Chicken Tikka Masala
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Making chicken tikka masala home in a single skillet with essential ingredients is relatively straightforward.

This chicken tikka rivals any dish from an Indian restaurant in terms of flavor and richness.

When you can make it better at home, why go out? This Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is one of the best you taste, with flavorful golden chicken chunks swimming in a fantastic curry sauce! Serve it with our naan flatbread with butter and garlic!

How to make Chicken Tikka Masala?

You might already have these ingredients in your kitchen, which is the BEST part of this recipe and similar to our Butter Chicken.

If not, you won’t need to look very far because they are so simple to find in any grocery store! When making authentic Chicken Masala, the chicken is typically marinated in yogurt, skewered, and chargrilled for fantastic barbecue flavors.

We are utilizing a skillet or saucepan to cook everything to make this recipe much simpler for us to prepare at home while retaining the great flavors.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala (pinterest)

Chicken Thighs or Breasts

For juicy and luscious results, we continue to use chicken thighs rather than breasts while coating and marinating our chicken in an aromatic spiced yogurt called Tikka.

Using thighs also reduces the amount of time needed to marinate because they only require 10 minutes at the most!

Breasts CAN be used if desired, but for best results, marinate them overnight. When cooked over high heat, they will turn out better since the yogurt has had time to tenderize them.

Pot or Skillet

Use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, if you have one, for the best-charged results. Over high heat, you can also use a typical nonstick pan.

To prevent overcrowding the skillet while searing the chicken, work in batches of two or three. This will assist the chicken pieces fry or char (not burn) rather than boiling in fluids. You want golden chicken.

The chicken won’t be fully cooked at this stage since you’ll finish them in the sauce later, infusing the flesh with ALL of the sauce’s flavors for the best flavor possible.

This sauce’s creamy, tomato-based base and well-balanced spice blend give your curry an explosion of flavor.

  • Garam Masala
  • Cumin
  • Ground Coriander
  • Turmeric

Chili options:

Use Kashmiri chili if you can locate it! Although it’s a mild chile, it enhances the color and gives the Masala sauce a lovely flavor. Don’t worry if you can’t find it.

Any ground Cayenne or red chili powder will do! You can modify the quantity to your preferred level of heat or exclude it entirely for a non-spicy Tikka.

The Sauce should be blended or not

This is a matter of taste. For the sake of this piece, I’ve made both options during the past few weeks AND tried both over the years.

In the example above, the sauce was mixed, then filtered to remove any lumps. The non-blended sauce is displayed in the image below, which is of the dish with rice.

We like the sauce that is not mixed. It’s simpler, cleaner, and unnecessary! Especially when the essential flavors are immediately filtered away. Those flavors SHOULD BE IN YOUR CURRY.

Things to serve with Chicken Tikka Masala

The BEST side is hot and fresh Basmati rice, garlic butter rice, fresh homemade naan bread, or flatbread.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala (pinterest)

INGREDIENTS For Chicken Tikka Masala

For the chicken marinade:

  • 28 oz (800g) boneless and skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic,
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, cup plain yogurt, teaspoon turmeric, teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili (or 1/2 teaspoon ground red chili powder), a teaspoon of salt, a cup of plain yogurt

For the sauce:

  • Two tablespoons of vegetable/canola oil
  • Two tablespoons butter
  • Two small onions (or one large onion) finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic finely grated, teaspoons garam masala, teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ginger finely grated, teaspoon turmeric powder, teaspoon ground coriander
  • 14 oz (400g) tomato puree (tomato sauce/Passata)
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili (optional for color and flavor), teaspoon salt, teaspoon brown sugar, teaspoon ground red chili powder (adjust to your taste preference)
  • 1 1/4 cups of heavy or thickened cream (use evaporated milk for lower calories)
  • 1/4 cup water if needed
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro or coriander to garnish


  1. Combine the chicken and all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl, and let sit for 10 to 1 hour (or overnight if time allows).
  2. In a sizable skillet or pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces in groups of two or three when they begin to sizzle, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Just 3 minutes should be spent frying each side until browned. Keep heated and set aside. (You’ll complete the chicken’s cooking in the sauce.)
  3. In the identical pan, melt the butter. About 3 minutes of frying the onions at a time, scraping off any browned bits that have remained on the pan’s bottom as you go.
  4. Garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and coriander are added after the garlic and ginger have been added and have been aromatic for 1 minute. Stirring occasionally, fry until aromatic for about 20 seconds.
  5. Salt, chili powders, and tomato puree should be added. Stirring occasionally, let the sauce simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until it thickens and turns a rich, dark crimson color.
  6. Mix the sauce while adding the cream and sugar. When the chicken is fully cooked, and the sauce is thick and bubbling, add the chicken and any remaining liquids to the pan and simmer for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. If more water is needed to thin the sauce, add it now.
  7. Serve with hot rice cooked in garlic butter and garnished with cilantro (coriander).


Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 250mg | Sodium: 1601mg | Potassium: 973mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1895IU | Vitamin C: 19.5mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 4.1mg