Everyone's Favorite - The Classic Tikka Masala
The dish that almost everyone seems to know and love when asked about Indian food. Chicken Tikka Masala became popular by chefs from India living in Great Britain back in the day and it is offered in many different variations at restaurants around the world.
Savi, Sabrina and Serena never actually ate homemade chicken tikka masala all that much growing up, because it was more of a restaurant occasion dish, but, it’s too good to have to wait to eat out, so Droosh created their own blend and easy-to-follow recipe. It’s a creamy, spiced curry made with tomatoes, yogurt-marinated chicken, and most of the ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and fridge.
SERVINGS: 6 | PREP TIME: 15 min | COOK TIME: 35 min
For the Sauce:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- Ghee or oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 serrano chilis, seeded and chopped
- One 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes or 8 fresh Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 3tbsp Tikka Masala Spice Mix (However much masala you add depends on how spicy and flavorful you want the dish to be. Start with a little then add more to taste)
For the Chicken:
- 1 1/4 cup whole or Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp ginger, grated or minced (for both sauce and chicken marinade)
- 6-8 cloves garlic, grated or minced (for both sauce and chicken marinade)
- 2 large chicken breasts, cubed
- Ghee or oil
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- Salt & pepper
- 1 cup Basmati rice or Naan, for serving
- 2-3 tbsp Tikka Masala Spice Mix (However much masala you add depends on how spicy and flavorful you want the dish to be. Start with a little then add more to taste)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1tbsp ginger, 4 cloves garlic, tikka masala spice mix, and 1 tsp salt. Then toss the cubed chicken in the marinade until evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
- Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1-2 tsp of ghee or oil and cook the chicken in batches, undisturbed, until each piece is browned on the outside. Remove from the pan and set aside. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked and will finish cooking in the sauce.
- In the same pan, add more ghee or oil if needed, and cook the onion, tomato paste, and serrano chilis. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water so it doesn't dry out. Then add garlic (about 2-3 cloves) and 1tbsp ginger and cook, stirring until fragrant and the ginger starts to turn golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
If using fresh tomatoes, chop finely in a food processor or blender and set aside. To the pan, add a splash of water and 2-3 tbsp Tikka Masala mix, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add the tomatoes, breaking them up into pieces with a spoon, and bring to a boil.
Once boiled, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the tomatoes are very tender, about 10 minutes. (You can let this simmer for longer if you have time- for more flavor)
Transfer sauce to a blender and blend until smooth.
Return blended sauce to the pan and turn heat to low and add 1/4 cup heavy cream and stir.
Add the cubed chicken to the sauce and combine. Cook for another 5-7 minutes on medium-low heat until chicken is fully cooked.
Top the chicken and sauce with cilantro and serve with rice or naan.
- To speed up the chicken cooking process, broil the chicken breast (pre-cubed) for 3 minutes on each side and then cut into 1-inch pieces before placing in the skillet with sauce to finish cooking.
- Adjust the amount of tikka masala spice mix to your preferred level of spiciness and flavor. Start with a few tbsp and add more to taste.
- For a healthier option, you can use Greek yogurt or coconut milk instead of heavy cream and brown rice instead of basmati rice.
- If you don't have a blender you also don't have to blend the sauce before adding the heavy cream and it's just as good, you just have the textures of the onion, garlic and ginger!