Indian Chicken Tikka Masala

This is a best-of modification of three online recipes I’ve tested. Chicken Tikka Masala is heavily British-influenced – it is not a recipe culturally-tied to native India.
Enjoy – this is one of my favorites; I love it paired with grilled asparagus.


For the marinade~

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. ground cumin (from toasted seed)
1 tbs. garam masala spice
1/2 tbs. ground coriander
1/2 tbs. ground turmeric
2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1 tbs. peeled and grated fresh ginger root
Cayenne pepper, to taste
2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
Pinch of salt, to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the sauce~

2 tbs. butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large onion, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
1.5 tbs. garam masala spice
2 tsp. ground cumin, from toasted seed
2 tbs. ground mild paprika
Pinch of salt, to taste
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and crushed
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped cilantro – washed and stemmed

Basmati rice – cooked per package directions


In a large bowl, combine the marinade ingredients and mix well with a spatula. Score the chicken with a sharp paring knife in 1/2″ increments. Place the marinade in a Zip-Lok® bag with the chicken and coat evenly. Place in fridge for 24 hours.

The next day, preheat a grill with enough charcoal for a  medium-hot fire. Scrap off the excess marinade from the chicken and place in the center of the grate with coals leveled and cover – grilling at least 5 minutes per side, or until charred but juicy. Remove and let cool on a platter.

In a large, heavy wok, heat 2 tbs. butter until melted and add the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Cook until golden and fragrant – about ten minutes. Add the dry Indian spices, the tomato sauce, and the crushed plum tomatoes. Cook until slightly reduced (about 15-20 minutes). Cube the chicken and add to the wok. Slowly add the heavy cream, stirring constantly. Reduce until thick, (about 10 minutes). When ready to serve, add the chopped cilantro and spoon over cooked Basmati rice with your choice of a vegetable for a side dish.

Serves 4.


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