Chicken Tikka Masala is a delicious creamy tomato sauce based Indian recipe made with white meat chicken and plenty of bold spices including garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander.
Chicken Tikka Masala is the spicier, bolder almost twin brother recipe to the Indian fan favorite Butter Chicken.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Indian Food hasn’t had it’s due on this blog to date which is a shame because it is one of our FAVORITE variety of foods we love to cook together in the kitchen. This Chicken Tikka Masala is the beginning of a new series of Indian recipes I’ll be posting on the blog and is the product of a few weekends spent learning from a family friend’s Indian grandmother about all the flavors, feelings, tips and tricks that go into delicious Indian recipes.
The day we made this Chicken Tikka we also made a DOZEN other dishes (I kind of wish I could just share all of them with you right now!), so as we go we’ll be sharing them while still bringing in a good mix of other non-Indian dishes to the blog.
That being said, if you have a request? Please let me know in the comments I would love to post that next if it is a recipe we have made already. AND we are going to be getting together again to cook a lot of appetizers and sides next time too, so I really do hope you all love Indian food!
Don’t worry, we’ll be going at a once every 2-3 week pace on these recipes so it doesn’t take over the natural mix of recipes you all love.
How do you make Chicken Tikka Masala?
Chicken Tikka Masala is made in two parts with a spiced yogurt and lemon marinade on the chicken and a creamy tomato spiced sauce that are combined after cooking much like Butter chicken.
What is the difference between Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken?
Chicken Tikka Masala is traditionally made with white meat chicken while Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani) is traditionally made with bone in dark meat and contains a significant amount of oil to create a creamy mouth texture. Both contain creamy tomato sauces and similar spices.
In many restaurants they are regarded as the same dish, but in authentic restaurants there is a distinction. Often times Chicken Tikka Masala will also contain less cream than butter chicken.
Tools used in the making of this Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe:
Cast Iron Dutch Oven: I used to fry in my cast iron skillet, but this dutch oven is perfect for frying larger pieces of food and it keeps heat really well. Plus the lid is a second pan so it is all you need to make this recipe.
Chicken Tikka Masala
- 4 chicken breasts , boneless skinless
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 lemon , juiced (just under 1/4 cup)
- 6 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Cut the chicken into 2 inch chunks.
- Mix the cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper and salt into a small bowl.
- Toss the chicken with half the spices, the greek yogurt and the lemon juice and let it sit while you make the sauce.
In a large saucepan on medium high heat, add the butter and the rest of the spices, stirring well for 30 seconds until you can smell them well.
- Add in the garlic and ginger and stir an additional 30 seconds.
Add in the crushed tomatoes and heavy cream, stir and let simmer on a low-medium heat for 7-10 minutes.
- Heat the canola oil in a large skillet on medium high heat.
- Remove most of the marinade from the pieces of the chicken before cooking.
- Cook the chicken in batches until just cooked through.
- Add the sauce to the chicken and mix well before serving.