tikka masala recipe

Outline of the Article:

  1. Introduction to Tikka Masala
  2. History and Origin of Tikka Masala
  3. Ingredients Required for Tikka Masala
  4. Preparation of Chicken Tikka
    • Marination
    • Grilling or Baking
  5. Making the Tikka Masala Sauce
    • Ingredients for the Sauce
    • Cooking the Sauce
  6. Combining the Chicken Tikka and the Sauce
  7. Serving Suggestions and Accompaniments
  8. Variations of Tikka Masala
  9. Health Benefits of Tikka Masala
  10. Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Tikka Masala
  11. Frequently Asked Questions about Tikka Masala
  12. Conclusion

Tikka Masala Recipe

Tikka masala is a popular Indian dish known for its rich and flavorful sauce paired with succulent pieces of chicken. This classic recipe has gained worldwide recognition and has become a favorite among food enthusiasts. In this article, we will explore the origins of tikka masala, the ingredients required, and the step-by-step process of preparing this delectable dish.

Introduction to Tikka Masala

Tikka masala is a vibrant and aromatic curry dish that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is often made with marinated chicken pieces, which are first grilled or baked to perfection, and then simmered in a creamy tomato-based sauce. The combination of spices and flavors creates a dish that is both comforting and indulgent.

History and Origin of Tikka Masala

The exact origin of tikka masala is a topic of debate, with various theories suggesting different beginnings. Some believe it originated in the Indian region of Punjab, while others argue it was invented in the UK by Indian immigrants. Regardless of its origins, tikka masala has become a beloved dish worldwide, showcasing the fusion of Indian and British culinary traditions.

Ingredients Required for Tikka Masala

To make a delicious tikka masala, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts or thighs
  • Yogurt
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic paste
  • Ginger paste
  • Garam masala
  • Paprika
  • Cumin powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • Heavy cream
  • Fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves

These ingredients can be easily found in most grocery stores and are essential for creating the authentic flavors of tikka masala.

Preparation of Chicken Tikka


  1. In a bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic paste, ginger paste, garam masala, paprika, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and salt.
  2. Mix well to form a smooth marinade.
  3. Add chicken pieces to the marinade and coat them thoroughly.
  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the chicken.

Grilling or Baking

  1. Preheat your grill or oven to medium-high heat.
  2. Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto skewers for grilling, or place them on a baking sheet for baking.
  3. If grilling, cook the chicken on each side for about 4-5 minutes until charred and cooked through. If baking, cook the chicken for 20-25 minutes until tender and juicy.
  4. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the skewers or baking sheet and set aside.

Making the Tikka Masala Sauce

Ingredients for the Sauce

  • Onions, finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Ginger, grated
  • Tomatoes, pureed
  • Tomato puree
  • Garam masala
  • Paprika
  • Cumin powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Heavy cream

Cooking the Sauce

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the finely chopped onions and cook until they turn golden brown.
  3. Add minced garlic and grated ginger, and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the tomato puree and cook for a few minutes until the oil separates from the mixture.
  5. Stir in the spices – garam masala, paprika, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook for an additional 2 minutes to enhance the flavors.
  6. Pour in the pureed tomatoes and cook the sauce for about 10 minutes on low heat, allowing it to thicken.
  7. Finally, add the heavy cream and stir well to combine. Simmer for a few more minutes until the sauce reaches a creamy consistency.

Combining the Chicken Tikka and the Sauce

  1. Gently add the cooked chicken tikka pieces to the tikka masala sauce.
  2. Stir well to coat the chicken with the flavorful sauce.
  3. Allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Serving Suggestions and Accompaniments

Tikka masala pairs well with various Indian breads like naan or roti. It can also be enjoyed with fragrant basmati rice. Garnish the dish with fresh cilantro leaves for added freshness and color.

Variations of Tikka Masala

Tikka masala can be customized to suit different dietary preferences and tastes. Some popular variations include:

  • Paneer Tikka Masala: Substitute chicken with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) for a vegetarian option.
  • Vegetable Tikka Masala: Use a medley of vegetables instead of chicken for a flavorful vegetarian or vegan version.
  • Prawn Tikka Masala: Replace chicken with prawns for a seafood twist on this classic dish.

Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and proteins to create your own unique twist on tikka masala.

Health Benefits of Tikka Masala

Tikka masala, when prepared with lean chicken and minimal oil, can be a nutritious and balanced meal. The spices used in the dish, such as turmeric, ginger, and garlic, have anti-inflammatory properties and offer various health benefits. Additionally, the yogurt used in the marinade provides probiotics and calcium.

Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Tikka Masala

  • Ensure the chicken is well-marinated for maximum flavor infusion.
  • Cook the chicken until it is tender and juicy to enhance the overall taste.
  • Adjust the spice levels according to your preference by adjusting the amount of paprika and chili powder.
  • For a smoky flavor, grill the chicken tikka over charcoal instead of using an oven.
  • Use fresh and high-quality spices for the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tikka Masala

  1. Can I make tikka masala in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the chicken tikka and the sauce in advance. Store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce and combine it with the chicken tikka.

  1. Can I freeze tikka masala?

Yes, you can freeze tikka masala for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it before serving.

  1. Can I use bone-in chicken for tikka masala?

While boneless chicken is commonly used for tikka masala, you can use bone-in chicken if desired. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the chicken is cooked through.


Tikka masala is a delightful dish that showcases the rich and vibrant flavors of Indian cuisine. With its creamy sauce and perfectly spiced chicken, it has become a beloved favorite for many. By following this recipe and adding your own personal touch, you can enjoy the authentic taste of tikka masala in the comfort of your own home. So, gather your ingredients and embark on a culinary journey filled with aromatic spices and mouthwatering flavors.

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