Chicken Tikka Masala
with peas / cauliflower / rice / yogurt
This Indian take-out favorite is surprisingly easy to make at home. It's worth the extra time to marinate the chicken in spices and yogurt which gives the dish authentic flavor and tenderizes the meat.
Smarts: Like most Indian curries, this one will taste even better after a day or two in the fridge.
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 1/2 cups
- Onions, medium - 1, chopped
- Ginger (opt) - 2 tsp, grated
- Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb, halved
- Indian Spice Mix (ingredients listed separately) - 3 tsp + 3 tsp
- Yogurt, plain or Greek - 1/2 cup
- Peas, frozen - 1 cup
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp
- Tomatoes, crushed (28 oz / 794 g) - 1 can
- Cauliflower florets, frozen - 6 oz
- Heavy cream - 1/2 cup
- Cilantro - 2 Tbsp, leaves torn
- Lime juice - 2 tsp
- Yogurt, plain or Greek - for serving
- Coriander, ground - 2 tsp
- Garam masala - 2 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Cumin - 1 tsp
- Turmeric, ground (opt) - 1 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Rice - This makes enough for 2 nights. For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make spice mix - Combine coriander, garam masala, salt, cumin, turmeric and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Onions / Ginger / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store onions in one container. Combine ginger and garlic in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Marinate chicken - Combine first portion of spice mix and yogurt in a baking dish. Slice chicken breasts in half and tenderize with a fork. Add chicken to yogurt and turn to coat in marinade. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to a day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Peas - Defrost peas.
- Heat a Dutch oven with oil over medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess marinade and place in oil (discard marinade). Cook chicken for 2 minutes on each side to get it started cooking (don't worry if it's not cooked through). Set aside.
- To heated pan, add butter and then onions. Saute until onions start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in ginger (if using), garlic and second portion of spice mix. Saute for 1 minute more.
- Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and cauliflower (no need to defrost it first). Bring to a simmer.
- Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces and return it to pan. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, ~15 minutes.
- Add peas and heavy cream. Continue simmering for 5 minutes more to let the flavors develop.
- While masala simmers, chop cilantro.
- If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave (remember to reserve half for Wednesday).
- Stir lime juice into masala. Taste and add some salt, pepper or more lime juice if needed.
- Serve masala over rice with cilantro and yogurt on top. Enjoy!
Yum! Made this for guests and it was a hit. Next time I'll up the red pepper flakes a bit.0 Helpful
Husband and I loved this. I will definitely make this again.0 Helpful
I accidentally used the wrong tomatoes, but it worked and was delish! I added more spices for a bit more flavor at the end. Would definitely do this one again!0 Helpful
subbed red lentil pasta for rice0 Helpful
This is delicious and authentic! Tikka masala has a mild, creamy, tomato based flavor. If you don't like that, this may not be the recipe for you. Changes I made: added garlic powder to the spice mix. Forgot to marinate the chicken, so I put spices and yogurt into a Ziploc bag, then pounded the chicken breasts to a consistent thickness, thin sliced them, and put the pieces into the bag. I made sure they all got coated, and put all of it into the skillet. Otherwise made as instructed. We loved this!0 Helpful
Easily made vegan, which I did not--love me some butter and cream.0 Helpful