Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala is a dish of yogurt-marinated broiled chicken in a creamy, spice-infused tomato sauce.

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour, plus at least 1 hour to marinate the chicken


For the Chicken

  • ½ cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (okay to substitute curry powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch chunks

For the Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1¼ teaspoons garam masala (okay to substitute curry powder)
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1¾ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 (14-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a bowl large enough to hold the chicken, whisk together the yogurt, salt, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin. Add the chicken and mix until it is evenly coated. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Preheat the broiler and set an oven rack in the top position. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire rack on top; spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Place the chicken on the prepared rack, spooning any marinade left in the bowl over the chicken. Broil for 7 to 8 minutes, until browned on top. (The chicken does not need to be flipped over.) While the chicken cooks, start the sauce.
  4. To make the sauce: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large pan. Add the onions and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary. Add the spices and cook 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, heavy cream, salt, sugar, pepper and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a bit more salt and sugar).
  5. Add the broiled chicken to the sauce and simmer until the chicken is warmed through and fully cooked, a few minutes. Sprinkle the cilantro over the chicken and serve with buttered Indian basmati rice and/or naan.
  6. Make Ahead: Feel free to make this dish entirely ahead of time. Reheat the chicken in the sauce on the stovetop over medium-low heat until warmed through.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 475
  • Fat: 31 g
  • Saturated fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 38 g
  • Sodium: 745 mg
  • Cholesterol: 201 mg

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.