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Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka masala is one of those things that never seems to taste right when you make it yourself. It's not just ingredients that...

Chicken Tikka masala is one of those things that never seems to taste right when you make it yourself. It's not just ingredients that make a great curry but the process that goes into it that makes it taste as it should. This recipe will get your first perfected curry on the plate.



Tikka Paste:

  • 1 Tbsp (4g) coriander seeds

  • 1/2 (1g) tsp cumin

  • 1 Tbsp (7g) garam masala

  • 1 tsp (3g) turmeric

  • 7 cloves garlic

  • 1 2inch piece ginger

  • 1-2 fresno chilies depending on size

  • 1/4cup (60ml) water

  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) oil

Marinated Chicken:

  • 1 cup (225g) yogurt

  • 2 lbs chicken

  • 2 Tbsp (26g) of tikka paste

  • 2 tsp (7g) kosher salt

The Sauce:

  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, blended strained (cook the water out)

  • 4 Tbsp (56g) unsalted butter

  • 1 large onion

  • 1.25 cup heavy cream

  • 1 Tbsp (7g) paprika

  • 1 tsp (2g) kashmiri chili powder *optional*



  1. In a small saucepan, add in all the spices and toasting for 2 minutes. Remove and cool.

  2. Add spices to a blender and blend until fine as possible.

  3. Add in garlic, peeled ginger, garam masala, turmeric powder, and fresno chilis. Add water and blend until smooth.

  4. Drizzle in canola oil while blending until smooth.

  5. Cut chicken into bite size pieces.

  6. In a bowl mix together, whole milk yogurt, tikka masala paste, and kosher salt. Whisk together.

  7. Add in the chicken and toss to thoroughly coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 20 minutes or overnight in the fridge.

  8. Wash and rinse rice twice times through then cook via pressure cooker or rice cooker.

  9. For the final curry, add in the can of tomatoes to the blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh strainer. Place to the side.

  10. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add oil to coat the bottom. Sear chicken on both sides 3-4 minutes per side. Place to the side.

  11. Reduce heat to medium and add in butter to melt before adding diced onions and saute until translucent.

  12. Add in the rest of the tikka masala paste along with paprika and chili powder. Cook and stir often until paste starts to stick to pan.

  13. Add in puree tomatoes and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally over medium heat for 10 minutes.

  14. Add in the heavy cream and mix until thoroughly combined.

  15. Add chicken back to the pan coating it in the sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.

  16. Season to taste with salt and plate with rice. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


Apr 12, 2023

This is a very easy recipe that has simplicity. I modified the recipe by adding canned coconut milk for a more Thai flavor. I will say that the rice was amazing. As silly as it sounds, I have had difficulty with cooking my rice. It turns out way too mushy because I followed recipes that said "Add 2-3 cups of water for 1 cup of rice" which couldn't be more wrong. Since I followed his 1:1 ratio my rice turns out fluffy and light.


Oct 31, 2022

how many servings does this produce

Mark Godek
Mark Godek
Feb 18, 2023
Replying to

This made 1559 grams of chicken and sauce for me.

8 servings at 200 grams per serving of chicken and sauce mixture, 406 calories per serving.

The above does not factor in the rice side.


Ofri Porat
Ofri Porat
Apr 14, 2022

Thanks for another great recipe! After trying several of them, you got yourself another fan. In addition to your recipes, you know what else is great? B-roll ;D


Feb 19, 2022

Is this the best chicken tikka masala I've ever had? No.

For me, it's the second best, compared to my absolute favorite. But it beats everyone else, those are some good numbers!

I've made it twice now. It's not exactly the quickest dish to make. I'm considering for the next time cutting some corners (using tomato sauce instead of blending and straining the high quality/high cost whole canned tomatoes and trying a store bought paste instead of making my own). Will report back how much this degrades quality vs time saved.

Sep 10, 2022
Replying to

The above! The only butter chicken that I'd enjoyed more is from a restaurant and I don't know what witchcraft they do to make theirs even more enjoyable.


Linc W
Linc W
Dec 11, 2021

Amazing! I've made this twice.. My biggest tip is to spend at least 4 minutes on step 12. I only cooked down the tikka paste/spices added to onions for about 1 minute before adding the puree tomatoes. It was still good the first time, but you could tell the spices were somewhat raw - which adds a bitter taste. I just made this last night again and spent way more time cooking down the spices. Best tikka masala I've ever had - thank you Josh!

Linc W
Linc W
Jan 10, 2022
Replying to

I'll keep that in mind for next time - thanks. Toasting the cumin/coriander seeds longer & sautéing the tikka paste for 4 minutes before adding the tomatoes made a noticeable difference between the 1st and 2nd times I made it. I've noticed that turmeric is pretty bitter though, so I may add less of it in the future.


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