Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala
5 from 11 votes
Indulge in the rich, tangy and slightly spicy chicken tikka masala, a recipe that takes you on a delightful culinary journey. This popular dish offers a burst of traditional flavours, perfectly complemented by a side of garlic naan.
Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a delightful dish that brings together tender, marinated chicken with a rich and flavorful curry sauce.

Originating from the Indian subcontinent, this recipe has gained popularity worldwide for its aromatic spices and creamy texture. While it may seem daunting at first glance, fear not, for I’ve crafted a recipe that’s both delicious and beginner-friendly.

In this recipe, succulent chicken pieces are marinated in a yogurt-based mixture infused with spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander.

This marinade not only adds flavor but also helps tenderize the chicken, ensuring every bite is juicy and flavorful. Once the chicken is marinated to perfection, it’s shallow-fried until beautifully charred, adding depth to the dish.

The curry masala, cooked with onions, tomatoes, and an array of spices, forms the heart of this dish. Ginger and garlic paste provide aromatic undertones, while Kashmiri chili powder lends a vibrant hue without overwhelming heat.

A touch of cashew powder adds creaminess and a subtle nuttiness to the sauce, elevating its richness.

Finally, the dish is finished with a sprinkle of dried fenugreek leaves and fresh coriander, adding a burst of freshness and aroma.

Serve this Chicken Tikka Masala with warm garlic naan for a complete and satisfying meal that’s sure to impress your family and friends.

Expert Tip: Experiment with different garnishes such as sliced green chilies, lemon wedges, or a dollop of yogurt for added freshness and flavor.


Chicken: Chicken serves as the main protein in this dish, providing a juicy and tender texture. Marinating the chicken ensures it’s infused with flavor and remains succulent throughout the cooking process.

Yogurt: Yogurt acts as a tenderizer in the marinade, making the chicken moist and tender. It also adds a subtle tanginess to the dish, balancing the spices.

Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the chicken and helps to season it evenly. It also aids in tenderizing the meat.

Chilli Powder: Chilli powder adds a kick of heat to the marinade, providing warmth and depth of flavor to the chicken.

Turmeric Powder (Haldi): Turmeric powder not only adds a vibrant yellow color to the marinade but also lends a warm, earthy flavor to the dish.

Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a bright and citrusy note to the marinade, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dish.

Coriander Powder: Coriander powder contributes a warm and aromatic flavor to the marinade, complementing the other spices.

Cumin Powder: Cumin powder adds a nutty and earthy flavor to the marinade, enhancing the overall depth of flavor in the dish.

Olive Oil: Olive oil is used for shallow-frying the marinated chicken and forms the base of the curry masala. It adds richness and depth to the dish.

Onions: Onions form the foundation of the curry masala, providing sweetness and depth of flavor. They also add texture to the sauce.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes add a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the curry masala, while also contributing to its rich and thick consistency.

Ginger Paste: Ginger paste adds a warm and spicy flavor to the curry masala, complementing the other spices.

Garlic Paste: Garlic paste adds a pungent and aromatic flavor to the curry masala, enhancing its overall depth and complexity.

Kashmiri Chilli: Kashmiri chili powder adds a vibrant red color to the curry masala without adding too much heat. It provides a mild spiciness and enhances the visual appeal of the dish.

Cashew Powder: Cashew powder adds creaminess and richness to the curry masala, creating a velvety texture and subtle nutty flavor.

Garam Masala: Garam masala is a blend of spices that adds warmth and depth of flavor to the curry masala. It enhances the overall aroma and complexity of the dish.

Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Methi): Dried fenugreek leaves add a slightly bitter and earthy flavor to the dish, balancing the richness of the curry masala.

Coriander: Fresh coriander leaves, also known as cilantro, are used as a garnish to add freshness and brightness to the dish.

Expert Tip: If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can blend the curry masala mixture after cooking to achieve a silky texture.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve Chicken Tikka Masala hot, garnished with fresh coriander leaves and a sprinkle of dried fenugreek leaves for added aroma and flavor.
  • Accompany the dish with warm, fluffy garlic naan bread or steamed basmati rice to soak up the delicious curry sauce.
  • For a complete meal, pair Chicken Tikka Masala with refreshing cucumber raita or a side salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette.
  • For a festive occasion or special dinner party, serve the dish alongside other Indian favorites such as samosas, vegetable biryani, or palak paneer.

Expert Tip: For extra flavor, marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs?

Yes, you can substitute chicken breast for chicken thighs in this recipe. However, chicken thighs tend to be juicier and more flavorful due to their higher fat content.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the marinade and marinate the chicken in advance. You can also prepare the curry masala ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to use. Simply reheat the curry masala and add the cooked chicken before serving.

Is this dish spicy?

The level of spiciness can be adjusted to suit your personal preference. You can reduce the amount of chili powder and Kashmiri chili powder for a milder version of the dish.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

by Nabeela Kauser
Indulge in the rich, tangy and slightly spicy chicken tikka masala, a recipe that takes you on a delightful culinary journey. This popular dish offers a burst of traditional flavours, perfectly complemented by a side of garlic naan.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marination Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine British, Indian
Servings 4
Calories 297 kcal



  • 500 g Chicken
  • 100 g Yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder

Curry Masala

  • 50 ml Olive Oil
  • 1 Onions
  • 2 Tomatoes Finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli
  • 1 tbsp Cashew Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves Methi
  • Coriander
  • 200 ml Water


  • Cut the chicken into small bite-size pieces
  • In a large bowl add all the marinade ingredients to the chicken then mix until well combed and set aside for 1 hour
  • Once marinated shallow fry the marinated chicken pieces until slightly charred and cooked through
  • In another pan heat up the olive oil on medium heat until hot
  • Add the sliced onions and cook for 5 minutes until browned
  • Add the ginger paste and garlic paste then sauté for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the chilli powder, Kashmiri powder, garam masala and salt then cook the spices for 3-4 minutes
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes until softened
  • Add the cashew powder and water then cook for 10 minutes
  • Add the cooked chicken pieces before cooking for a further 6-8 minutes
  • Garnish with the fenugreek leaves and coriander
  • Serve with garlic naan and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 14gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 1250mgPotassium: 424mgFibre: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1140IUVitamin C: 13mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 70mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Cooking, Curry, Food, Indian, Masala, Recipe, Spicy, Tikka Masala
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Latest comments (2)

Nabeela Kauser

5 stars
Hi Amanda!
You can always grind a few cashews and make a powder out of them. If you don’t have any cashews either, then you can exclude them from the recipe 🙂

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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