Restaurant Style Chicken Tikka Masala

An honest confession. I have never really been into Chicken Tikka Masala. Butter Chicken is more my stead. But, to my surprise, that was going to change.

I am a new mum and with that comes exposure to different groups be it Mothers Groups, Play Groups or if you are completely alien to ‘what to do with a baby’, you join a Birthing Group. Which I did. The benefits were many, one of them being meeting fellow parents-to-be and discovering which ones you click well with. Then on it’s a whole new friendship waiting for you as you prepare to enter a whole new phase in life called Parenting. That’s how TK and I met M and A.

Coming back to Chicken Tikka Masala. Well, once our bubs were a few weeks old my new girlfriend M and I started hanging out. It was so nice and therapeutic to just having a ‘fellow new mum’ to talk about how life has changed, exchange notes and most importantly, be a support.

To my pleasant surprise, I learnt that M and A, both Australian, love Indian food. And she was keen to get her hands dirty in the kitchen with their all time favourites – Beef Vindaloo and Chicken Tikka Masala.
So one find Saturday morning, we decided to do a cook up together and enjoy a nice lunch with hubbies and the bubbies.

Truth be told, I had never attempted Chicken Tikka Masala before but thanks to online research, I found a few recipes I liked. One was from Sanjeev Kapoor, another from Epicurious and yes, how can I forget Being the improviser (self-proclaimed!), I picked my favourite ingredients and steps from all 3 and came up with my hot new favourite Chicken Tikka Masala.

A word of caution. Do not be overwhelmed by the multiple steps in this recipe. Once you have the marination in place, it is pretty simple to make and highly rewarding to taste.

Restaurant Style Chicken Tikka Masala

Level of Cooking: Medium
Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Marination time: At least 2 hours, ideally overnight
Cook time: 40 minutes


400 grams Chicken Fillet (preferably thigh or breast fillet) cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons Ginger paste
3 teaspoons Garlic paste
3 tablespoons Kashmiri red chilli paste (can be replaced with Chilli Paste from Coles or Woolworths)
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon Black salt (kala namak)
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
2 tablespoons Yogurt
1/2 teaspoon Garam masala powder
1/4 teaspoon Carom seeds (ajwain)
3 1/2 teaspoons Lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon Gram flour (besan)
1/2 teaspoon Red chillies coarsely crushed

3 tablespoons Cooking Oil (Vegetable or Canola)
1 medium Onion (brown or Spanish), cubed and pulled apart
1 Green capsicum cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Tomato Seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces

3 tablespoons Cooking Oil (Vegetable or Canola)
1 1/2 inch piece Ginger chopped
10 Garlic cloves chopped
2 medium Onions (brown or Spanish) chopped
1 teaspoon Coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1/2 a can Tomato diced
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon Red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon Green cardamom powder
1/2 teaspoon Dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) powdered
2 tablespoons Fresh cream
2 tablespoons Honey


1. Place chicken in a bowl, add ginger paste, garlic paste, Kashmir red chilli paste, salt, black salt, turmeric powder, yogurt, garam masala powder, carom seeds, lemon juice, gram flour, crushed red chillies and mix well. Let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours if not overnight.

2. Heat oil in a flat non stick pan, add the chicken pieces and cook for 3-4 minutes on high heat. Reduce heat and cook. Turn over the chicken pieces in the first pan and let the other side cook. Alternately, you can cook the chicken in the oven or, even better on the barbecue for a nice charred taste.

3. For saute, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a non stick pan, add cubed onion layers, capsicums and tomatoes and saute for 2-3 minutes. Transfer into a bowl.

4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the second pan and add cumin seeds. When they begin to change colour add 2 chopped onions and saute.

5. Add garlic and ginger to the pan and saute. Add diced tomatoes, coriander powder and turmeric powder and saute for a few minutes. Add salt, red chilli powder, green cardamom powder, kasoori methi and mix and continue to saute till oil begins to separate.

6. Let it cool before blending in a mixer.

7. Pour the blended curry back into the pan, add chicken pieces and sautéed vegetables and mix.

8. Add fresh cream and honey just before serving.

9. Enjoy hot with naan or roti.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Chirping Sparrows says:

    Yummy! Thanx for the recipe.


    1. Saba Khan says:

      Most welcome 🙂
      Do let me know how you go trying the recipe!


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