Chicken Tikka Masala
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
  • Chicken thighs – 6 to 8, boneless and skinless
Marinade for tikkas –
  • Yogurt – ⅓ cup
  • Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
  • Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala – 2 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • Mustard oil – 3 tbsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp or more depending on your taste
For sauce –
  • Green cardamom – 5
  • Cloves – 5
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch piece
  • Whole black peppercorn – 4
  • Dry red chilli – 1 or 2
  • Oil – 4 tbsp
  • Onion – 1, large
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Garlic – 6 to 8 cloves
  • Fresh ripe tomatoes – 4, large (or 1 cup of store bought tomato puree)
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Water – as required
  • Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs. Sprinkle some salt and give a quick toss.
  2. Mix all ingredients for marinade and make a homogeneous mixture. Rub this mixture thoroughly on each chicken pieces. Use all the marinade to keep the chicken pieces coated with the yogurt mixture. Marinade the chicken for at least 2 hours or overnight for best result.
  3. Preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F and place the wire rack at top level.
  4. Arrange the marinated chicken pieces in a single layer on a roasting tray. Do not add excess marinade as it would lead to steaming of chicken instead of roasting and you won’t get the charring effect.
  5. Broil the chicken for 20 minutes. Turn them over and baste with some more marinade. Broil them for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. While the chicken is broiling, prepare the sauce. Make a paste of onion, ginger and garlic.
  7. Heat oil in a skillet/wok. When the oil is hot, temper it with green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorn and dry red chilli.
  8. When the whole spices are fragrant, add the onion-ginger-garlic paste. Sauté them until golden brown.
  9. While the onion mixture is sautéing, prepare the tomato puree following the instructions here. You can skip the cooking of tomatoes mentioned there as you will use it straight away.
  10. Once the onion has turned golden brown, add the tomato puree, sugar and salt. Sauté on medium flame till the water evaporates.
  11. Add all the powdered spices with a splash of water. Sauté on high flame till the oil starts to separate.
  12. Add half a cup of water and bring to boil. Cover and cook the gravy on low flame for 15 mins for all flavors to marry together.
  13. When the gravy is cooking, cut the grilled chicken tikkas into 1 inch pieces.
  14. After 15 minutes, add the chicken pieces to the gravy and bring to boil. Then cover and cook again on low flame for 10 more minutes. This cooking time is necessary for all the flavors to come together nicely.
  15. Check the consistency of the gravy and boil off any excess water. Remove from heat, sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve your chicken tikka masala hot with naan or plain white Basmati rice!
Recipe by Flavor Quotient at