Easy Authentic Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala served with rice and coriander. Served in a white bowl.
Beautifully Spiced Chicken Tikka Masala

This authentic chicken tikka masala recipe is simple for you to make in your own home. It’s a good excuse to not get a takeaway, especially when you can make your family this healthy, simple meal. Also, it happens to be a super popular curry as it’s not too hot but has loads of flavor. Just like this Harissa Chicken recipe, it has a good kick of spices to entertain your palate.

Moreover, if you are looking for a family favorite that sneaks in vegetables then this is perfect. Generally there are not a lot of vegetables in a curry but you could add in diced carrots, peppers and mushrooms to give it greater texture.

Tips for the Perfect Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. Use fresh herbs and spices that are not too old.
  2. Use chicken thighs for a better flavor. You can use chicken breasts if you want it slightly healthier.
  3. Marinate the chicken for as longs as possible. The longer it marinates, the more tender it will be.
  4. Grilling the chicken under a high heat will give it a greater flavor. The char on the chicken is similar to cooking the chicken in a tandoor oven.
  5. Depending on how hot your family wants it, you can add in extra chili or leave it out completely.
  6. If you happen to find Kashmiri chili powder, it will help give your curry a greater deep red color. It’s a chili powder that is prized for it’s color and moderate heat. It also has a slightly smoky flavor that lends it help to an authentic chicken tikka masala flavor.
Chicken tikka masala served with rice in a white bowl. Decorated with coriander.

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

Author: Fiona Halligan
Spicy chicken tikka masala served with rice and coriander. Packed with flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Marinate Overnight (optional) 12 hrs
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Entrée, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 615 kcal


Chicken Tikka Marinade

  • 675 g Chicken Thighs or Breasts boneless, skinless-cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Root Ginger peeled, finely grated
  • 2 cloves Garlic finely grated & minced
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 4 tablespoons Plain Yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala


  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 large White Onion halved & finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon Root Ginger peeled, finely grated
  • 2 cloves Garlic finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 4 tablespoons Plain Yogurt
  • 2 medium Tomatoes peeled, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Passata
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Puree
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Coriander (Cilantro) Leaves roughly chopped
  • ½ cup Water if needed


Chicken Marinade

  • Put the chicken in a bowl with the salt and lemon juice. Rub it in well. Leave for 15 minutes.
  • Mix all the rest of the ingredients in with the chicken and combine well. Cover and refrigerate for one hour or preferably overnight.

To Cook the Chicken

  • Turn on the grill to a high heat. Put the marinated chicken on the grill rack and space them out.
  • Grill until nearly charred, about 3/4 minutes on each side. You will finish the cooking of the chicken in the masala. Set aside.

To Make the Masala Sauce

  • To make the masala mixture, pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a large non-stick pan on a medium heat.
  • When the oil is hot, fry the onions until translucent.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and continue to fry, stirring for a minute.
  • Add the ground coriander, turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala, cumin and paprika. Stir and cook for 2 minutes to release the aroma of the spices. Be careful not to burn the garlic mixture.
  • Add a tablespoon of yoghurt and stir until it is absorbed. Continue with the remaining yoghurt with the same process.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, passata and puree and cook for four or five minutes, or until the tomatoes soften.
  • Taste and season with salt if needed.
  • Add in the partially cooked chicken and juices from the plate.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15- 20 minutes with the lid on.
  • Stir every few minutes to make sure the sauce isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened a little, remove the pot from the heat. If the sauce is too thick then add a little bit of water to loosen the mixture.
  • Spoon some rice into a bowl and ladle a a good helping of the chicken tikka masala over it. Garnish with coriander and serve with naan bread and raita. Enjoy!


Calories: 615kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 31gFat: 48gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 1052mgPotassium: 831mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1127IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 133mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Chicken Curry
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