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Chicken Tikka Masala by Panning The Globe

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x


Boneless chicken is marinated, grilled, and then finished in a luscious spicy creamy tomato sauce.


Units Scale
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

For The Marinade

  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (Greek is fine)
  • 8-10 large garlic cloves, flattened and peeled (see here for how to flatten & peel garlic)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For The Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 5 large garlic cloves, crushed in a garlic press
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced or grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups tomato puree from a 28 ounce can (I recommend Organic or San Marzano for best flavor)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup half and half (you can use heavy cream if you want to splurge)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro (about 1 cup)


  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge for 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat your grill to high heat. Shake off excess marinade from the chicken and grill it for 5 minutes per side. Don't worry if it isn't fully cooked. It will continue to cook in the sauce. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes and then cut it into bite-sized cubes.
  3. To make the sauce, measure out all the spices into a small bowl: coriander, cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Heat butter and oil in a heavy kettle or dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add onions, ginger and sliced garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or so, until onions are tender and starting to brown. Add the spices and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add tomatoes puree and water. Bring to a boil. Lower to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, uncovered. Add half & half, lemon juice, chicken cubes and half the cilantro. Simmer gently for 6-8 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in the rest of the cilantro. Serve with steamed basmati rice or naan.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: homemade chicken tikka masala recipe