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Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Chicken tikka masala is a flavorful and rich dish from western Indian cuisine. With a creamy sauce and marinated chicken, it’s a classic favorite. Here’s how to make this delicious chicken tikka masala at home:


For the Marinated Chicken:

  • 2–3 pounds diced chicken
  • 4 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (equal parts ginger and garlic)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 5 tbsp mustard seed oil
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 4–5 tbsp yogurt
  • Salt, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 chili
  • 3 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • 5–6 tomatoes
  • 4–5 red onions
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1–2 ounces cashews
  • ½ cup cream
  • 1 stick butter
  • Coriander, for garnish
  • Honey, for drizzling (optional)


  1. Marinate the Chicken: Dice the chicken and prepare ginger-garlic paste. In a bowl, combine diced chicken, 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, chili powder, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare Mustard Seed Oil: Heat mustard seed oil in a small pot until it smokes, then let it cool down.
  3. Complete Chicken Marinade: In a larger bowl, combine marinated chicken, remaining ginger-garlic paste, mustard seed oil, turmeric, garam masala, ground cumin, kasuri methi, more salt, and yogurt. Mix and marinate overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  4. Cook the Sauce: In a wide pan or wok, add ghee and oil. When hot, add cardamom, cumin, bay leaves, and chili. Add chopped onions and stir-fry until slightly translucent.
  5. Add Spices and Tomatoes: Add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, kasuri methi, and tomatoes to the pan. Cook until tomatoes release their liquid, then add water to loosen the mixture.
  6. Simmer the Sauce: Simmer for 20–30 minutes. Cook marinated chicken on skewers or a baking tray until slightly charred.
  7. Blend the Sauce: Remove bay leaves and chili from the sauce. Blend the sauce until creamy and smooth.
  8. Combine Chicken and Sauce: Bring the sauce to a simmer and add cooked chicken and cashews. Mix well.
  9. Finish the Dish: Stir in butter and cream until melted and the sauce is creamy. Garnish with cashews, coriander, and drizzle with honey if desired.
  10. Serve: Serve the chicken tikka masala with basmati rice, naan bread, and extra coriander.

Note: This recipe serves 2–3 people. Adjust quantities for more servings.

Making chicken tikka masala involves several steps, including marinating the chicken, preparing the sauce, and combining them for a delicious and satisfying dish. While the process may take time, the flavors and results are well worth the effort. Enjoy your homemade chicken tikka masala!

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