Absolutely Amazing Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a dish that we have always ordered but never made until quarantine.

While we were stuck in the house all we wanted was to eat out so bad with everyone talking about it.

All we could think about was indian dishes, so we made this meal twice in the same week. The first time was to satisfy the cravings, but it just fueled our hunger for it.

This is a meal that will be meal prepped atleast once a month I bet. Its just too good!

What goes in Tikka Masala?

Tikka Masala is a blend of aromatic spices emulsified into a tomato sauce and thickened.

You can use a multitude of proteins, the most important ingredients though are the spices. They are what makes Tikka Masala what it is!

The spices that help develop the tomato sauce into a great masala.

  • Ginger Powder
  • Garam Malasa
  • Chili Powder
  • Ground Turmeric
  • White Onion
  • Minced Garlic
  • Chicken Broth

How do you make Chicken Tikka Masala?

Tikka Masala is best made by seasoning and heating up the chicken and spices together.

Heating them up together adds a depth of flavor to the chicken and makes the spices more potent so they can spread through and flavor the sauce.

You don’t want your chicken or your sauce tasting like a basic tomato sauce!

So you want to incorportate your spices into your oil an add your chicken and let cook until the chicken has turned white throughout. You can let it cook until golden brown if you like a tougher chicken.

Add in your broth and sauces and let simmer until well infused with those delicious curry flavors!

Chicken Breasts or Chicken Thighs?

We prefer chicken breasts because of the cooking time and general fat content. We slice the breast in half, creating two thinner breasts before slicing into cubes. It not only reduces the cooking time further but lets us extend our chicken further.

That doesn’t mean you can’t use chicken thighs, they are a darker meat and take longer to cook than breasts, which just gives you more stew times and more than likely they are cheaper than breasts making the total cost of the meal go down as well.

When you use thighs, I would put them with the bone in and let them cook off the bone. That way you ensure your chicken has cooked until tender and absorbed all that good tasting tikka masala! It will extend the cooking time, but you can use thighs if that is your preference!

What makes the sauce?

The sauce is built by stewing curry spices into tomato sauce base. You deepen the flavors of the sauce by letting the spices reach their peak aromatic state in the oil. The longer the dish sits the more intense the flavors will get!

I have tried making the sauce a few different ways, but have found that heating up the spices before adding the tomato sauce helps it retain alot of the delicious flavor.

You use chicken broth to help it boil without burning and it adds a bit more of the flavor to it by letting the spices emulsify with the tomato sauce.

Other Proteins in Tikka Masala

There are a ton of proteins you can add in its place depending on your personal preferences. The sauce is the base, what you add in or add this on top of just builds the meal to your liking.

Some proteins that I would suggest are:

  • Lamb
  • Green Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Beef

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Chicken Tikka Masala

A quick and delicious chicken tikka masala recipe that will surely knock the socks off anyone you make it for!
Prep Time10 mins
Active Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian-Inspired
Keyword: chicken, curry
Yield: 4 Servings
Calories: 83.5kcal

Materials

  • 1 Cup Basmati Rice
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Pounds Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Whole White Onion
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 3 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Garam Malasa
  • 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Turmeric
  • 1 Can Tomato Sauce 15oz Can
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk

Instructions

  • Start your rice in the instant pot by adding 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water and putting it on the pressure cook setting for 4 minutes.
  • Cut your chicken into 1/2 inch cubes and your onions into slices.
  • In a medium sauce pan heat up your olive oil and add your chicken and onions to the pan, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until golden brown 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir in your garlic, ginger, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric powder and tomato taste and let cook for about 1 minute until they become aromatic!
  • Add in your tomato sauce and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer until slightly thickened.

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