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Indian cooking spicesThis recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala comes from India and is based on the cooking of the sub-continent. Always remember that quantities are very much a matter of personal taste and these recipes are intended as a guide to enable you to cook authentic tasting Indian dishes.

Tikka means chunks or pieces. Chicken Tikka Masala is a dish of roasted chicken pieces in a spicy orange coloured gravy eaten in most south Asian countries. Chicken pieces are marinated in yoghurt and spices and roasted in the tandoor.

There is no specific recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala but the main ingredients remain the same which is chicken and yoghurt. It is the most popular restaurant dish in Britain today.

This is one Indian dish which became popular because of Britons.

There are a few different theories about the origin of the dish. Some claim that it was created in an Indian restaurant in Britain and was an improvisation of Punjab cuisine from the last fifty years. A chef from Pakistan claims that he created this dish with the addition of yoghurt and cream. And some claim that it was created in Birmingham and Newcastle, whilst others compare it with another dish of North India, Butter Chicken.

If you would like to know more about Indian cooking read the article Indian Cooking . . . how did it become so popular?

Popular Indian dishes:

  • Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Butter Chicken
  • Tandoori Chicken
  • Rogan Josh
  • Malai Kofta
  • Chole
  • Palak Paneer
  • Kaali Daal
  • Chaat
  • Naan


For the Tikka:
1 kg Boneless chicken
¼ cup curd or yoghurt
½ tsp ginger garlic (crushed)
Spices: ¼ tsp Cumin, white pepper, turmeric, chilli, mace, nutmeg, green cardamom (ground together with pestle and mortar)
Lemon juice
Edible orange colour
Cooking oil
Butter or margarine (melted)

For the gravy:
Onion (finely chopped)
Tomatoes (chopped)
Tomatoes (puréed)
Tomato paste
Ginger garlic paste
Ginger (crushed)
Green chillies (chopped)
Spices: 1 tsp cloves, green cardamoms, Red chili (powder)
Salt to taste
Honey to taste


  • Cut the chicken pieces into cubes.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the Tikka together in a bowl and put the chicken pieces in it and keep it overnight in the fridge to marinate.
  • Skewer chicken pieces and grill until browned on all sides. Keep basting with melted butter to avoid burning.
  • If you do not have a grill you can bake it in the oven. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350° F.
  • Baste the chicken with butter and bake it for 8 minutes.
  • Drain off the excess marinade and bake again for a further 2 minutes.
  • While it is baking you can prepare gravy. Add some oil to a pan and fry the onions until caramelised.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, ginger and garlic paste.
  • Fry until the oil separates then add green chillies (de-seeded), cardamoms, cloves and salt.
  • Add 4 cups of water and bring to the boil. Simmer on a low heat until the sauce thickens.
  • When ready to serve strain the sauce and put it on the heat again, adding the cream and butter. If sauce is sour add honey to taste.
  • Add the chicken Tikka to the gravy and simmer for a while, garnish with chopped fresh coriander.
  • Serve with hot naans.

Serves 4

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