Tikka Masala – my way

I love Tikka Masala and I usually order it when we visit an Indian restaurant. I decided to do it myself as the Corona-virus restricts us all right now. The food itself does not take that long to cook, but it is advantageous if you marinate the chicken overnight or at least for 3-4 hours. I let it marinate in the fridge overnight. And just by changing a few things you can actually make this dish all vegetarian!

Most people use chicken thighs but I chose to do it with chicken fillet instead, you just have to watch out so that the meat doesn’t get overcooked and dry.

I also have to mention some more details about two other ingredients: one is crushed tomatoes – it is excellent to use ready crushed tomatoes or as I did – peel and seed fresh tomatoes. The other is the cream, either you use heavy cream or you can replace it with coconut cream, it is really a matter of taste.

We love a lot of sauce and it should preferably have a little thicker texture, a mixture of 2 – 3 tablespoons of flour mixed with a little water can be handy to use if you want a thicker texture.

Finally, the original recipe includes cardamom (to be used in the sauce) – but I refrain from it because cardamom for me is something you use in cookies or other sweets.

This dish is excellent to make completely vegan. Just replace the chicken fillets with vegetarian alternatives and using vegetarian broth or fund. 

Ingredients for 3 – 4 servings

500 grams of chicken meat cut into smaller pieces 

The marinade:
3 dl of natural Turkish or Greek yogurt
1-2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp Garam Masala
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cilantro
1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
0.5 tsp black pepper
1/5 of a teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons squeezed lemon
2 slices of pressed garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

For the sauce:
2 – 3 tablespoons sliced ​​butter or ghee (more if needed)
1 pc. well chopped onion
3 tablespoons tomato puree (contributes to the slightly thicker sauce)
2 tablespoons garlic cloves (pressed)
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
0.5 tsp sambal oelek
1 teaspoon salt
1/5 of a teaspoon black pepper
1/5 of a teaspoon ground cumin
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 tablespoons of the concentrated chicken fund or a bouillon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup tomatoes that are peeled, seeded and chopped. Alternatively, you can use 400 grams of finished crushed tomatoes

2 – 3 tablespoons flour mixed with about 0.5 dl of water, you can even mix it with the cream before adding it to the sauce


  1. Cut the chicken (either chicken fillet or boneless chicken thighs) into smaller pieces, place it in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Measure all the spices for the marinade in a separate smaller bowl and mix well.
  3. Grate the fresh ginger finely.
  4. Press the garlic.
  5. Measure out the pressed lemon juice.
  6. Measure up the yogurt.
  7. Mix the yogurt with squeezed lemon, pressed garlic and grated ginger.
  8. Mix the chicken pieces with the spice mixture and make sure that all the pieces are covered with the spice mixture.
  9. Pour 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil over the chicken pieces and mix well.
  10. Finally, pour the yogurt mixture over the chicken pieces and mix well, cover and let it marinate in the fridge overnight or at least for 3-4 hours.
  11. Melt some ghee (or butter) in a frying pan (high heat), fry the chicken pieces until they have a nice roasting surface (max 2 – 3 minutes, then move the pieces on a plate and set aside.
  12. Lower the heat and fry the onion in the same pan for about 5 minutes.
  13. Add pressed garlic and grated ginger after 5 minutes, stir.
  14. Add crushed tomatoes and fry for a further minute (1 – 2 minutes).
  15. Pour in 1 dl with water, bring it to a boil and then simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes without the lid.
  16. Add bouillon or concentrated fund (preferably chicken fund).
  17. Add the tomato puree and chopped coriander leaves, stir occasionally.
  18. Mix in the cream (or coconut cream), as well as the roux.
  19. Taste and correct the seasoning to suit you and your family.
  20. Finally, you add the chicken pieces and let it all cook until the chicken is done, (the smaller pieces the shorter the time), it took about 2-3 minutes for me to cook the chicken pieces.

Serve with basmati rice.


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