Chicken Tikka Masala

Okay. Let me be extremely transparent – I did not create this recipe on my own. In fact, I don’t think I had ever even had Chicken Tikka Masala until I decided to try and make it on my own. But it was delicious!

Indian food is not something that I have a natural taste for, and because of that I knew I needed to follow a recipe step by step.

I was lucky enough to stumble upon this recipe by Karina at Cafe Delites to guide me along the way.

I truly enjoy sharing my recipes with others – I do! However, one of the best perks that has come from creating this site and putting in all of this effort is that I am finally able to re-create some of the awesome recipes that I develop in the midst of a creative tornado in my kitchen. There have been too many instances where I have wanted to remake something, and I could not for the life of me remember how I had made it the first time. So this helps.

That being said, for the sake of keeping all of my favorite recipes in one place – whether they derived from me or a talented, professional chef, I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala.


Prep Time  15 minutes

Cook Time  30  minutes

Serves 4 people 


Chicken Marinade
  • 6  boneless and skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 (14 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground red chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar


  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, longer if possible.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until sizzling. Add chicken pieces in small batches making sure not to overcrowd the pan. (The chicken pieces should not be touching.) Fry until browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, melt butter in the same pan, gently scraping up any remaining brown bits. Add in onion, and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in garam masala, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Continue mixing until fragrant, about another 20 seconds.
  • Add tomato paste to the pan, along with chili powder and salt. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and darkens in color.
  • Stir the cream and sugar into the sauce. Add chicken and cook for another 8-10 minutes. The sauce should be thick and bubbling. If needed, add a small amount of water to thin out the sauce.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice and fresh Naan bread.