Delicious Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

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Craving the mouthwatering flavors of homemade chicken tikka masala? Look no further! This tantalizing recipe is guaranteed to transport your taste buds to the streets of India with its rich and fragrant blend of spices. From the tender chicken marinated in yogurt and aromatic spices, to the creamy tomato sauce infused with notes of ginger and garlic, every bite of this dish is a delicious symphony of flavors. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a newbie in the kitchen, this easy-to-follow recipe will have you whipping up a restaurant-quality chicken tikka masala that will impress even the most discerning food lovers. So grab your apron and get ready to embark on a culinary adventure with this delectable homemade recipe!



To make homemade chicken tikka masala, you will need boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast. The chicken should be cut into bite-sized pieces, allowing the flavors to penetrate evenly during marination.


For the marinade, you will need plain yogurt, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, and a pinch of salt. The marinade helps to tenderize the chicken and infuse it with aromatic flavors.


The sauce is the heart and soul of chicken tikka masala. To prepare the sauce, you will need butter, onion, garlic, ginger, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika, heavy cream, and a touch of sugar. This combination of spices and ingredients creates a rich and flavorful sauce that complements the marinated chicken perfectly.

Other Ingredients

Apart from the main components, you will also need vegetable oil for grilling the chicken, cilantro for garnishing, and additional spices or ingredients if you wish to customize the recipe according to your taste preferences.


Marinating the Chicken

To achieve tender and juicy chicken, marinating is crucial. In a bowl, mix together plain yogurt, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, and a pinch of salt. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and ensure each piece is well-coated. Cover the bowl and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight to enhance the flavors.

Grilling the Chicken

Once the chicken is marinated, it’s time to grill it to perfection. Preheat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the grilling surface with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Place the marinated chicken pieces on the grill and cook them for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until they are fully cooked and have a nice charred appearance. Make sure to keep turning them for even cooking.

Making the Sauce

While the chicken is grilling, it’s time to prepare the luscious sauce. In a large skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions and cook until they become translucent. Now, add minced garlic and grated ginger, and sauté for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Next, stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika, and a pinch of salt. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. Finally, pour in the heavy cream and add a touch of sugar to balance the acidity. Stir well and let the sauce cook for a few more minutes.

Combining Chicken and Sauce

Once the chicken is grilled to perfection and the sauce is ready, it’s time to bring them together to create the culinary masterpiece that is chicken tikka masala. Gently transfer the grilled chicken pieces into the simmering sauce, making sure each piece is coated evenly. Allow the chicken to cook in the sauce for 5-10 minutes on low heat to let the flavors mingle. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the pan.

Tips and Variations

Tikka Masala Paste Substitute

If you don’t have access to tikka masala paste, you can prepare a substitute by combining equal parts of ground turmeric, ground chili powder, ground coriander, and ground cumin. Mix them well and use this homemade substitute in place of the paste.

Spiciness Level

The spice level of chicken tikka masala can be easily adjusted according to your preference. If you prefer a milder version, reduce the amount of red chili powder or paprika in the marinade and sauce. On the other hand, if you enjoy some heat, feel free to increase the amount of these spices or add chopped green chilies to the sauce for an extra kick.

Cooking Time Variation

While the suggested grilling time for the chicken is 4-5 minutes per side, the cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces and the heat of your grill or grill pan. Always check for doneness by ensuring the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (75°C) to ensure it is fully cooked.

Ingredient Substitutions

Chicken tikka masala is a versatile dish, and you can customize it using various ingredients. For a vegetarian version, you can substitute the chicken with tofu or paneer (Indian cottage cheese). Additionally, you can replace the heavy cream with coconut milk for a dairy-free alternative. Feel free to experiment with different spices and herbs to create a personalized flavor profile.



Chicken tikka masala tastes best when served with fragrant basmati rice or freshly made naan bread. The fluffy rice or soft naan perfectly complements the rich and creamy sauce of the chicken tikka masala. You can also serve it alongside a refreshing cucumber salad or pickled onions to add a crunchy and tangy element to the dish.


To elevate the visual appeal and add a burst of freshness, garnish your chicken tikka masala with a sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro. The vibrant green color and the distinct aroma of cilantro complement the warm tones and flavors of the dish.


Homemade chicken tikka masala is a delicious and satisfying dish that brings the flavors of India to your kitchen. With tender marinated chicken, a luscious sauce, and the right blend of spices, this dish is sure to impress your taste buds and those of your family and friends. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and spice levels to create your unique version of this classic dish. So, go ahead, grab your apron, and get ready to embark on a culinary adventure with homemade chicken tikka masala. Enjoy!