bowl of chicken tikka masala with rice and yogurt
Our version of the classic is lighter, fresher, and brighter than what you'll get at most restaurants. Get the recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala ». Matt Taylor-Gross

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

Yield: serves 6


  • 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


  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.
  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.