Chicken tikka masala

Chicken tikka masala

45 min
Chicken tikka masala is an Indian-inspired chicken curry with a savoury marinade and sauce with lots of wonderful spices. Our version is prepared with fresh ginger and turmeric, giving both a beautiful colour and flavour. Served with rice and a fresh salad of pointed cabbage, lettuce, and sour apples, it showcases the perfect balance between spicy, sweet, and sour. With our recipe for chicken tikka masala, you will learn how to master the tasty, savoury classic with ease. Make this rich and flavoursome curry all year round whenever you crave a warmer and more exotic ambience.


Chicken marinade
  • Mix yoghurt, garlic, ginger and garam masala and put the marinade in a freezer bag.
  • Place the chicken pieces in the bag and massage the marinade well into the meat. Let it marinate in the fridge for at least 15 minutes – preferably longer.
  • Transfer the chicken with the marinade to an ovenproof dish and let it cook in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes at 225°C (regular oven).
  • Add butter and turmeric to a cold pan. Turn up to high heat and stir in the mixture until the butter has melted.
  • Sauté onions, tomato puree and cashew nuts in the turmeric butter for approx. 1 minute.
  • Stir in stock, salt, and cooked marinated chicken pieces. Heat the sauce and season to taste.
  • Sprinkle with cashew nuts and chilli flakes and serve with cooked rice and pointed cabbage salad.

We recommend going with chicken thighs as they are juicier, tenderer, and more flavourful, resulting in a far more superb dish. But do not cut the chicken pieces too small, or you will end up with tough and stringy chunks of meat after it has been in the oven and simmered in the sauce. For the best aromatic experience, use fresh ingredients for the marinade and sauce. Also, ensure that the spices are not too old, as this may dull the taste of the dish. Turmeric is very colourful, so use gloves to protect your hands from stains when grating the turmeric root.

Questions about chicken tikka masala

Learn how to make an Indian-inspired curry dish soaked in a deliciously creamy turmeric sauce with our easy chicken tikka masala recipe. Read our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the curry, and you will have it down in no time.

What is tikka masala?
Chicken tikka masala is a popular dish made with roasted, marinated chicken and a thick, creamy sauce with turmeric and cashew nuts. Our tikka masala marinade consists of Greek yoghurt and spices, while the sauce is made from tomato purée, onions, turmeric, cashew nuts, and a flavourful, savoury vegetable broth. It is a curry served with rice, and it is popular all over the world.
How to make chicken tikka masala?
Prepare a marinade with yoghurt, ginger, and garam masala. Place the marinade in a freezer bag along with the chicken. Massage the marinade into the meat and let it sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Next, put the chicken and marinade in an ovenproof dish and cook it in the oven at 225°C for 15 minutes. In the meantime, make the sauce with turmeric, onions, tomato puree, cashew nuts, seasoning, and stock. Add the marinated chicken and sprinkle with cashew nuts and chilli flakes for a final touch.
Is tikka masala spicy?
The ingredients for chicken tikka masala consist of various spices that, to some extent, make the dish moderately spicy. However, the flavours are more warming than hot and are balanced by the tangy yoghurt marinade, resulting in a pleasant taste experience. But mostly, it depends on the spices used in each recipe, and you can always adjust the spiciness to your liking.
What does chicken tikka masala taste like?
The aromatic chicken tikka masala is a composition of spicy, tangy, and earthy flavours. The marinade for the meat is slightly tangy with warm, peppery notes and a hint of citrus, while the creamy sauce is made from a tomato base mixed with turmeric for an earthy, sweet taste with a slight bitterness.
What to serve with chicken tikka masala?
Serve chicken tikka masala on top of plain boiled rice, for example, brown rice, with a simple salad on the side made from finely chopped pointed cabbage, lettuce, and diced sour apples. The salad creates a refreshing contrast to the decadent creamy flavours of the tikka masala.
Can you freeze chicken tikka masala?
Chicken tikka masala freezes well and can sit in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure the dish has cooled down completely before you place it in an airtight container and pop it in the freezer. We do not recommend using a freezer bag, as it might split or break; unless you double-bag it just in case.
Can you use Greek yoghurt in tikka masala?
Yes, you can use Greek yoghurt in tikka masala. It gives the marinade a creamy richness with a tangy flavour that pairs well with garlic, fresh ginger, and garam masala. For our recipe, we use a Greek-inspired yoghurt that slowly tenderises the chicken and keeps it juicy.
Where was chicken tikka masala invented?
Though some are inclined to attribute it to India, interestingly, the origin of chicken tikka masala is not as clear as it may seem. Many believe it was created by the South Asian community in Britain and derived from the Indian butter chicken. They may seem similar at first, but the difference between butter chicken and chicken tikka masala is noticeable in the taste. While butter chicken is on the sweeter side, tikka masala tends to have a spicier kick and be juicier due to the marinade.


Chicken marinade
Greek-inspired yoghurt 10%
400 ml
Large garlic cloves, crushed
Fresh ginger, finely grated
2 tbsp
Garam masala
2 tsp
Chicken fillet, in bite-size pieces
500 g
15 g
Fresh turmeric root, finely grated
2 tbsp
Yellow onions (approx. 225 g), finely chopped
Concentrated tomato purée
4 tbsp
Salted cashews, finely chopped
4 tbsp
Vegetable stock
200 ml
Coarse salt
1½ tsp
Salted cashews, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp
Dried chilli flakes
1 tsp
For serving
Boiled rice, for example, brown rice
240 g
Finely chopped pointed cabbages and lettuce
300 g
Sour apples in small cubes (approx. 200 g)

Authentic chicken tikka masala with rice and fresh toppings

Discover an Indian-inspired curry with our authentic chicken tikka masala recipe. The tasty chicken curry with spicy, orange-coloured sauce is very popular around the world. We serve it on top of boiled rice topped with cashew nuts and chilli flakes to add a bit of crunch and fire, along with a fresh salad on the side.

If you cannot get enough of this and Indian cuisine, explore more of our Indian-inspired recipes, for example, homemade mango chutney, tandoori chicken served with a mango salad or chickpea curry with grilled salad cheese.

Cashew and turmeric tikka masala sauce

Our tikka masala sauce acts as the base for the marinated chicken and ties everything together. It is made from tomato purée and vegetable stock and gets a spicy and textured finish with turmeric and finely chopped cashew nuts. Cashews are some of the most popular nuts in Indian cuisine, used both for garnishing and in sauces and curries. It adds a rich nutty flavour that complements other traditional Indian flavours like chilli, turmeric, and ginger. Full of nutty and earthy flavours, you will not be able to resist the delicate spicy tikka masala sauce with its smooth and creamy consistency and delicious Indian spices.

Prepare the classic marinade with Greek yoghurt

True to the classic, we keep the chicken juicy and tender with a yoghurt marinade. The marinade for chicken tikka masala is made with ginger, garlic clove, garam masala, and Greek yoghurt. Once everything is mixed, the marinade is rubbed into the meat and left to rest and marinate, allowing it to soak up all those delicious flavours. Garam masala combines an array of ground spices like black pepper, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, and is used extensively in Indian cuisine. Combined with ginger, garam masala lends a pleasant warm spiciness to the chicken with a very subtle hint of citrus that is simply irresistible.

Experiment with the meat and vegetables

Mix it up and give the curry an exciting twist with lamb and vegetables. Tikka is the Hindi term for ‘small chunks’, while masala refers to the spice blend, meaning there are no rules saying you have to use chicken. So, you can easily make a tasty lamb tikka masala using the same marinade to rub into the small chunks of lamb and grill it in the pan or the oven. It is hearty, delicious, and incredibly aromatic. We suggest using boneless lamb leg, shoulder, or sirloin with a bit of fat to the meat to keep it moist and tender during the preparation process.

If you want to try a version without meat, you can make a vegetable tikka masala with cauliflower, carrots, and chickpeas. Skip the marinate and stir the vegetables and chickpeas into the sauce along with the vegetable stock and let it simmer until they are tender but still have a bit of bite to them. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and maybe a dollop of Greek yoghurt.