Chicken Tikka Masala

chicken tikka masala


It’s taking longer than I expected, but I’m

almost over the fact that you never introduced me to Indian food.

I had to go out on the streets and learn about it from strangers. Cold, alone, and unprotected, mind you.

I guess the most difficult part is,

chicken tikka masala is all sorts of delicious. It’s sweet and creamy and so interesting in spice and complexity that I’m nearly certain you’d love it, too. My taste buds really took to that rich tomato coriander sauce. My mouth started craving ultra tender meat scented like a part of the world you neglected to take me to.

And so,


I’ve been working through this recently

in my kitchen.

Chicken Tikka Masala

This Chicken tikka masala is all sorts of delicious. It’s sweet and creamy and so interesting in spice and complexity that I’m nearly certain you’d love it, too.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
refrigerate1 hr
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken curry recipe, chicken tikka masala, creamy chicken recipe
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 384kcal


Chicken Rub:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

Masala Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeno pepper ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cup half and half
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  • Marinate the chicken: Whisk together cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt. Rub this mixture into the chicken, covering both sides well. Lay the chicken in a shallow bowl and cover; refrigerate so that spice mixture is absorbed into the chicken for 1 hour. In a separate, shallow bowl, whisk the yogurt, garlic, and ginger. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Make the masala sauce: Heat butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno, cumin, coriander, and garam masala. Stir and allow the mixture to cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt. Bring to boil. Turn heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the half and half and return to simmer. Take the Dutch oven off of the burner, cover to keep warm, and set aside while you make the chicken.
  • Make the chicken: Place your top oven rack about 5 inches from the heating coils and preheat your oven’s broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray well with cooking oil. Remove your yogurt mixture from the refrigerator and dip each piece into it, leaving a thick layer of yogurt clinging to it, then lay the chicken onto the sheet. Broil chicken until it is lightly charred in spots, about 15 minutes, flipping halfway.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let it sit on the baking sheet for five minutes to cool slightly and retain its juices. Cut into small (inch-long) pieces and stir into warm sauce. Stir in cilantro and serve.


Sugar: 7g | Fiber: 3g | Calories: 384kcal | Fat: 18g | Protein: 45g | Carbohydrates: 17g


34 thoughts on “Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. Amy

    Yummy! My mother neglected to take me to India as well. Is there a support group perhaps?
    I’ll have to try this as chickpea tikka masala for me and chicken for the omnivorous in my family. Thanks Andie :)

  2. Savorique

    The photos are mouth watering! I hope the spice blend is not too hot for my delicate vegetarian mouth. Oh, I thought that garam masala already included coriander and cumin…(?)
    Thank you to Amy too for suggesting chickpea as a vegetarian alternative!

  3. johnny

    I Love Indian food! The spices are exciting and the aroma is inviting, unless of course you are my wife and threatens to leave when one starts cooking with Indian spices! I make due though and go to my local Taste of India restaurant and get it to go and eat it in the car!!! :)

  4. Heather (Heather's Dish)

    we never had a lot of indian food growing up…except for the homemade awesomeness that came from our neighbor’s kitchen! he’s a doctor from India and his wife can make some of the best food ever. i kind of want to study under her…

  5. honeywhatscooking

    well done. i’m of Indian origin and I have to say you pretty much nailed it. very impressive, and glad you used the original spices rather than a boxed spice mix. Excellent, lovely photos.

  6. Sarah

    I lovelovelove Indian food! My favorites are Palak Paneer (Indian Cheese with a spicy spinach sauce) and Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower and Potatoes in a curry-type sauce). I’ve made a tofu version of the Palak Paneer (Saag Tofu) that is pretty good, you can find a super easy recipe on Eating Well’s website. Have you ever tried Ethiopian food?

  7. Jeannette

    I’d like to list the nutrition info I’ve put together, but I don’t know the serving size. Help a sister out if you can, Andie. :)

    1. Janelle

      if you figured out the nutritional info i would love it if you would share that. I am horrible at figuring that out! and i find it extremely helpful to know the cal, protein and sodium in recipes! thanks!!

  8. Debra

    It took me half a century to discover Indian food. Now I’m hooked! I LOVE vegetable korma. This is on my must try list. Thanks Andie!

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  10. Gary

    In my haste to make this I kind of messed up and cut the chicken into chunks before seasoning, this just resulted in having to make a whoooole lot more of the chicken marinade. BUT this tasted great, really great. I skimped on the cayanne pepper and ginger cause I am a bit of a wuss. I have no broiler so I just got the frying pan hot and then fried that shiz on a medium heat. Anyway, thanks for the lovely food.

  11. Courtney

    im currently down 40 pounds with 40 more to go
    so excited to have found your blog! xx

  12. Melissa

    I made this the night after you posted it, and oh my goodness. It’s amazing. I think I’ll double the sauce next time just because it’s that good. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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  14. Fiona

    Loving your website, very glad to have found it. Tried my take of your Chicken Tikka Masala last night and it was delicious! I put two chicken breasts and the marinade in a zip loc bag before heading to work in the morning. Then my husband made the masala sauce minus the cream in a casserole dish when he got home from work, put in the chicken breasts and the marinade and let it cook in the oven for about half an hour. Delicious!

  15. Jill

    Indian is my FAV –especially this dish. I’ve been looking for a good recipe and this is pretty darn close. Have you tried substituting Fat Free evaporated milk for the heavy cream to reduce fat content but still retain the creamy texture? Just trying to make it as healthy as possible without sacrificing taste and nutrition.

  16. Janice

    Ok so two issues. I have a gas stove and the broiler is on the bottom and I cant find boneless thighs in my area. Should I bake them and then broil them?


  17. Lauren

    I just made this for dinner tonight and it tastes just like my favorite Indian resturante! My broiler is broken so I had to bake the chicken. However, it still turned out amazing. I think next time I may finish the chicken in a frying pan to crisp it up a bit but besides that it was perfect. I did add turmeric and paprika to the sauce but besides that I kept true to your recipe. I look forward to trying many more dishes from your blog!

  18. Carol Hansen

    Good Morning Andie!

    My oldest daughter who just graduated from College and started her new corporate job came home to visit this weekend! I hadn’t seen her for two months so I wanted to make something special! She LOVES Indian food, so I tried this recipe….OMG…so good! I mean really amazing…everyone loved it and it was fun to make all together! The kitchen was a hustle and bustle of cooking as we made your roasted cauliflower and peas… on that is on the recipe:) We will be making this again!

    1. Andie Mitchell Post author

      Oh yesss! Ah I remember that scary feel after college…starting my first “real” job…so foreign. Knowing that this meal could provide any measure of homey comfort (for all of you!) makes me feel good :) xo

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