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Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

A wonderful traditional Indian dish for any table. Masala translates in English to “any of a number of spice mixtures ground into a paste or powder for use in Indian cooking.” This easy chicken tikka masala recipe is one of the prime examples of this very concept in Indian cooking.

The dish originates from Indian chefs living in Great Britain and is a hugely popular curry based dish worldwide.

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a classic Indian dish and this version is easy and quick to make! If you're like me, you like food bursting with flavor and this dish is just that.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 8 Chicken thighs, skin removed 
  • 2 tbsp  minced garlic 
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chili (or 1 teaspoon ground red chili powder) 
  • 1 tsp salt

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp  of vegetable/canola oil 
  • 1 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 1 whole large onion finely diced 
  • 1 tbsp garlic finely grated
  • 1 tbsp ginger finely grated 
  • 1 tbsp garam masala 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 14 oz tomato puree (or unflavored tomato sauce)
  • 1 tsp ground red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup  water, if needed 
  • 1/2 cup Fresh cilantro for garnish
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or half and half)


  • In a bowl, combine chicken with all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade; let marinate for 20 minutes to an hour.  Heat the oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces in batches of two or three, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until browned for about 3 minutes on each side. Set the chicken aside and keep warm. Melt the butter in the same pan. Fry the onions until soft (about 3 minutes) while scraping up any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. (this is called FOND and has alllll the flavor!) Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally with a spatula (rubber). Pour in the tomato puree, chili powders and salt. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and becomes a deep brown red color. Add the chicken and its juices back into the pan and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Stir the cream and sugar through the sauce.  Continue cooking (about 10 minutes) until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling. Pour in water to thin out the sauce, if needed. Serve over steamed rice and garnish with cilantro-ENJOY!


Usually this dish is made with chunks of chicken breast instead of chicken thighs. You can easily substitute the thighs with 2 chicken breasts. Also, using half and half will cut down the fat and calories of this dish.
Keyword chicken, Indian, rice, tikka

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  1. Anonymous says:

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe as I have tried to replicate Tikka Masala many times. This is very close to the best I’ve ever had which was from my friend’s wife who learned to make this dish from her grandmother in India. Wow. Very good. Thank you.

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