Oh where do I start about this dish–the only dish my non-desi friends know to be Indian. It pains every time I have to point out that Indian food and Pakistani food are really one and the same. The flavors running through, the spices lighting up the taste buds or really burning them up share a similar journey. Before I turn this into a history lesson about the partition of 1947, let’s focus our gaze back to this beautiful bowl of rich, saucy Chicken Tikka Masala. This along with my Seekh Kebab and Tandoori Chicken should have a permanent place in your arsenal of desi food recipes!

Chicken Tikka Masala

It took me a few tries to nail down this recipe. I decided that I did not want to use canned tomato puree, so I sliced up some juicy, fat tomatoes (along with my finger), and threw them in the oven with the marinated chicken at 425 degrees F. Roasting adds that touch of smokiness and wrinkles the tomatoes to a beautiful charred-around-the-edges look. Sometimes I even turn on the broiler because I love those black blisters on the chicken and tomatoes. So, if you feel me on this, just do it! Like Nike. Okay, maybe not. Do it at a slower pace, because baby it’s worth it. Give it to it, it’s worth it. I’m really sorry. I got some major wisdom tooth extraction done and clearly it wasn’t a good idea. So, I’ll just leave this recipe here for you guys and go search for it.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Chicken Tikka Masala

This Chicken Tikka Masala will make you forget the Pakistani/Indian restaurants. Learn how to make this with me!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Pakistani/Indian
Keyword: Butter Chicken
Servings: 6
Author: Rookie With A Cookie


  • 2 lbs chicken thighs boneless and skinless

Chicken Tikka Marinade

  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6 cloves whole
  • 5 green cardamom pods lightly crushed
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/2 green chilli chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 6 tomatoes roasted in the oven
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1 tsp honey


  • Wash and pat dry the the chicken thighs and cut them up into medium chunks.
  • Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl and rub into the chicken pieces really well.
  • Refrigerate, covered, for 30 mins to an hour in the fridge.
  • While the chicken is in the fridge, slice up tomatoes in circles and lay them on baking sheet lined with foil.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Next, grab some metal skewers and skewer the chicken pieces through them. Place the skewers on a second pan lined with foil.
  • Put both the pans in the oven preheated at 425 degree F, and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • To prepare the Chicken Tikka Masala, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the whole cloves and cardamom pods and stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Throw in the chopped onion and green chilli and continue to sautee for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  • Next, add in cumin, coriander and red chilli powder and stir for a minute.
  • Add in the tomato paste and stir for a few minutes until incorporated.
  • At this point, add in the roasted tomatoes and stir really well.
  • Pour in one cup of water.
  • Dump the masala in a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Now pour it back into the saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add in the cooked chicken pieces and stir.
  • Next, add heavy cream and stir.
  • For the actual aroma of this dish, add in the fenugreek leaves.
  • Next, drizzle honey to give it that touch of sweetness this dish needs.
  • Finally taste for salt and serve with naan or pita bread.


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3 years ago

Would marinading overnight add extra flavour? I notice you only say half an hour to an hour?

Ashley Judd
4 years ago

5 stars
We love Chicken Tikka Masala. Going to make this tomorrow night for dinner. We like our dishes on the spicier side. Any suggestions on how to add some heat to the dish? I plan on making it in my Instant Pot. Thanks!

5 years ago

5 stars
hi! I tumbled upon your blog when i was looking for a Seekh Kabab recipie. I loved that your recipies are “no frills” and are really very simple and quick to make. I have indian roots so i know what good tastes like šŸ™‚ and the seekh kababs were nothing but fantastic!!!
I do feel that you could add a whole lot more recipies (i only found a few very interesting – like the tikka masala and the Karahi – which i am making today!)
Keep up the no nonsense great stuff!

6 years ago

lets also note that india and pakistan used to be a united civilization so our history of food and spices do intertwine but even saying that india or pakistan has the same cuisine east to west does not work . im from goa and u cannot find some of the dishes we make anywhere else in india example vindaloo which to this day is always mispronounced and not made anything like what it should be in the restaurants here in north america but i appreciate the effort.
lets just enjoy the food indian or pakistani i like to think we are one in the same šŸ™‚

6 years ago

no offense but Indian and Pakistani food are NOT even remotely one and the same thing; they have similarities yes, and some communities in Pakistan that are of Indian origin have recipes that are the same as their Indian counterparts. However, calling indian and pakistani food ‘the same’ is to discard most of Indian and Pakistani heritage. As an example, I am a half Punjabi half Pakhtun and not a single common dish that we make at home (yes right from the gobi gosht to chapli kabab) is Indian. As an example, there is no such thing as a ‘tikka masala’ in Pakistani cuisine; or butter chicken etc. We do have tikka which is just barbecued meat.

Welcome To My Food Blog!

Iā€™m Izza, the Rookie behind and in front of the camera. Here, you will find all the delicious recipes Iā€™m whipping up in my cozy apartment in downtown Seattle while juggling my 9-5 in tech.

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