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Chicken Tikka Masala over Basmati rice in a bowl garnished with chopped cilantro

Authentic Restaurant Style Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Author: Spicepaw
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 60 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x


The British-Indian curry of Chicken Tikka Masala made with spiced up roast chicken in a creamy tomato masala gravy.  A mild curry big on flavor. #curry #recipe #chicken #Indian #British #chickentikkamasala



Chicken Marinade

1 whole chicken (about 12 lbs/ 0.51 kg) or 1-2 lb / 0.5-1 kg of chicken breasts

1/2 tbsp ground cumin

1/2 tbsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp sugar

2 green cardamom pods

1/4 tsp ground garam masala

1/2 cup (120 ml) plain full-fat yogurt

2 tsp ginger garlic paste (see note below)

1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Masala Gravy

3 tbsp butter

2 onions (finely chopped)

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

2 chopped finger chilies

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp paprika

1 can (400 g / 14 oz) of stewed tomatoes (crushed with your hands)

1 cup of water

1/2 cup of plain full-fat yogurt


Break down the chicken into 2 wings, 2 chicken legs with thigh attached and 2 chicken breasts.  Save the carcass and place in the freezer.  You may want it later for stock.

Using a sharp knife, cut slits on the chicken pieces on both sides.  This is to ensure a greater surface area in the chicken for the marinade to soak into.  Place chicken in an oven tray.

In a food processor, combine cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, sea salt, sugar, cardamom, garam masala, yogurt, lemon juice and ginger-garlic paste.  Grind together to form a paste.

Toss chicken pieces in the marinade.  Make sure everything is evenly coated then cover and let marinate in the fridge for 2 hours to overnight.

When done marinating, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and let warm up to room temperature.  Roast in a preheated oven for 30-45 min at 450 F / 230 C.  You want to cook it until it gives just a little bounce back.  Try not to overcook it since it will cook for about 20 min in the curry gravy.  So don’t be afraid of it being just a little bit undercooked because it still has more cooking to do.

While the chicken is roasting in the oven, start work on the masala gravy.  In a large pot, saute chopped onions in butter on medium/ medium-high heat until onions are translucent and soft.

Add ginger-garlic paste, stir and cook for a minute or so until nice and fragrant then add chopped chilies.

Cook chilies for a minute or so then add turmeric and paprika.  Stir together and cook for a minute or so just to activate the spice.  Add crushed stewed tomatoes and water.  Stir together and bring to a boil on high heat.

Once at a boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

After 10-15 minutes, all the flavors will have married together.  Puree the gravy with a hand blender or transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth.

Return mixture to pot and bring to a simmer on low heat.

Add roasted chicken pieces along with any juices leftover from the roasting pan.  Stir together and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5-10 minutes to allow all the flavors to mix together.

Add yogurt and stir together.  Simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with chopped cilantro  and serve with basmati rice.


Ginger-garlic paste is a staple in Indian cooking.  You can buy this premade in a jar or make it yourself.  Combine equal parts washed and peeled ginger with peeled garlic cloves (stems removed) and puree together in a food processor until a paste is formed.  Add a splash of water or vinegar to help get things moving if need be.  Place in a cover container and refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Category: Main, Chicken
  • Method: Roasting, Simmering
  • Cuisine: British Indian

Keywords: chicken, curry, chicken tikka masala, Indian spices, British, Indian, recipe, yogurt, ginger, garlic, onions

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