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Chicken Tikka Masala - a delicious blend of tender chicken and Indian spices - easy & scrumptious. www.simplysated.com
5 from 4 votes

Chicken Tikka Masala

Please read the entire recipe before beginning. While the sauce is cooking, prepare the rice and chicken. There are several ingredients, but each brings something special so try to include them all. The recipe is long, but easy - I think you will love it and, hopefully, it will become one of your favorites. I have combined three recipes for this recipe: Pioneer Woman's which looks amazing but a tad more involved, Epicurious and Allrecipes Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala.
Course Entree
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Susie Gall


  • For the Chicken:
  • 4 chicken breasts – cut into bite-size pieces - skinless & boneless
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt – or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Indian spice (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons white sugar – to taste
  • ¼ cup Greek-style Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ----------------------------
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion – finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 14 ounce can tomato sauce or 1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatos - pureed in blender
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • --------------------------
  • For the Rice:
  • 2 cups Minute Rice 5-minute variety
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 -4 whole cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods - optional
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion or shallot - minced and sauteed optional


  1. For the chicken:
  2. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and sprinkle with salt, pepper, curry, Garam Masala and sugar.  Place it in a bowl or Ziploc bag.

  3. Pour the yogurt over the chicken making sure to cover each piece. Set the chicken aside until ready to cook.  If cooking within 10 minutes, it is fine to leave on the counter.  If letting it rest more than 10 minutes, refrigerate until ready to cook.

  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken.
  6. Cook until the chicken is lightly seared and not quite cooked through - still a soft pink in the center. Stir often.
  7. Turn off the heat when the chicken is still slightly pink inside.
  8. ----------------------------
  9. For the Sauce:
  10. Heat butter and oil in a different large skillet over medium heat.
  11. Once the oil and butter are hot, add the diced onions.
  12. Cook until translucent then add the minced garlic.
  13. Cook one minute or until garlic becomes fragrant.
  14. Add cumin, salt, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, Garam Masala and paprika.
  15. Cook 1-2 minutes.
  16. Add tomato sauce, reduce heat to low and let the sauce thicken 10-15 minutes - stir often.
  17. Add the cream and sugar and bring the sauce to a low boil.
  18. Add the cooked chicken.
  19. Keep the heat on low and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is fully cooked - 15-30 minutes more.
  20. ---------------------------------------
  21. For the Rice:
  22. Place 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan.
  23. Add onion/shallot, cumin, salt, black pepper, 1 cinnamon stick, whole cloves and cardamom pods to the water.
  24. With the pan covered, bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
  25. After the water simmers 5 minutes, remove the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom before adding the rice.
  26. Add the rice and stir.
  27. Cover the pan and bring the rice to a boil.
  28. Turn off the heat.
  29. Stir the rice only once then place the cover back on and let the rice sit for 5 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

Recipe Notes

If planning on freezing Chicken Tikka Masala, make double sauce and freeze half. Freeze it separately without the chicken. When ready to serve, prepare the chicken as directed, then add it to the thawed sauce to simmer for 15-20 minutes or serve with rotisserie chicken.

If in a hurry, rotisserie chicken can be substituted for skillet cooked chicken.