken, make sure the curry has thickened to a nearly serving consistency. Taste and adjust with more salt, garam masala, or sugar as needed to balance the flavors.
20. Combine the ingredients and cook, covered, until the chicken is soft and tender. This only takes 2 to 3 minutes.
30. Garnish with 2 to 3 tbsp heavy cream or thickened cream and 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.
Serve chicken tikka masala with butter naan, paratha, roti, Jeera rice, or plain Basmati rice.

Read Also:- The Top 7 Most Common North Indian Delicacies: A Flavorful Odyssey

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