Chicken Tikka Masala


Chicken Tikka Masala

You've been iching for a change recently. You know you want to shake things up, spice things up a bit, and throw a wrench into the proverbial weeknight dinner routine. Enter Chicken Tikka Masala. Being Italian-American, I am never short for having stockpiles of tomato sauce on hand in the pantry. All these years of it growing up, and I only recently had the epiphany that I was a couple of basic ingredients away from an amazing at-home complex-flavored Tikka Masala. The creamy yogurt helps tenderize the chicken and the garlic, coriander, ginger and spices in the tomato-based marinade infuse it with tons of favor Believe me, served with a side of Basmati rice, and here will quickly be naan left!
Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 27 minutes



  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks (many recipes call for thighs, but I prefer breastmeat)
  • 1 cup of plain full fat yogurt (not greek)
  • 1 1/2 cups of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt1 teaspoon of black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 small yellow onions or 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of ground red chili powder (or more if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons or more of fresh cilantro to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons of salted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 14 ounces of tomato passata
  • 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken and all ingredients for marinade. Mix together and let marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight if you can. The longer the better, especially for the breasts, which I marinate overnight for optimal tenderizing.
  • On a medium to high heat, heat the oil in a cast iron large skillet. When it is hot, add the chicken pieces in small batches of 3 or 4, making sure not to overcrowd. Brown them about 3 minutes on each side (don't worry if they don't seem fully cooked – they will continue cooking in the sauce). Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in the same pan. If it is too burnt, then use another pan. Sauté the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes, Scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the minced garlic and ginger, and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add the garam masala, turmeric, cumin and coriander. Sauté for about 30 seconds, while occasionally stirring.
  • Pour in the tomato passata, chili powder, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens and becomes a deep brownish reddish color.
  • Add the heavy cream and brown sugar and stir. Add the chicken and its juices back into the pan and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is thick and bubbling. Pour in water if you feel it is necessary to thin.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice or warm naan bread.
© Copyright Have U Covered In the Kitchen. All rights reserved.