Chicken Tikka Masala

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This post was originally published on May 12, 2014.

The butter, the cream and the flavorful spices have long made chicken tikka masala one of my favorites but until last week I had only ever eaten the classic curry at a restaurant.

It turns out that it’s not difficult at all to prepare chicken tikka masala at home and it actually makes a great weeknight meal; just throw the chicken in the marinade in the morning and finish the dish at dinner time. Not the healthiest of foods for sure but mighty tasty!

RECIPE NOTES: As you can imagine, this recipe rides almost entirely on the spices and because of that it’s very, very important that you get a high-quality spice blend from a dedicated spice shop.

More delicious curry recipes:

chicken tikka masala
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5 from 2 votes

Chicken Tikka Masala

A great recipe for a creamy, buttery and flavorful chicken tikka masala. Whip up a quick chicken marinade in the morning and finish the dish at dinner time.
Cook Time30 mins
Marinating Time10 hrs
Total Time10 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken tikka masala
Servings: 2
Calories: 780kcal


  • 1 large or 2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 6 teaspoons tikka masala, divided into 2 teaspoons and 4 teaspoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon ginger powder, divided into 1/2 teaspoon and 1 teaspoon
  • 6 large garlic cloves minced (divided into 2 cloves and 4 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup canned diced tomatoes (with juice, don’t drain them)
  • 1/3 cup cream


  • Cut the chicken into cubes, set aside. 
  • To make the marinade, whisk yogurt, 2 teaspoons tikka masala, salt, 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder, 2 garlic cloves and lemon juice together in a bowl.
  • Toss the chicken with the yogurt mix. Marinate for 8 – 10 hours in the fridge.
  • Shake the marinade off the chicken a little bit, then grill the chicken. Set aside.
  • In a Dutch oven, melt the butter.
  • Add the onion and fry until soft (5 – 7 minutes).
  • Add the remaining tikka masala, ginger and garlic and fry for about a minute.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir for a few seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes and the cream.
  • Season with salt.
  • Add chicken to the sauce.
  • Serve with rice.


Calories: 780kcal

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  1. Nagi@RecipeTinEats says:

    I spied this when I was stalking your site (as I do) for ideas. This is very similar to the butter chicken I recently posted. I didn’t realise it was known as tikka masala in the US! Oops, maybe I got the recipe name wrong. :) Oh well, yum is yum, no matter what it is called!!!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Exactly, there is no right or wrong in cooking or with recipe names (and definitely not with the name butter chicken, makes me salivate just typing it). :)

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