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chicken tikka masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Author: Chris Cockren
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes + marinating time
  • Yield: Serves 4



For the Chicken Marinade

  • 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt (unsweetened)*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • Kosher salt

For the Tikka Masala

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 11 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt



  1. Stir together all ingredients besides chicken in a large bowl or ziploc bag and season with Kosher salt.  Add chicken, turn to coat.  Cover and chill overnight (or at least 8 hours).  


  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet or dutch oven.  Add onion, season with Kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.  Add spices and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Add canned tomato, season with Kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.  Add 1 cup of heavy cream and stir.  If more cream is desired, you can add the other 1/2 cup.  Lower heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, preheat your oven broiler on high.  Remove chicken from marinade and place in a single layer on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.  Broil chicken, until just cooked through and browned in spots, about 6 minutes per side.  Transfer to a cutting board and chop.  
  3. Stir chopped chicken into the tikka masala and simmer gently, for about 10 minutes.  
  4. Serve with rice** and naan***


slightly adapted from Food & Wine’s recipe here.

*plain Greek yogurt will also work.  I tried it once accidentally and it worked great!

**I like to make coconut rice in the Instant Pot with this recipe but I use 3 teaspoons of sugar instead of 1. 

***the best I’ve found is either the frozen plain or garlic naan at Trader Joe’s.  If you can’t find naan, good quality pocketless pita (heated in a 400°F oven wrapped in foil for a few minutes) works well too! 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes + marinating time
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes