The Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe!
Almost every food blog in the world has this recipe and now Sautéed and Baked does too! That’s not why I wrote this recipe, though Chicken Tikka Masala is one of India’s most iconic dishes and I couldn’t care less if it’s ever so popular anywhere else in the world! I shared this chicken recipe with you today because I would like you to know the most authentic way to make this recipe so that you too can enjoy restaurant like food right in the comfort of your own home.
Oh boy! There are so many versions of this iconic Indian recipe available, I sometimes find it hard to hold on to the recipe I know and which I have perfected over the years! The secret to a lovely Chicken Tikka Masala dish is a perfect Chicken Tikka and a smooth, well-balanced gravy! The Chicken Tikka needs to be succulent and not dry and stringy even after being cooked for a short while in the gravy of the Chicken Tikka Masala gravy.
Chicken Tikka is nothing but delicious Chicken Tikka dropped into a fabulous Masala which forms the gravy of this dish! I’ll teach you how do achieve that in this recipe and if you follow each step carefully, you’ll get perfect Chicken Tikka Masala too!
You can learn how to make the most awesome Chicken Tikka from this older post which was one the first few posts on this blog. Replace the chicken on the bone with boneless chicken and voila you have Chicken Tikka! Since Tandoori Chicken is made on the bone, I have instructed you to bake the chicken pieces for 15 minutes on each side. You can actually bake the Chicken Tikka for 10 minutes on each side and this will be sufficient. The remainder of the cooking, if at all needed, will be done along with the gravy of the Chicken Tikka Masala. If you want the chicken pieces to be slightly charred in a few places, turn your oven up to 250° C, five minutes into baking! These charred bits add plenty of flavor to the gravy and make your dish look pretty awesome too!
Did you know that Chicken Tikka and Tandoori Chicken are absolutely identical except for one difference – Chicken Tikka is made from boneless chicken pieces whereas Tandoori Chicken is made on the bone. Tandoori Chicken is used in another iconic Indian chicken curry recipe called Chicken Butter Masala and Chicken Tikka is used in Chicken Tikka Masala!
Now that you know how to make the Chicken Tikka, let’s crack on with our Masala which forms the gravy of probably the best Indian curry ever!
- Chicken Tikka - 1 Kilo
- Onion - 2 Medium, Chopped Fine
- Tomatoes - 2 Medium, Chopped Fine
- Ginger and Garlic Paste - 3 Teaspoons
- Garam Masala Powder - ¾th Teaspoon
- Turmeric Powder - ¼th Teaspoon
- Kashmiri Chilli Powder - 1 Teaspoon
- Red Chilli Powder - ½ Teaspoon
- Cumin Powder - ½ Teaspoon
- Coriander Powder - ½ Teaspoon
- Cashew Nuts - ¼th Cup
- Ghee - 2 Tablespoons
- Butter - 1 Teaspoon
- Fresh Cream - 1 Tablespoon
- Chicken Stock - 1 Cup
- Red, Green and Yellow Capsicum - ½ Cup Combined
- Fresh Coriander - ½ Cup Roughly Chopped
- Salt - To Taste
- Honey - 1 and ½ Teaspoons
- Place a large non-stick kadhai on medium-high heat.
- Add Chopped Onions and sauté till translucent and very slightly golden brown. Turn heat down to low.
- Add Ginger and Garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell disappears.
- Add Chopped Tomatoes and sauté till soft and mushy.
- Add Powder Spices and stir well.
- Now, turn off the heat and allow this gravy base to cool off completely.
- Once cooled, pour into a blender and add Cashew Nuts. Blend till absolutely smooth.
- Pour in the Chicken Tikka Masala gravy base and let it simmer till raw taste of spices is completely gone.
- Add Salt and continue to simmer for another minute. Ensure that the raw smell and taste of spices is cooked out completely.
- Add Honey and simmer till oil from the Ghee and Butter starts showing through the gravy.
- Now add the Chicken Tikka pieces and Capsicum pieces and stir gently into the gravy. Allow to simmer for a minute.
- Stir in Fresh Coriander.
- After a minute, turn off heat and your Chicken tikka Masala is ready! Pour Fresh Cream over the top after this dish is served for added richness and flavor.
- Serve hot and enjoy with Naan or Steamed Rice or Pulao.
This is how Chicken Tikka Masala is made in all the restaurants all over the world. To make it more restaurant like, you can go the extra mile by straining the gravy base once it comes out of the blender. This will remove any small bits of spice which do not break up in the blending process, leaving you with a very smooth and creamy gravy. If you’ve followed the steps I’ve mentioned in the instructions then you should end up with a smooth and glossy looking curry like in the photograph below. If you’ve followed exactly how to prepare the Chicken Tikka and how to cook it in the Masala then you should end up with super succulent and soft chicken pieces. See the charred bit sticking up? Now that was pure flavor enhancement!
If you feel that the quantity of spices given in my recipe is too little then feel free to add more. Just remember that the spices should not be overpowering the overall taste and flavor of this dish. What makes Chicken Tikka Masala so incredibly popular is its well-balanced gravy which successfully complements the Chicken Tikka so do be careful and tread cautiously with the spices.
This is quite an easy recipe to make and I don’t think its really necessary to only be able to enjoy this dish at some fancy restaurant. So do try this recipe and do let me know how it turns out for you! Looking forward to your comments and feedback!