Go Back
+ servings

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

If you're feeling ambitious, make your own flatbread to serve with this flavorful, saucy dish. Adapted from Bon Appetit.
Prep Time4 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time5 hrs 10 mins
Course: Entree
Servings: 8
Author: Suzanne Cowden


  • 6 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 4 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • cups whole-milk plain yogurt European-style
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • 1 large onion sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup double concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon green cardamom pods crushed and seeded (discard husks), plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 28- ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves plus additional sprigs for garnish
  • Basmati rice for serving
  • Naan for serving


  • Mix garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, salt, and about half of the spice mixture. Whisk well and add chicken, turning to coat. Cover and chill for 4 to 12 hours. Cover remaining spice mixture and chill until ready to use.
  • Heat ghee or oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion, tomato paste, cardamom, and red pepper flakes, if using, stirring often, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of the pot begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and their juices, crushing them a wooden spoon as you stir and scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, until sauce thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in cream and chopped cilantro. Working carefully, puree mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 30-40 minutes.
  • While the sauce simmers, preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack on top. In a single layer, place chicken on the rack. Broil until the meat begins to char and blacken, about 10 minutes (it will not be cooked through).
  • Chop chicken into bite-size pieces and add it to the sauce. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with basmati rice and garnish with cilantro and cardamom seeds, if desired.