Chicken Tikka Masala {Recipe}

So, as you are aware, in my quest for the perfect chicken tikka masala recipe, I came across two contenders for prime tikka masala award status. But here lay the problem – one had too much fenugreek, the other had too little spice. What to do?

Mix and match my friends, mix and match. In doing so, I made the perfect recipe! Thank you, Food Network and Bon Appétit – you both have changed my life for the better.

Servings: 4



  • teaspoon garlic/ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3/4 cups whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ~400g (about 1lb) skinless, boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces


  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 small onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic/ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder 
  • 350g baby plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup half-fat créme fraîche (or heavy cream)
  • 1 tsp Demerara (or brown) sugar
  • Coriander (for garnishing)

Spice Prep – Combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder, and cumin powder in a small bowl.

Marinade – 

  1. Whisk yogurt, salt, and spices in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add bite sized pieces of chicken and turn to coat.
  3. Cover and chill in fridge anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.

Sauce –

  1. Melt ghee in a large, heavy pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, tomato paste, cardamom, and sliced chilli. Stir for about 5 minutes or until tomato paste has darkened and onions have softened. Add ginger/garlic, spice mixture, hot chili powder, and cook down. Stir another 5 minutes until it begins to brown.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes with juices, 1 cup of water, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce to low heat to simmer until sauce thickens (about 10 minutes).
  4. Add cream and puree with a hand blender until the sauce reaches a smooth consistency.
  5. Heat up grill/pan and lightly oil. Take the marinated chicken out of the fridge and shake off excess marinade. When grill is hot, placed the bite-sized pieces of chicken to the grill and char each side for about 2 minutes. This is meant to sear the juiciness and flavour into the chicken. There is no need to fully cook the chicken as the process will complete when placed into the sauce.
  6. Add chicken pieces to tikka masala sauce. On low heat, let the pot gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. This will finish cooking the chicken and infuse the spices from the sauce into the meat.
  7. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and serve with basmati rice or naan bread.