Saturday, 17 September 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala. Our nations favourite dish. Which says a lot about our cultural diversity as country. To say I'm fond of curry would be an understatement. When Billy stayed with me, for two weeks, we worked our way through nine curries. There was baked chicken curry and baked beef curry from Madhur Jaffery's Easy Curry book, chicken korma at Liverpool Food & Drinks Festival, a beef massaman at a local village pub. This list goes on.

As much as I like a bit of chili in my food, I don't like those curries that have so much it's all you can taste. Too much chili and I'm too concerned about my tongue burning to enjoy it. I suppose that might make me more of an aromatic curry lover.

A selection of spices
The origins of chicken tikka masala are a little vague. Some think it was created by a chef from the north of India, who made improvisations. Others think it was created by an Indian chef in Glasgow to please a customer who complained his meal was too dry. Whatever the true origins of this dish, it's safe to say it's not a traditional Indian meal, but is a combination of tikka (baked in a Tandoor oven) and masala (a spiced sauce).

Chicken Tikka Masala
Adapted from Delicious

There is no definitive recipe for making this curry. The main alteration I've made here is to substitute yoghurt for coconut milk. I've also used dried versions of some of the spices. 

Serves 4

4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless and cut into chunks

For the marinade
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp chili flakes
150ml coconut milk

For the sauce
2 onions, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp brown sugar
300ml chicken stock
150ml coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Place the chicken in large dish and pour the marinade over. Make sure all the chicken is coated, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (the longer, the better).
Make the sauce by blending the onion in a food processor, until it's a paste. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, ginger, garam masala and turmeric. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Blend the tomatoes in the food processor and add them to the onion and spices, along with the brown sugar, chicken stock and coconut milk. Allow to gently simmer.
Next, heat another pan and add the chicken pieces. Cook for 10 minutes, until cooked through. Add the chicken to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with rice and naan bread.

Related articles:

Related blog posts:


  1. Sounds like a great recipe, Im the same, I don't like chilli spice overpowering a curry , it's ok to have a bit of a kick to it but you have to be able to taste the flavour combinations.

  2. Exactly. It can just make the whole experience unpleasant.