Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Serves

    serves 6


By SAVEUR Editors

Published on January 20, 2010

The chicken in this dish is kept separate from the sauce until the end to preserve its succulence.


  • 1 tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 4 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. red food coloring (optional)
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (2 1⁄2") piece ginger, peeled and chopped, plus julienned strips for garnish
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1⁄2" cubes
  • 14 cup Greek yogurt, such as Fage
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 12 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Cooked basmati rice, for serving


Step 1

In a blender, purée turmeric, 2 tsp. garam masala, coloring, garlic, ginger, jalapeños, and 1⁄2 cup water. Put paste into a bowl. In the same blender, purée tomatoes and strain through a sieve. In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp. paste, chicken, yogurt, and salt; marinate for 30 minutes. Place oven rack 4" from heating element; heat to broil. Transfer chicken to a foil-lined sheet tray; broil until cooked, 5–6 minutes; set aside.

Step 2

Heat butter in 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add coriander and cumin; toast 4–6 minutes. Add paprika and onions; cook until soft, 6–8 minutes. Add remaining paste; brown for 5–6 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in cream and 1 cup water; boil. Reduce heat; simmer until thickened, 6–8 minutes. Stir in remaining masala and chicken; season with salt. Serve with garnishes and rice.

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