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Easy way to make Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a delicious, creamy, and tasty dish. Its combination of chicken chunks, spices, and yogurt makes a flavorful, rich, and wholesome meal. This recipe is a dinner winner. 

Delicious Chicken Tikka Masala garnished with parsley

It’s easy to make, and it’s really delicious!

Chicken Tikka Masala is an appetizing and scrumptious dish of well-marinated chicken chunks in creamy, spicy sauce. It is one of the most popular staples of Indian cuisine, so you’ll find it on menus everywhere, from your favorite neighborhood Indian restaurant to your local takeout place. It’s easy to make, tastes great, and the spices are good for you!

If you’re new to cooking Indian food, this is a great place to start. It’s not too complicated and tastes similar to what you’d find in many traditional Indian restaurants.

The sauce is usually made with various spices, herbs, and seasonings. The result is a creamy, delicious, and spicy dish that will surely please everyone!

It’s easy to make in large batches of this recipe, so you can have plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. It’s also extremely versatile: you can use chicken breasts or thighs, add more or less water depending on how thick you want it, and add any veggies you like!

What is Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala is a popular Indian dish made with chicken and a creamy tomato-based sauce. The Chicken is typically marinated in yogurt and spices before being cooked in the tandoor oven.

This meal has its origin from South Asia, and it is known to be a popular Indian meal. It is commonly served with naan or white rice. Additionally, Chicken Tikka Masala is a great way to use leftovers and is a delightful option for a quick and easy meal.

Not only is it versatile, but it is also a great option for a family gathering or simply a weeknight dinner.

Other Chicken recipes that you will find exciting include recipes for Chicken Marsala, Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Parmesan, Delish Creamy Tuscan Chicken and many more. 

elicious Chicken Tikka Masala served with white basmati rice

Why you will love this recipe:

  • It is delicious 
  • The sauce is rich and creamy 
  • The flavor in the sauce is second to none.

How to make Chicken Tikka Masala

Cooking Chicken Tikka Masala doesn’t have to be difficult. With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can make a delicious and flavorful meal in no time.

  • The key to the dish is to marinate the chicken in spices and yogurt to create a flavorful base.
  • Then, cook the marinated chicken chunks in a hot skillet with some oil until browned.
  • Then, the browned chicken is cooked in a sauce made from tomatoes, cream, and spices.
  • Finally, the sauce is simmered until thick and creamy.
  • Serve with rice or naan, and enjoy!

What’s the difference between Chicken Tikka and Chicken Tikka Masala?

The main difference between Chicken Tikka and Chicken Tikka Masala is that Chicken Tikka is made by marinating chicken chunks in a seasoned yogurt mixture, then grilling or roasting them, while Chicken Tikka Masala is a full-course dish created by adding rich, creamy sauce to the grilled or roasted chicken chunks. 

Another difference is that Chicken Tikka is usually served as a starter or appetizer, while Chicken Tikka Masala is a dinner meal that is served with sides like rice. 

Delicious Chicken Tikka Masala garnished with parsley

What is Chicken Tikka Masala sauce made of?

Typically, the sauce is made with tomato, heavy cream, butter, and spices such as cumin, garam masala, coriander, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and chili powder. The combination of all these make for a flavorsome sauce. 

What does chicken tikka masala taste like

Chicken Tikka Masala has a rich, creamy, and savory flavor. The spices and yogurt create a unique and flavorful combination that is both aromatic and delicious. It has a hint of heat from the chili powder or cayenne pepper, but it is not overly spicy.

Is chicken tikka masala spicy?

Chicken Tikka Masala has a hint of heat from the chili powder or cayenne pepper, but it is not overly spicy. You can adjust the spiciness of the dish by adding more or less of these ingredients according to your preference.

How to make Chicken Tikka Masala spicy?

You can make Chicken Tikka Masala spicy by adding a lot of hot peppers like cayenne pepper or ground chili powder to the sauce when making it. Also, you can sauté fresh and finely diced red chili pepper together with the onions and garlic. 

What can I use instead of cream?

You can substitute heavy cream in the sauce with evaporated milk if you want lower calories. Coconut milk is another great and healthy option you can use instead of heavy cream. 

What goes with Chicken Tikka Masala?

This dish pairs well with a variety of sides. Basmati rice, naan bread, roasted vegetables, or a simple salad are all great options. Additionally, you can add a cooling element to the dish, such as a yogurt raita or a cucumber salad, to balance out the spiciness of the dish.

How do I add flavor to Chicken Tikka Masala?

Add the aromatics and spices such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin for more flavor. Another way to add flavor to the dish is to sauté onions in hot oil until they are lightly browned. This will bring out the sweet and savory flavors of the onions and add a delicious depth to the dish.

How is Chicken Tikka Masala traditionally served?

Chicken Tikka Masala is usually served traditionally with a steaming side of white rice along with Garlic naan bread to scoop and soak up the amazing flavors of the sauce. For a more delicious Indian dinner, you can serve it with Roti, Paratha, or fragrant, lightly spiced Jeera rice.

Can I make Chicken Tikka Masala ahead? 

Yes, you can prepare Chicken Tikka Masala ahead. You can marinate the chicken and make the sauce up to one day before serving. This will ensure that all the flavors have had time to meld together and that the dish is ready to be enjoyed when served.

Delicious Chicken Tikka Masala garnished with parsley


  • Heavy Cream: We use Heavy cream in this recipe, but you can substitute that with coconut milk or even Greek yogurt. The same thick consistency will be obtained with them.
  • Chicken: Chicken breasts are the best for this recipe, but they can be substituted with chicken thighs. The trick is to pound the chicken well with a meat mallet. 
  • Pepper: We recommend Kashmiri chili for this recipe. However, ground red chili powder also works. 
  • Spices: You can also use spices like turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon to flavor the dish.

Storage Tips

How can I Store Chicken Tikka Masala?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Make sure to eat within this period to ensure food quality. 

Freezer Storage

You can freeze Chicken Tikka Masala for up to 3 months. To freeze, make sure the dish is completely cooled before transferring it to freezer bags, airtight containers, or a freezer-safe container. 

Reheating Tips

How do I reheat Chicken Tikka Masala?

When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until it warms through.

Tips to note: 

  • We recommend cutting your chicken into bite-sized pieces before adding it to your pan so that they cook evenly throughout their time simmering in this delicious sauce.
  • Secondly, marinate the chicken in the yogurt and spices for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight, to ensure that it is full of flavor.
  • Thirdly, add more water to the sauce to thin it out if it comes out too thick. 
Delicious Chicken Tikka Masala garnished with parsley

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a delicious, creamy and tasty dish. Its combination of chicken chunks, spices and yogurt makes a flavorful, rich and wholesome meal. This recipe is a dinner winner. 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken, Chicken tikka masala
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 483.5kcal


For the chicken marinade:

  • 2 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili or 1/2 teaspoon ground red chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or add to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 14 oz tomato puree (tomato sauce/passata)
  • 1 cup heavy or thickened cream
  • 1-3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water if needed
  • 4 tablespoons Fresh cilantro or coriander to garnish


  • Add the cubed chicken together with all the other ingredients for the marinade into a large bowl. Mix well and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can as well leave overnight.
  • Add the cooking oil to a large pan and heat until shimmering over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken pieces a little at a time to prevent overcrowding. Cook for 3 minutes per side until browned. Remove from heat and Set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the butter and leave to melt. Add the diced onions and saute until soft—about 3 minutes while scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in the garlic and ginger and leave to cook until fragrant—about 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Reduce the heat to low, then add the chili powder, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and coriander. Cook for a few seconds while stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the tomato puree and leave to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring intermittently until the sauce thickens and becomes deeper in color.
  • Stir in the cream and sugar, then add the chicken and its juices back into the pan and cook for another 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling. Add water to thin out the sauce, if needed. Adjust salt and sugar as desired.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot!


  • Use bite-sized pieces of chicken so that it cooks well in the sauce.
  • Marinate the chicken in the yogurt and spices for at least 30 minutes, or leave overnight, to ensure it is flavorful.
  • Add more water to the sauce to thin it out if it is too thick.


Calories: 483.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.2g | Protein: 33.5g | Fat: 33.1g | Saturated Fat: 14.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11.7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 202.5mg | Sodium: 514.3mg | Potassium: 845.2mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 7.4g | Vitamin A: 1328.5IU | Vitamin C: 10.3mg | Calcium: 115.8mg | Iron: 3.4mg

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating

William Sutton

Tuesday 7th of March 2023

As my wife and I enjoy chicken Tikka Marsala but as there is only two of us you recipe calls for enough chicken to feed 6 ,is it possible for our to email me with a recipe for 3 people, will be looking at other recipes on you page , keep up the great work ,it is inspiring to try out various recipes. We live in Hastings Victoria Australia Thank you. William

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Monday 28th of August 2023

Hello William, thanks for your feedback. You can half the recipe measurement to make for 3 people.