Chicken Tikka Masala

This Chicken Tikka Masala will make you holla’!

This is as good as you’ll get in a restaurant

I do love Indian food.  But I rarely make it at home because I feel I never get the spiciness just right. It’s just never the same as I get in Indian restaurants but this recipe…is the bomb! To be honest, I am not one to tolerate super spicy food. In fact my dad always would say that I just want to eat pablum, the bland baby food! Not true! Haha but there are some spices that literally just make my mouth go numb and then I don’t taste the food. Having that slight issue, it always scared me away from Indian food.

That is until I ate some curry at a Farmers Market. Wow was it flavorful and my mouth wasn’t going numb even though it was spicy! Very excitedly, I started eating at more Indian restaurants and just loving the food. But like I said, every time I tried to create the same taste at home I just always fell short on the flavor/spice front. But with this recipe I have gained confidence! Yeah baby! Coating the chicken in yogurt seasoned with garlic and ginger, and then broiled, makes it super tender and delicious. Try it and I promise you will love it!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients for Chicken:

1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (6 to 8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if one breast is bigger, cut in half to make all same size to cook evenly)
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I love Fage)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (softened enough to mix)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (must use fresh ginger)
Ingredients for the Sauce:

Ingredients for the Sauce:

1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or more!…I heart cilantro 🙂 )


FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine salt, garam masala, and cayenne in a bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season thoroughly with spice mixture. Place chicken on plate, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Whisk yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger together in medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

FOR THE SAUCE: Process tomatoes and their juice in food processor until smooth, about 15 seconds is all. Heat coconut oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, garam masala, garlic, and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in processed tomatoes, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Off heat, stir in yogurt; cover to keep warm.

Adjust oven rack to 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set wire rack in aluminum foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on prepared wire rack. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until lightly charred in spots and chicken registers 160 degrees, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken over half way through cooking.

Transfer chicken to cutting board, let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1 inch pieces. Stir chicken pieces into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, season with salt to taste, and serve.
Serve with basmati rice.

Time: About 1 hour

Yields 2 servings: (easy to double to 4 but these servings are pretty good sized)

Adapted recipe from America’s Test Kitchen


  1. I totally clicked on your recipe because of the title. Awesome, well played. Also love Indian food, although the one time I tried to make it at home my 6 year old geared up. Went a little heavy on the heat by accident. Thanks for sharing this one!

  2. Kacey Nielsen

    I love chicken tikka masala! Have you figured out a way to add veggies to this meal? Do you add some on the side or maybe some right in the sauce?

    • Hi Kacey! The secret veg I always add in to many dishes in cauliflower. I add it in to smoothies as well. I love all the benefits of cauliflower, love that it’s a sulfur veg, and it just goes in nicely without adding any weird flavor. This recipe makes a lot of sauce so if your kids are fine with veggies, I would just roast some cauliflower in the extra sauce for a quick 10 min. I also add turmeric to a lot of sauces for added anti-inflammatory health benefits. Just a little bit and no one will notice!