Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Chicken tikka masala is the UK's favourite curry and is now popular around the world. The origins of the dish are unclear, with some people believing that the dish was actually created in the UK and doesn't know its origins in India at all; other people claim that although it is a recent invention, it was devised in the Punjab, in India. Irrespective, it is a dish for which recipes vary hugely, with virtually the only ever present ingredient being the chicken. The chicken would normally be cooked on skewers in a tandoor but this is my own version of chicken tikka masala, for ease of making at home, which came about through a little investigation and a lot of experimentation. I hope you like the finished product which I have produced.

I'm sorry about the rather lengthy list of ingredients for this dish but that unfortunately does tend to be the way of things with authentic curries. I have tried to list them here in the order in which they will be required.

Ingredients for Two Portions

1lb diced chicken breast
2 tsp tandoori curry powder
6oz natural yoghurt
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 3" cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
1 medium white onion
1" fresh ginger root (grated)
3 garlic cloves (grated or crushed)
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp hot chilli powder (variable depending upon taste)
8oz can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
Juice of half a lemon
5 fl oz fresh chicken stock
1 tsp garam masala

5oz basmati rice


The chicken will require to be marinated for at least a couple of hours, or if it is more convenient, this can be done overnight. Add the yoghurt to a large glass bowl along with the tandoori curry powder and stir well to combine. Add the chicken and again stir well. Cover with clingfilm and put in the refrigerator to marinate.

I have served the chicken tikka masala in this instance simply with plain boiled rice. An Indian dish of this type is of course, however, commonly served with a flat bread, such as chapatis. It is incredibly easy to make chapatis at home and if you want to try it for yourself, the recipe link is included below. You will need to start the chapatis just before you start to cook the chicken tikka masala.

How to Make Chapatis

To start cooking the chicken tikka masala, bring a wok or other deep style frying pan up to a very high heat and add the sunflower oil. Half and thinly slice the onion and add it to the wok, along with the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Stir fry for three or four minutes before adding the grated ginger and garlic cloves, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. Cook for another minute or so before removing and discarding the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods.

Add the chicken and its marinade to the wok. Stir fry until the chicken meat is well and evenly sealed. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, chicken stock and garam masala. Season with salt (around 1/2 tsp) and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for ten to fifteen minutes while the rice is prepared.

Put the rice in to a fine sieve and wash it under running cold water. This helps to remove the excess starch. Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to the boil and add the rice. Leave for one minute, stir well and simmer for a total of twelve minutes. Drain the rice again through the sieve.

The way I have plated the rice here is by lining a small bowl with clingfilm and packing the rice in to it. Lay the serving plate on top of the bowl and invert. Lift the bowl away, peel away the plastic film and spoon the chicken tikka masala alongside. A small sprig of basil makes a colourful finishing touch.


  1. hi Gordon
    another great recipe, certainly a classic favourite of meals.

  2. Thanks, Tony. Hoping this proves useful and helps people save money on takeaways, while still enjoying similar food!