Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

Who loves an easy curry? It’s one of the most popular dishes worldwide. This easy chicken tikka masala recipe is quick and healthy. It is an authentic curry that brings you the taste of India without having to leave your home. Serve it with naan breads and you’re practically already there.

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

The best thing about a curry dish is that it can be shared with family and friends. Serve a big pot of curry in the middle of a table with rice and naan breads. It’s the perfect night in.

The longer you marinate it the better it will taste but if you don’t have the time, it will still taste great. It’s a popular curry as it’s not too hot but has loads of flavor.

How do you make Chicken Tikka Masala from Scratch?

The best part about this chicken curry is how easy it is to make.

  1. Stock up on fresh spices.
  2. Pick up your favourite chicken pieces.
  3. Combine everything.
  4. Choose your side dishes (hello naan breads).
  5. Cook and char your chicken.
  6. Have a massive portion all to yourself.
  7. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done (repeat).

Is Chicken Tikka Masala Healthy?

How long is a piece of string? Yes, chicken tikka masala is very healthy for you. You are combining chicken thighs or their healthier cousin chicken breast with an abundance of healthy spices, vegetables and yogurt.

If you wanted to make it more unhealthy you could use a fattier piece of meat and cream but why bother when it tastes so good the way it is.

Tips for the Perfect Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. Use fresh herbs and spices and release those beautiful aromas slowly.
  2. Chicken thighs are my favourite because they remain tender and have more flavour. You can use chicken breasts if you want as they are slightly healthier. Be careful not to let them dry out though.
  3. Marinate the chicken for as longs as possible. The longer it marinates, the more tender it will be. If you can’t that’s perfectly alright as it will still be tasty. If I know that I am making a big dinner the next day, I find it handier to marinate the chicken the night before. It will look like you are slaving away in the kitchen but really all the work is done in 30 minutes.
  4. Always try char your chicken, it will give it a great taste. It 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. Yogurt is great to cool a dish so it’s completely up to you.
  6. If you happen to find Kashmiri chili powder, it will help give your curry a greater deep red color. It’s a chilli powder that is prized for it’s colour and moderate heat. It also has a slightly smoky flavor that lends it help to an authentic chicken tikka masala flavour.

Other Chicken Dishes

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Chicken tikka masala served with rice in a white bowl. Decorated with coriander.

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

Author: Fiona Halligan
Who loves an easy curry? It's one of the most popular dishes worldwide. This easy chicken tikka masala recipe is quick and healthy. It is an authentic curry that brings you the taste of India without having to leave your home. Serve it with naan breads and you're practically already there.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Marinate Overnight (optional) 12 hrs
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course, starter
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 as long as possible (preferably overnight).

Cooking The Chicken

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

Masala Sauce

  • Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a large non-stick pan on a medium heat.
  • When the oil is hot, fry the onions until soft but not browned.
  • 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 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.

To Serve

  • 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 Tikka Masala, Indian Curries
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