Chicken tikka masala

Nervous about cooking Indian food? Ease into it with our surprisingly simple chicken tikka masala. Serve with a side of warm naan and some steamed rice to soak up the amazing sauce.
45 min
Serves 4 people


  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500 g boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 (800 g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 120 ml heavy cream
  • Handful of freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish


Step 1

Cook the chicken—Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven or casserole pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken and cook for about 4 minutes. Flip chicken and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, another 4 minutes or so. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. 

Step 2

Sauté the onions—Add another splash of oil to skillet, if needed, and sauté onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, and spices and cook until your kitchen smells incredible, about 1 minute. 

Step 3

Make the sauce—Add tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Step 4

Finish and serve—Stir in heavy cream, add chicken, and continue simmering until chicken is warm, about 5 minutes. Taste sauce and add additional salt, if needed. Garnish with cilantro and serve with steamed rice, warm naan, or both. 


Lighten Up! Looking to cut calories? Substitute 1/2 cup of reduced-fat plain yogurt or sour cream in place of heavy cream.

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