Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

May 14, 2023Anneliese Walker

Relatively quick, although pretty involved. While it takes a little more work than most of the recipes we post, it is well worth the effort! For a truly amazing experience, make with Na'an bread. We have a Gluten Free version on our website, but there are plenty of regular recipes online!

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Servings: 6 adults


  • (1 pkg) 1/4 Chicken
  • (6) Garlic cloves, finely grated
  • (4 tsp) Finely peeled & grated Ginger
  • (4 tsp) ground Tumeric
  • (2 tsp) Garam Masala
  • (2 tsp) ground Coriander
  • (2 tsp) ground Cumin
  • (1 1/2 cups) Whole Milk Yogurt (Regular, NOT greek)
  • (1 tbsp) Salt
  • (3 tbsp) clarified butter (Ghee) or veggie oil
  • (1/4 cup) tomato paste
  • (6) cardamom pods, crushed
  • (1/2 tsp) crushed red pepper flakes
  • (1) 28 oz can, whole peeled tomatoes
  • (2 cups) heavy cream
  • (3/4 cup) chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
  • (1 recipe) steamed Basmati Rice (for serving)


Original recipe can be found on Bon Appétit - but I make this recipe same day and have adapted it to be same day and quicker... because who remembers to do that ahead of time? Certainly not me...

  1. Either bake or instant pot one package of 1/4 chicken until it is done (160°F), then shred in bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl. Whisk yogurt, salt, and half of spice mixture in a medium bowl; add chicken and turn to coat, then set aside in fridge. Set aside remaining spice mixture.
  3. Heat ghee (or regular butter*) in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, tomato paste, cardamom, and chiles and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft (roughly 5 minutes). Add remaining half of spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pot begins to brown.
  4. Add tomatoes with juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them**. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add cream and chopped cilantro***. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 30-40 minutes. (this is a great time to fry up your Na'an bread!)
  6. Add chicken to sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Serve with rice and cilantro sprigs.

Don't forget  to make some Gluten Free Na'an bread!


* I'll be honest in saying I usually use regular butter and no one has died or noticed the difference... so feel free to use regular butter.

** You can use diced tomatoes but they do not cook down as readily so the resulting sauce will not be as vibrant and the diced tomatoes hold their shape. 

*** One time I used the freeze dried stuff you can re-constitute. I'll be honest in saying the results were a little sad, but in a pinch it does the trick.

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