Casual Chicken Tikka Masala

By Sherry Zhang
Flavorful, chicken tikka masala is a popular curry dish savored around the world. The spiced dish is also the national dish of Britain. Although the origin of the dish is heavily disputed, some people believe chicken tikka masala was invented by a Bangladeshi chef in Scotland during the 1970s, while others believe it originated in India. 

Because of chicken tikka masala’s vibrant color and creamy flavor, I decided to make the dish at home for my family. Here is the delicious chicken tikka masala recipe I used from YouTube. The written recipe is shared below. 



  • 1 cup, Plain Yogurt
  • Juice of ½ Lemon
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp, Ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tsp, Garam Masala*
  • ½ tsp, Salt
  • 6, Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, cut into bite size pieces


  • 2 tbsp, Butter
  • 2 medium Onions finely diced
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp Ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp, Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp, Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp, Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp, Garam Masala*
  • 1 tsp, Ground Red Chili Powder
  • 2 cups, Strained Tomato Sauce**
  • 1 cup, Heavy Cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh Coriander to garnish

*Garam masala is a spice blend commonly used in India. This ingredient is available at Sprouts Farmers Market.

**I used canned tomato sauce and I did not like how salty the sauce was. I would substitute tomato sauce for a blanched tomato purée. 


  1. In a bowl, combine plain yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, garam masala, and salt with the bite sized chicken pieces. Marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes. 
  2. In a large pot, heat oil on medium-high. When hot, add chicken pieces, ensuring not to crowd the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes a side, until browned. Set aside. (The chicken doesn’t have to be cooked through at this stage)
  3. In the same pan, add butter and onions, and cook until soft and translucent. Add ginger and garlic, and sauté for 30-45 seconds. Then add turmeric, coriander powder, cumin, garam masala. Fry until fragrant (15-20 seconds).
  4. Add tomato sauce, ground red chili and season with salt to taste. Simmer for 15-20 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally until tomato sauce thickens, and takes on a deep reddish brown color.
  5. Add chicken and heavy cream, and cook for an additional 10 minutes until mixture is bubbling, glossy, and thick.
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with hot basmati rice and/or naan.