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Chicken Tikka Masala

Ah, Chicken Tikka Masala, the quintessentially British Dish that most people just love. We’ve had our fare share of Chicken Tikka Masalas during the years, some of them have been good, most of them have just been watery sweet messes that really should not be called a curry in the first place. Through experimentation in time we have come to a recipe which we like. It has a thick, creamy consistency, is full of flavour and you control the amount of spice you want in the dish.

You also control the amount of creaminess you want. We don’t usually add a lot of cream to the dish but the beauty of making your own is that you make it how you like it. The cashew nuts cooked with the curry are what actually give this the most creaminess so we end up only using a little bit of cream. Some Chicken Tikka Masala recipes look orange or red in colour. They say you eat with your eyes so if the coloured variety is your thing, simply add some red or orange food die. We prefer ours “Au naturale ”

This is quite a long recipe which involves pre-marinating the chicken and cooking it seperately. It then involves cooking the curry base gravy and allowing it to cool. Once cooled the base gravy is blended to form a smooth sauce and then everything is combined to finish. The advantage to all of this is that once everything is prepared (cooked chicken & gravy) it only takes a few minutes to prepare the final curry dish.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Creamy, nutty Chicken Tikka Masala Curry Recipe
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 2-4
  • Greek Yoghurt
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder (more or less depending on heat)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste (combine ginger and garlic)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 handful fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, skin removed, deseeded and chopped
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Tandoori Masala Powder
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 50g cashew nuts
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 tsp ground almonds
  • 2-4 tbsp Double Cream
  • fresh coriander for garnish
Marinade the Chicken
  1. For best results marinade the chicken for a few hours or overnight. The Greek Yoghurt will tenderise the chicken.
  2. In a small blender, blend together the fresh red chilli, onion and fresh coriander until smooth.
  3. Add this along with the other marinade ingredients and mix well. Prepare the marinade for chicken tikka masala recipe
  4. Add cubed chicken pieces and cover leaving to marinade marinade for chicken tikka masala recipe
For the Curry Gravy
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Put the red pepper in a baking tray and add to the hot oven
  3. Allow to roast until black/brown on the outside (around 20-25 minutes turning occasionally).
  4. Allow to cool. Roast the red pepper
  5. In a saucepan add the 2 tbsp oil, cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves
  6. Heat on a gentle heat to infuse the oil
  7. Next turn the heat to medium and add the onions. Cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and golden.
  8. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a further 2-3 minutes Fry the onions, ginger and garlic for the tikka masala
  9. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes add the tomatoes and cook tikka masala recipe
  10. Turn the heat to low and add the coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric ,tandoori masala powder and tomato puree
  11. Stir and fry gently with the onions for 2-3 minutes fry the spices for chicken tikka masala recipe
  12. Next add the water and stock to loosen the mixture, stir well
  13. Add the cashew nuts
  14. Remove the skin and seeds from the red pepper, chop into small pieces and add to the sauce add the cashew nuts and roasted red pepper chicken tikka masala recipe
  15. Taste before adding the salt and sugar.
  16. Cook for a further 15-20 minutes
  17. Once cooked allow to cool before blending to a smooth mixture blend the chicken tikka masala sauce into a smooth mixture
Grill the chicken
  1. Skewer the chicken pieces removing most of the excess marinade from them
  2. Brush with ghee or vegetable oil and grill for 20-25 minutes on a high grill turning occasionally
  3. Once cooked remove from skewers and set aside for when assembly is required. grill the chicken tikka pieces tikka masala recipe
Assemble the Chicken Tikka Masala
  1. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil till hot
  2. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds
  3. Once the mustard seeds start popping add the tikka gravy sauce and the ground almonds
  4. Next add the chicken pieces and stir through add the gravy and chicken to make the chicken tikka masala
  5. Finally add the fresh double cream and stir through until you have a consistency you like  chicken tikka masala recipe
  6. Finally garnish with fresh green coriander

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  1. Ben Vincent

    Hi. This looks lovely and i will cook it but it can you tell me how many cashew nuts to put in. Also i assume you cook the pepper on higher than 10 degrees. This is a great site and have really enjoyed all the recipes i have tried from here. You know your stuff.

    • The Mongolian Chef

      Apologies that should say 180 degrees and we used approximately 50g cashew nuts.

  2. Si Pears

    I made this receipe for friends in the Netherlands. They were blown away with just how tasty it was!

    The fact that it was an English dish by origin also blew them away.

    I can now never get this dish from a takeaway as it only ever leaves me disappointed!!!

    So great work as I now don’t eat so many takeaways and my Dutch friends are converts to the (authentic) indian cuisine. Here in Holland the Indian restraurants are bland and uninspiring so this was the perfect introduction.

    It may seem at first glance a long winded process with lots of ingredients. However it’s not when broken down. I made the gravy at the same time as the marinade and added fenugreek just because I love it. So the next day everything just needed heating up and I’m sure the masala tasted better for been left for 24 hours also.

    Also remember the ingridents you have to buy first time round will last you 3 months or so and make you many more beautiful indian cuisine.

    So to anyone sitting in the fence. Jump down get in the kitchen have some fun preparing and reap the rewards for all your efforts!!

    Top marks A+ go to the top of the class.

    Thank you.

  3. Erica

    Just found your website and LOVE it! How much chicken should be in the tikka recipe? I can’t find the amount. Thanks!

    • The Mongolian Chef

      This recipe can feed 2-4 people and you can allow for one chicken breast per person.

  4. Dave

    Would it hurt making more sauce than needed and freezing it in a couple smaller portions so you can easily make up a curry for one? I’m the only one in the house who likes curry and its a lot of effort to make it from scratch each time (although I don’t mind when I have the day off work or the weekend). Haven’t tried it yet yet but can’t wait to give it a go!

    • The Mongolian Chef

      No problem at all with freezing the excess mixture, you might even find that the flavours develop after the mixture has rested.

  5. In your recipe for chicken tika masala you do not mention the quantities of two key ingredients.
    1. The chicken.
    2. The Greek yoghurt.
    Can you please provide the quantities? This will enable me to produce what sounds like an outstanding chicken tika masala!

    • The Mongolian Chef

      Hi Stuart, the amount of chicken dependants on how many people you’re feeding generally one chicken breast per person. You need enough yogurt to coat all the chicken.

    • The Mongolian Chef

      Hi Stuart, sorry for the slow reply. We use about 200-300ml yogurt and two average sized chicken breasts. Really hope you will still try this recipe. Please enjoy and let us know.

  6. Chris Matthews

    Would you use green or black cardomom pods

    • The Mongolian Chef

      Green pods

  7. llindsey

    How much greek yogurt

    • The Mongolian Chef

      2-3 tbsp

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