Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the most popular dishes in Indian restaurants. However, there are many contradictions regarding its origin. Some say that chicken Tikka Masala is a British adaptation of the chicken Tikka recipe (grilled chicken on skewers in a Tandoor oven).

Other chefs and critics in India claim that this dish has existed since Mughal times.

They say it is an authentic Mughlai recipe prepared by their ancestors’ chefs. Others say it is a different version of the dish Murg Makhni (butter chicken). Whatever its origin or history, it is a dish worthy of preparing and enjoying its smooth and creamy taste.

Chicken Tikka Masala is prepared by marinating chicken pieces with spices and yoghurt. The breast part is usually used, but I prefer the contra thigh part. It is much juicier. After maceration, they are traditionally baked in a Tandoor oven to give it a smoky flavour. Then they are added to a nice creamy sauce which is made with tomato puree, cream and spices.

To make this recipe at home, you can use a skillet or a regular non-stick pan. To prepare the sauce, usually used tomato puree and cream. But there is another version that adds cashew nut paste instead of cream to give the sauce a creamy texture. I like the second version, for its delicious flavour. But you can use cream, which is also delicious.

Chicken Tikka Masala

 

 Ingredients

  For the chicken marination:

  • 500g boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 125g plain yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste

  For the sauce:

  • 1 large onion cut into small cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 green cardamoms
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 1and 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 250g tomato puree
  • 50g cashew nut or 200 ml cream
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt to taste

 

Instructions:

-Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces.

-In a bowl mix the chicken thighs with all the ingredients for marination and let them marinate for an hour or overnight into the fridge.

-Soak the cashew nuts into 150ml water for 1 hour. Blend them until you get a smooth paste. If you use cream, this step is not necessary.

-Put oil in a frying pan or a skillet on medium-high heat. When it is hot enough fry the marinated pieces on both sides until brown. Remove and set aside.

-Add 1 tablespoon oil to this same pan. Add chopped onion, bay leaf, cinnamon and cardamoms.

-When the onions are translucent, add garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. Add a splash of water so that they do not burn. Fry until the oil separates from the spices.

-Add tomato puree and continue frying.

-When the tomato is well-integrated with the spices, add the fried chicken pieces. Mix and sauté for a few seconds more.
-Add half a glass of water and adjust the salt. Stir well and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the meat is tender.

-Add the cashew paste or cream. Mix and cook for another two minutes.

-Sprinkle with Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and let it rest for a few minutes with the lid on before serving.

-Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or Naan.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Related Basics:

Ginger-garlic paste

Garam masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Maceration Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Cuisine India
Calories 180 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the chicken marination:

  • 500g boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 125g plain yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste

For the sauce

  • 1 large onion cut into small cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 green cardamoms
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 1and 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 250g tomato puree
  • 50g cashew nut or 200 ml cream
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a bowl mix the chicken thighs with all the ingredients for marination and let them marinate for an hour or overnight into the fridge.
  • Soak the cashew nuts into 150ml water for 1 hour. Blend them until you get a smooth paste. If you use cream, this step is not necessary.
  • Put oil in a frying pan or a skillet on medium-high heat. When it is hot enough fry the marinated pieces on both sides until brown. Remove and set aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil to this same pan. Add chopped onion, bay leaf, cinnamon and cardamoms.
  • When the onions are translucent, add garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. Add a splash of water so that they do not burn. Fry until the oil separates from the spices.
  • Add tomato puree and continue frying.
  • When the tomato is well-integrated with the spices, add the fried chicken pieces. Mix and sauté for a few seconds more.
  • Add half a glass of water and adjust the salt. Stir well and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the meat is tender.
  • Add the cashew paste or cream. Mix and cook for another two minutes.
  • Sprinkle with Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and let it rest for a few minutes with the lid on before serving.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or Naan.

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