Chicken Tikka Masala is so easy to make right at home in one pan with simple ingredients!
This rich and creamy flavoursome Chicken tikka rivals any Indian restaurant! Why go out when you can make it better at home! With aromatic golden chicken pieces swimming in an incredible curry sauce, this Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is one of the best you will try! Pair it with our buttery garlic naan breads!
How do you make chicken tikka masala?
The BEST part about this recipe and just like our Butter Chicken — you may already have these ingredients in your kitchen. If not, they are so easy to find in any grocery store, you won’t need to go searching high and low to find them! Authentic Chicken Tikka Masala is usually made with yogurt marinated chicken, skewered and chargrilled for incredible bbq flavours. For the sake of making this recipe much easier for us to make at home, we are using a skillet or pot to cook it all in, while still keeping those amazing flavours.
Reading: how to use tikka masala sauce
Chicken thighs or breasts
We are still coating and marinating our chicken with an aromatic spiced Tikka yogurt, using chicken thighs instead of breasts for juicy and succulent results. Using thighs also cuts down on marinating time, needing only a minimum of 10 minutes to soak all of those flavours in!
You CAN use breasts if you wish, but I suggest marinating them overnight for better results. This gives the yogurt time to tenderise them, yielding a better result when cooking over high heat.
Pot Or Skillet
For the best charred results, use a well seasoned cast iron skillet if you have one. You can also use a regular nonstick pan over high heat. Searing your chicken in batches of two or three to avoid over crowding the pan helps fry or char (not burn) your chicken pieces instead of simmering in juices. You want golden chicken pieces.
The chicken will not be cooked through at this point because you are going to finish them in the sauce later on, absorbing ALL of the flavours of the sauce right into the meat for maximum flavour.
The combination of spices going into this creamy, tomato based sauce is so perfect it makes your curry explode with flavour.
- Garam Masala
- Ground Coriander
If you can find Kashmiri Chili, use it! It’s a mild chili but intensifies the colour and adds a wonderful flavour to the Masala sauce. If you can’t find it, don’t worry. Any ground red chili powder or Cayenne powder will do! You can adjust the amount to suit your heat preference, or leave it out all together for a non spicy Tikka.
To blend or not to blend the sauce
This is personal preference. Over the years I’ve tried both AND made both options over the last couple of weeks for the purpose of this post. In the image above, we blended the sauce and then strained it for a smooth lump free sauce. In the image below served with rice we are showing the non blended sauce.
We prefer the non blended sauce. It’s easier, less mess and not necessary! Especially when the most crucial flavours are strained right out. You WANT those flavours in your curry.
What to serve with Chicken Tikka Masala
The BEST side is hot and fresh Basmati rice, garlic butter rice, fresh homemade Naan bread or flatbread.