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How To Make Chicken Tikka Masala

I’ve been wanting to make this dish myself Since I had it back in Hawaii for the first time. That day has finally come you guys! Today we will be learning how to make Chicken Tikka Masala. This recipe brings out patience in you. It is lengthy, but trust me it is worth your time.

The recipe calls for garam masala. I made my own by dry roasting some cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cumin seeds, peppercorn, cloves, and cardamom powder. Then I ground them into powder using a coffee grinder. Stay tuned for my video on how I made my homemade garam masala.

How To Make Chicken Tikka Masala

This recipe also calls for tomato puree, I also used my homemade tomato puree stay tuned for that as well. However, you may leave this process out and just use a store-bought tomato sauce. That should work fine too.


Marinade Mixture

  • 1 ½ Greek plain yogurt (or plain yogurt)
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger root
  • 1 tbsp minced or grated garlic
  • 2 tsp crushed dried red chilis
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala (see description and stay tuned on my video on how to make it)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 lbs chicken, cut into 1 to 2” (I used chicken thighs)
  • ¼ cup olive oil (for frying, canola or vegetable oil works fine too)

Sauce Mixture

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ of a large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced or grated garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala (see description and stay tuned on my video on how to make it)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 cups tomato puree or tomato sauce (I used homemade tomato puree. Stay tuned on my video on how I made it)
  • 1 can (12 fl oz) evaporated milk (you may also use heavy cream)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar (add as needed)
  • ½ cup drinking water (only if needed)


  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Thing’s you’ll need

  • Mixing bowls, containers, and/or cups
  • Iron skillet or large frying pan
  • Large pot
  • Wooden spatula
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Small spoons
  • Large and small serving bowls


Make the Marinade Sauce

Spices and yogurt being added to a bowl for chicken tikka masala recipe

In a large mixing bowl, combine the Greek plain yogurt (or just plain yogurt) with grated ginger root, minced garlic, crushed dried red chilis, Kosher salt, chili powder, garam masala, and turmeric powder. Mix until well blended then add the pieces of chicken. Mix well until the chicken is well coated. Cover and marinate for 1 hour or overnight.

Fry The Marinated Chicken

chicken being fried in a cast iron pot for chicken tikka masala recipe

In a heated large frying pan or iron skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil (use canola or vegetable as personal preference). Cook the chicken for 3 to 5 on each side over medium-high heat. Do not overcrowd the skillet or pan. Put the partially cooked chicken in the clean bowl and set it aside. Repeat the process until all pieces are cooked. Make sure to scrape and scoop up the bits and pieces from the skillet or pan and put them with the chicken. Set aside.

Make The Tikka Masala

canned milk being added to a pot for chicken tikka masala recipe

In a large heated pot, melt the softened unsalted butter. Saute’ the chopped onion until translucent. Next, saute’ the minced or grated garlic until fragrant. Add the cumin powder, garam masala, ground coriander seed, and turmeric powder. Stir it well. Pour the tomato puree and the can of evaporated milk ( you may also use heavy cream if preferred). Add salt and sugar. Stir until well combined. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes while stirring it occasionally. Try the sauce and add sugar as needed. Simmer for 5 more minutes before putting the partially cooked chicken. Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce is thick to your desired consistency. Taste it with the chicken meat this time. Then turn the heat off and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve warm with basmati or jasmine rice and enjoy!

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Tim Anderson
Tim Anderson
Tim Anderson

Keep up the good work girl! This was amazing!