Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala


  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts – dried well, pounded evenly flat
  • 1 cup plain (unsweetened) whole milk yogurt
  • 2 TB vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 TB ground garlic


  • 3 TB vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger (peeled)
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 TB garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1 TB tomato paste
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • dashes of kosher salt to taste

For the Chicken:

  1. Combine salt, cumin, coriander, and cayenne in small bowl.  Sprinkle both sides of dry, evenly-pounded chicken with spice mixture, pressing in so mixture sticks.  Place chicken in single layer and set aside.  Whisk yogurt, oil, ginger, and garlic together in large bowl and set aside.
  2. For the Sauce (can be made a day or two before, without chicken):
  3. Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until golden, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and cook about 3 minutes.  Add the rest of sauce ingredients and bring to boil.  Reduce to medium low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Lastly, stir in cream and return to simmer a few minutes.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  4. While sauce is keeping warm, place oven rack 6 inches from heat broiler.  Dip chicken well into yogurt mixture, coating with thick layer of yogurt.  Arrange each piece on wire rack lined with aluminum foil.  Broil chicken about 5-9 minutes, flip over halfway, and broil another 5-9 minutes.  The exterior will be lightly browned in spots.
  5. Let chicken rest 5 minutes.  Cut into bite size chunks and stir into warm sauce when ready to eat.  Do not simmer chicken in the sauce.  If sauce needs warming, warm it up first and then toss the chicken in when ready to serve.  Lastly, season with kosher salt to taste, toss in fresh cilantro, and serve immediately over Basmati rice.

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