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Recipe

Chicken Tikka Masala

Scott Phillips

Servings: six to eight.

If you love Indian food, you’re probably familiar with chicken tikka masala, which appears on most Indian restaurant menus. This chicken dish with its creamy, aromatic tomato sauce originated as a way to use up leftover tandoori-roast chicken sauce. Fragrant basmati rice is the perfect foil.

Ingredients

  • 1 2-inch-long hot green chile (preferably serrano), stemmed but not seeded, chopped
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 8 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 recipe Roasted Tandoori Chicken, meat removed from bones in large pieces; try not to shred (about 5 cups)
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbs. cumin seeds, toasted and ground in a spice grinder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. garam masala (store-bought or homemade)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Nutritional Information

      Nutritional Sample Size based on eight servings
      Calories (kcal) : 410
      Fat Calories (kcal): 280
      Fat (g): 32
      Saturated Fat (g): 16
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
      Cholesterol (mg): 145
      Sodium (mg): 410
      Carbohydrates (g): 9
      Fiber (g): 2
      Protein (g): 23

Preparation

  • In a food processor, pulse the chile and ginger until very finely chopped. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice and process until the mixture is puréed. Set aside.
  • Melt 6 Tbs. of the butter in a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add about a third of the chicken pieces and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken absorbs some of the butter and begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat with the remaining two batches of chicken.
  • Add the remaining 2 Tbs. butter to the pan. When it’s melted, add the paprika and 4 tsp. of the cumin and stir until the spices just begin to darken, 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Immediately add the tomato mixture. Simmer vigorously, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the cream and 1 tsp. kosher salt and stir well.
  • Add the chicken and stir gently to mix. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occassionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the garam masala and remaining cumin. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with cilantro, and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

Chicken tikka masala tastes even better made ahead. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to four days; it also freezes well. Thaw completely before reheating on low heat and add a little additional garam masala and cumin before serving, if you like.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • skc921 | 11/14/2015

    I like this recipe because all the ingredients are in quantities they are sold in. Makes the grocery shopping easier. I used a 6 oz container of Greek yogurt, and I got a pack of 10 large chicken thighs, and it yielded the right amount of chicken when removed from the bones.I used a can of crushed tomatoes instead of whole, just to save the step of blending them. And I added two Habenero peppers because we like spicier food. If I was making it for a group, I would stick with the pepper in the recipe. I only put in about half the cream called for, because it didn't seem to need all that.Served it with basmati rice, green bean and coconut stir fry, fried cauliflower and store-bought naan. And lots of beer.

  • Sotay | 03/16/2014

    This dish is definitely well worth the effort. I grilled the free range chicken legs (separated into thighs and drumsticks) on a Big Green Egg after marinating for 2 hours. Then made the Garam Masala using the link on the site. Much better than store bought.The only change I made to the final cooking was to add a little home made chicken stock and 1/2 tsp of sugar. Incredible depth of flavor and perfect balance between spice, citrus and fat. Great for a dinner party.

  • KITKAT_1959 | 09/18/2012

    Wow - just finished making this dish and although it was labor intensive well worth the effort.

  • jdmorris | 06/05/2012

    This recipe is amazing! One downside is that it's a bit labor intensive because you have to make the tandoori chicken first, but it's totally worth it. It tastes significantly better the second day, so I recommend waiting until the second day before eating it.

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