Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala: A spicy feast. Image: Carla Zinkfontein

Chicken Tikka Masala: Autumn spicy food to warm your soul

Enjoy the beautiful autumn weather more than ever before with our mouth-watering Chicken Tikka Masala recipe.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala: A spicy feast. Image: Carla Zinkfontein

Warm your body and soul with this delightful Chicken Tikka Masala recipe. Loaded with tons of flavour and a delicate balance of delicious spices, this recipe is an incredible taste sensation. With the onset of autumn, what is better than an aromatic meal that does only fills the air with a mouth-watering fragrance but tastes delicious too?

Tips when preparing your Chicken Tikka Masala

The first step is to marinate the chicken cubes in the marinade. If you do not have much time, 10 minutes will do. However, if you have the time to marinate the chicken overnight, you will taste the difference!

When browning the chicken cubes, make sure that you do not overcrowd the skillet. You need to ensure that each piece of chicken gets browned equally.

After removing the chicken from the pan, add butter and start frying the onion. The secret here is to scrape off any chicken bits from the bottom of the skillet. This will add so much flavour to the dish.

With these few tips, you will have Chicken Tikka Masala you will not easily forget.

Chicken Tikka Masala recipe

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Carla Zinkfontein Course: MainCuisine: GlobalDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • For the chicken marinade
  • 800 g boneless and skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 cup plain yoghurt

  • tablespoons minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon ginger

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli (or ½ teaspoon ground red chilli powder)

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable/canola oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 small onions (or 1 large onion) finely diced

  • tablespoons garlic finely grated

  • 1 tablespoon ginger finely grated

  • teaspoons garam masala

  • teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 400 g tomato puree (tomato sauce/Passata)

  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli (optional for colour and flavour)

  • 1 teaspoon ground red chilli powder (adjust to your taste preference)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • cups of heavy or thickened cream (use evaporated milk for lower calories)

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • ¼ cup water if needed

  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro or coriander to garnish


  • In a bowl, combine chicken with all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade, Marinate for 10 minutes to an hour (or overnight if time allows).
  • Heat oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. When sizzling, add chicken pieces in batches of two or three, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until browned for only 3 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm. (You will finish cooking the chicken in the sauce.)
  • Melt the butter in the same pan. Fry the onions until soft (about 3 minutes) while scraping up any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.
  • Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Fry for about 20 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.
  • Pour in the tomato puree, chilli powders and salt. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and becomes a deep brown-red colour.
  • Stir the cream and sugar through the sauce. Add the chicken and its juices back into the pan and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling. Pour in the water to thin out the sauce, if needed.


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