Chicken Tikka Masala

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

British dishes like Bangers and Mash took hold in South Africa, during the British Imperial Rule there. Chicken Tikka Masala is an example of how British cuisine was influenced by the cuisine of South Africa. The garam masala spice is what really imparts the special flavor to this delicious recipe.

Chicken Tikka Masala

(Photo Attributed to Author: Kelly Sue)

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe-

  • 1-1/2 lb. chicken thighs, deboned and skinned, and chopped into large bite-sized chunks
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1-1/2″ length of fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground turmeric root
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 or 2 dried serrano hot chili pepper, rehydrated, and chopped fine (note: for maximum hot/spicy, leave seeds in. For less hot/spicy, remove the seeds and/or use just one pepper)
  • 28 oz. canned whole peeled tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. garam masala seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Freshly steamed white rice, for serving
  1. Puree the ginger and garlic in an electric blender or food processor, with 1/4 cup water.
  2. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, toast the cumin seeds and coriander for about 3 minutes, until fragrant; then pulverize into a combined finely ground seasoning with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar, 2 tablespoons of the ginger-garlic puree, 2 teaspoons of the cumin-coriander seasoning, the yogurt, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the paprika, the cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon of the turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  4. Add in the the chicken chunks and toss to coat evenly; cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for a good 4 hours.
  5. In a heavy-duty, wide bottomed cooking pot, or Dutch oven, over medium flame, heat the butter. Add in the onions and serrano peppers and cook until the onions are soft, tender, and fragrant – about 5 minutes should do it.
  6. Add and stir in the remaining cumin-coriander seasoning, 2 tablespoons of the ginger-garlic puree, turmeric and paprika, and cook, stirring continuously for about 3 minutes; then add the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, the tomatoes (with all their juices) and 1-1/2 cups water. Gently simmer, with the lid slightly ajar, for 25 minutes over medium-low heat.
  7. Stir the cilantro, garam masala and heavy cream into the sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  8. Preheat your broiler. Scrape the excess marinade off of the chicken chunks, and place them, not touching each other, in one layer, on a rack placed over a baking sheet. Lightly salt the chicken and place the baking tray in the highest position, closest to the broiler (you want to be about 5 inches from the broiler heat source).
  9. Broil for about 5 minutes, and then turn the meat over and broil until the chicken is cooked through – about 3 minutes more should do it. Transfer the chicken chunks to a large bowl.
  10. To serve your Chicken Tikka Masala, place a large mound of freshly cooked rice on each serving plate. Put a layer of the broiled chicken chunks over the rice, and ladle a generous helping of the sauce over the chicken.