Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe | Sparks Chef

If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine or simply love flavorful, aromatic dishes, then the mention of Chicken Tikka Masala is bound to make your taste buds tingle with anticipation. Hailing from the culinary heritage of the Indian subcontinent, the best chicken tikka masala recipe has gained immense popularity worldwide, captivating countless palates with its rich and vibrant flavors.

Whether you’re an experienced home cook or a novice seeking to explore the realm of Indian cuisine, this article will guide you through the steps of creating the best chicken tikka masala recipe, ensuring that you unlock the secrets to this beloved dish and impress your family and friends with your culinary prowess.

So, let’s embark on this flavorful journey, delving into the world of spices, flavors, and cooking techniques that make Chicken Tikka Masala an enduring favorite on dining tables across the globe.

Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Is chicken tikka masala indian or British?

Chicken Tikka Masala is a dish that has a mixed heritage, with roots in both Indian and British cuisine. It is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent, specifically in the Punjab region. However, its popularity and adaptation in the United Kingdom have made it an iconic dish in British cuisine as well. Chicken tikka masala consists of grilled chicken pieces cooked in a flavorful tomato-based sauce.

It is enjoyed by people from various cultural backgrounds and is served in Indian restaurants worldwide. So, while its origins may lie in India, Chicken Tikka Masala has become a beloved dish that represents the fusion of Indian and British culinary traditions.

Is chicken tikka masala spicy?

Chicken Tikka Masala typically has a moderate level of spiciness, although it can vary depending on personal preference and the specific recipe. The dish is known for its rich and flavorful sauce, which combines a blend of aromatic spices. While it is not typically extremely spicy, it does contain spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala that add warmth and depth of flavor.

The level of spiciness can be adjusted to suit individual tastes by varying the amount of chili powder or other spicy ingredients used in the recipe. Overall, chicken tikka masala offers a delightful balance of flavors, making it enjoyable for those who prefer a mild to moderate level of spiciness.

Is chicken tikka masala dairy free?

Traditionally, chicken tikka masala includes yogurt as one of the key ingredients in the marinade for the chicken. Yogurt adds tenderness and flavor to the chicken. However, it is possible to make dairy-free variations of Chicken Tikka Masala by substituting the yogurt with dairy-free alternatives such as coconut milk, almond milk, or soy yogurt.

When preparing or ordering chicken tikka masala, it’s essential to communicate any dietary restrictions or preferences to ensure that the dish is prepared without dairy if desired. By making appropriate substitutions or modifications, it is possible to enjoy a dairy-free version of Chicken Tikka Masala.

Is chicken tikka masala curry?

Yes, chicken tikka masala is commonly referred to as a curry dish. It consists of chicken tikka (grilled chicken pieces) cooked in a flavorful sauce that is often tomato-based and infused with various spices and herbs. The sauce is typically rich and creamy, combining savory, tangy, and spicy flavors.

The dish is commonly enjoyed with rice or bread, such as naan, to soak up the delicious sauce. So, chicken tikka masala can be categorized as a type of curry, popular in Indian and British cuisines.

Is chicken tikka masala keto friendly?

Chicken tikka masala, as traditionally prepared, may not be considered keto-friendly due to some of its ingredients. The dish typically contains ingredients like yogurt (which may contain added sugars), onions, and tomatoes, which can contribute to the carbohydrate content. Additionally, the sauce often includes cream or heavy cream, which contains some amount of lactose (a form of sugar).

However, it is possible to modify the keto-friendly version of chicken tikka masala. For example, you can use full-fat Greek yogurt or a dairy-free alternative made from unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk. Onions and tomatoes can be used in moderation, and the sauce can be thickened with coconut cream instead of regular cream.

Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

The Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe is a delicious and popular Indian dish that combines tender chicken pieces with a rich and flavorful tomato-based sauce. This recipe is known for its aromatic spices and creamy texture, making it a favorite among both Indian cuisine enthusiasts and those new to this flavorful dish.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 590 kcal


Chicken Marinade

  • 1-1½ lbs cup chicken breast into 1" pieces
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove of chopped garlic

Tikka Masala Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 1 can tomato purée
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon of salt


  • In a large mixing bowl, add a 1" piece of chicken, Greek yogurt, olive oil, lime juice and minced garlic.
  • Using tongs, mix the ingredients and coat the chicken in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for about 4 hours.
  • After marinating the chicken, add a little olive oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and let it drain.
  • Add the chicken to the hot pan and fry until golden on all sides and cooked through. Set aside.
  • To make the tikka masala sauce, add the butter to a large pan and heat over medium heat.
  • Once melted, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and golden (about 5–7 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne and ginger.
  • Stir and then add the spice mixture to the cooked onions along with the tomato purée, water, heavy cream and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Reduce to a low heat, then add the cooked chicken and allow to bubble for about 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve warm with cooked basmati rice or naan bread.
  • Serve & Enjoy!


  1. Marinating the chicken: The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful it will be. Aim for at least 2 hours, but overnight marination is highly recommended for the best results.
  2. Chicken selection: Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. Thigh meat tends to be more tender and flavorful compared to chicken breast.
  3. Yogurt for tenderizing: The yogurt in the marinade helps tenderize the chicken and adds a tangy flavor. Greek yogurt or plain yogurt works well. Avoid using flavored or sweetened yogurt.
  4. Adjust the spice level: The spice level can be adjusted according to your preference. If you prefer a milder tikka masala, reduce the amount of chili powder or omit it entirely. For a spicier version, increase the amount of chili powder or add some chopped green chilies.
  5. Grilling or baking the chicken: You can grill the marinated chicken on skewers or bake it in the oven. If grilling, preheat the grill to medium-high heat and cook until the chicken is cooked through with a slightly charred exterior.
  6. Tomato sauce consistency: The tomato-based sauce should have a creamy consistency. If it becomes too thick, you can add a little water or chicken broth to adjust the consistency.
  7. Serving suggestions: Chicken Tikka Masala is typically served with basmati rice or naan bread. You can also garnish it with fresh cilantro and serve with a side of raita (yogurt dip) for a complete and authentic Indian meal.
  8. Leftovers and storage: Leftover Chicken Tikka Masala can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a little water or broth to maintain the sauce’s consistency.

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