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Chicken Tikka Masala

This Indian-style chicken tikka masala recipe has flavors that keep me coming back for more—a simple dish spiced with garam masala, cumin and gingerroot that’s simply amazing. —Jaclyn Bell, Logan, Utah
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 4-1/4 hours
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 can (29 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1-1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Hot cooked basmati rice
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, optional


  • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 13 ingredients. Add chicken, jalapeno and bay leaf. Cook, covered, on low 4 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove jalapeno and bay leaf.
  • In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and cream until smooth; gradually stir into sauce. Cook, covered, on high 15-20 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Serve with rice. If desired, sprinkle with cilantro.

Tikka Masala Tips

How spicy is tikka masala?

This chicken tikka masala recipe gets a little bit of heat from the jalapeno pepper and cayenne, but it isn’t overly spicy. In general, tikka masala can range in spiciness depending on how much of these ingredients you use and what your preference is. Serving tikka masala with naan bread and rice is a great way to balance out any heat.

What country does tikka masala come from?

Tikka masala originates from India. There's no standard tikka masala recipe—it varies from family to family. Traditionally, the chicken is marinated in the yogurt and spice mixture and cooked in a tandoori oven. (Here are other Indian cooking tools that may come in handy.)

What is garam masala?

Garam masala is a blend of fragrant spices including coriander, black pepper, cumin, cardamom and cinnamon. This balanced spice mix, as well as the other seasonings in this recipe, give this chicken tikka masala a great flavor.
Research contributed by Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Editor's Note
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups chicken mixture (calculated without rice): 381 calories, 19g fat (9g saturated fat), 118mg cholesterol, 864mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 33g protein.

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  • Jo
    Dec 31, 2020

    Good recipe but just to point out technically the tikka masala isn't a recipe from India it's certainly created by an indian but was most likely conceived in the UK as a fusion food, an easy intro for Brits into spicy food.

  • Reed083196
    May 21, 2020

    Easy to follow recipe; prep time took me a bit longer than noted. Had nice flavor; thoroughly enjoyed. Love Indian food and was glad to find this flavorful recipe.

  • jshenk
    May 6, 2020

    No comment left

  • AbbyR.
    Apr 28, 2020

    I followed all the ingredients listed (with the exception of no jalapeno and only a pinch of cayenne because I have little kids), but didn't use the slow cooker. I cooked diced onions in the olive oil until soft, but not browned, then added all the seasonings to the onions. I let that cook for a few minutes, then added the garlic and cooked for another 30 seconds. Finally, I tossed in the ginger and removed from heat. Meanwhile, I had the tomato sauce and yogurt warming in a dutch oven on the stove. I added the veggie/spice mix and then blended it all with a hand blender till smooth. I let the sauce come to a simmer before adding the chicken. I simmered for about 2 hours, covered on low. I served this with naan and rice. The flavors were amazing and the chicken came out tender. Next time, I think I might try coconut milk in place of the cream. Thanks for a great recipe. My husband kept telling me how good it was and that I "knocked it out of the park". Definitely a keeper!

  • Godfrey
    Apr 26, 2020

    No comment left

  • gigiatl
    Jan 5, 2020

    Great recipe! I added a thawed and drained package of frozen chopped spinach to make this a saag masala. Love it!

  • Deepak
    Apr 13, 2018

    Good recipes

  • John
    Mar 26, 2018

    Substitute boneless, skinless, chicken thighs wouldn't dry out as breasts will.Also cut the simmer time to 2 1/2 hours.

  • koppkidsmom
    Jan 22, 2018

    Just made this for dinner and the whole family loved it. Did not change a thing and it was just scrumptious...will be making again for sure!!!

  • cleary11
    Oct 23, 2016

    Flavors are great but you will have way too much sauce! I almost doubled the amount of chicken and there was still a ton of sauce!