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Chicken Tikka Masala

by Amar Singh December 08, 2019

It's hard to think about Indian food without thinking about Tikka Masala. However, how many of us out there know the actual meaning or history of this ubiquitous dish? After digging around bit, it is clear that the history of everyone's favorite Indian dish is as abstract as its ingredients. Some claim Tikka Masala originated in India, others claim it was actually invented by accident in the UK. As far as the ingredients, the only thing we can say for sure it that it included a mixture of tomato-based sauces some sauce and some spices. Curiously enough, as prevalent and popular as this dish is, there is no specific 'right' way to do it. So why not make it in the most delicious and healthy way possible?

Tikka means “piece” or “bits” which refers to the morsels of, generally chicken or paneer that are served with the Tikka Masala sauce. As far as the sauce- it normally starts with ginger, garlic, onions, chiles, tomato puree and spices which are then combined with cream or yogurt.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Servings 4  |  Prep 1 Hour  |  Cook 2 Hours


  • 1/2 Cup Masala Sauce
  • 1.5 lbs Boneless Chicken Breast
  • 15 oz Crushed Tomato
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk


  1. Cut chicken, tofu or cauliflower into 1" pieces and transfer to a MEDIUM bowl. Add yogurt, 1 TBSP of Tikka Masala seasonings, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cover and let marinate for 10-15 min.
  2. Chop onion. In a sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium-high. Add onion and sauté until it begins to soften, 4-5 min. Add ¼ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very tender and a light golden brown, 6-8 min.
  3. Add chicken and its marinade to the pan with the onions and sauté, stirring constantly, until chicken begins to brown, 4-6 min. Add tomato paste and remaining tikka masala spice blend and cook until tomato paste deepens in color, 3-4 min.
  4. Deglaze pan with 2 cups of water. Use a wooden spatula to scrape up any browned bits on bottom. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced by half, 15-20 min. Stir in coconut cream and simmer 2-3 min more. Note: When simmering sauce, you should see small bubbles on the surface. If not, increase heat to moderate.

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