Chicken Tikka Masala

Click here for a PDF of this recipe without photos.

Everybody’s favorite dish to order from Indian takeout places is also one of my favorites to make at home.  It’s easy to adjust the heat (by changing the amount of cayenne and/or adding serrano chiles) or to swap boneless skinless chicken breasts for the thighs to account for personal preferences.  I recommend making plenty of rice and/or making/buying plenty of naan, as you’ll end up with plenty of gravy.

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay

For the Chicken Tikka

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 Tb ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tb minced fresh ginger
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

For the Masala Sauce

  • Canola oil
  • 2 small onions, finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tb tomato paste
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 40 oz canned whole peeled tomatoes including all liquid, pureed until smooth
  • 1 Tb honey
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Combine all ingredients for the chicken tikka in a large bowl.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Heat a broiler to high.  Remove chicken from marinade.  Scrape off as much of the marinade as possible, then broil for about 12 minutes, turning once.

Remove from heat and cut thighs into smaller pieces.

Heat oil in a large dutch oven or deep skillet.  Add the onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the tomato paste, paprika, and garam masala and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the tomato puree and honey and bring to a simmer.  Cook for about 20 minutes.  Add the cream and cayenne pepper, and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the chicken and simmer another 10 minutes.  Serve with white rice and/or naan.

1 Response to “Chicken Tikka Masala”


  1. 1 Toni August 23, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    As the lucky guest this night, I can attest that this was very yummy. Adjusting the heat upwards would have been good for me but I was impressed that all 3 of the kids seemed to like it. So, for serving kids, I’d leave as it, for adults only – add that serrano. The Indian cuisine with the addition of a few Indiana tomatoes was a wonderful meal.


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