Real chicken tikka masala

    4 hours

    This recipe started out from a demonstration of curry making that I gave to a meeting of Yorkshire Ladies many years ago. It was inspired by recipe ideas from Pat Chapman of The Curry Club and has evolved out of that. It is essentially a two stage recipe that involves making spiced chicken and then a mildly curried tomato sauce. Also, do not be daunted by the long list of spices as you can short cut them out by using prepared curry powders per the first tip at the end of the recipe.


    Yorkshire, England, UK
    81 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • Marinade
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard powder
    • 1 teaspoon garam masala
    • 4 green cardamom pods, opened to let seeds out
    • 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
    • 2 tablespooons lime juice
    • 3 tablespoons plain yoghurt
    • Spice mix
    • 1cm / 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon medium curry powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
    • 500g chicken breast
    • 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons ghee or sunflower / vegetable oil
    • 1 large / 2 medium onions, chopped finely
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
    • 1/2 sweet pepper (red or green), chopped into small dices
    • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
    • 4 tablespoons tinned chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup (Heinz is ideal)
    • 175ml tomato soup (Heinz is ideal)
    • 100ml single cream
    • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
    • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped finely
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:3hr marinating  ›  Ready in:4hr 

    1. Firstly prepare the spices (paprika, cumin, nutmeg powder, coriander, mustard, garam masala, cardamom pods), dry roasting the cumin, then grinding the cumin in a coffee grinder or pestle & mortar. Slice and deseed the green chilli; chop into small pieces, then add to spice mix. Add all these to a metal or glass mixing bowl. Stir in the lime juice until you have a paste, then add the yoghurt and mix through all the flavours.
    2. Chop the chicken into 2cm cubes and add to the spicy marinade and stir through throughly. Cover with clingfilm and leave in fridge to infuse with the flavours. Try and leave it overnight but a minimum of 3 hours is fine.
    3. While you are making the tikka masala sauce (which follows in next steps), roast the curry flavoured chicken pieces by placing them evenly on a baking tray and cooking in a 180 C / Gas 4 oven for 20 to 25 minutes until nicely browned.
    4. Start by measuring out and mixing together the spice mix for the tikka sauce - the fresh ginger to chilli powder in the ingredient list. Then prepare the green chilli as in stage 1 and mix into the tikka sauce spice mix.
    5. When you have put together the tikka sauce spice mix, heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and garlic cloves and fry gently for 3 minutes until starting to get translucent, then add the chopped pepper and fry for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the spice mix to the onion-garlic-pepper and mix throughly and fry for about 1 minute.
    6. Add all the liquid ingredients to the onion mix and stir completely - that is the white wine vinegar, chopped tinned tomatoes, tomato ketchup, tomato soup and single cream.
    7. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Then add in the garam masala, fresh coriander leaves and salt.
    8. Finally, add the roasted spicy chicken pieces to the tikka sauce. Stir it together and let cook together for about 15 minutes.
    9. Serve with rice and naan bread.


    Try and use individual spices and build up the flavours, but you can use bought in tandoori mix for the chicken marinade and tikka curry powder for the main tikka sauce and simply replace these for the spices.


    This is a fairly mild version of chicken tikka which is designed to be child friendly. To change the heat level to your tastes, simply increase or decrease the amount of fresh chilli added into the marinade and/or tikka masala sauce. However, remember chicken tikka is not meant to be hot, but just right for normal British taste buds.

    See it on my blog

    More Food Ideas at Axel Steenberg's Blog

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    Reviews in English (6)


    Lovely! I have made this a few times, and have made a couple of slight changes. I use an extra chilli in the sauce for a little more heat, and added 1 tablespoon ground almonds to the sauce spice mix. I swapped the soup for a 165ml can of coconut milk, and added a tablespoon of tomato puree.  -  28 May 2013


    Gorgeous dish. Everyone who tasted it loves it. Couple of slight changes. Wee bit extra chilli & swapped the ketchup for tomato purée.  -  25 Mar 2014


    absolutely scrumptious!  -  20 Mar 2012