Chicken tikka masala

John Burton Race celebrates the British affection for Indian cooking by making this national favourite
By John Burton Race
Chicken tikka masala
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus marinating overnight
  • Effort: easy


For the marinade

  • 100 ml plain yogurt
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 x 150 g chicken breasts

For the tikka masala

  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250 ml water
  • 100 ml double cream

To serve

  • coriander, to garnish
  • basmati rice


1. For the marinade: in a large bowl mix together the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken to the bowl and coat the meat, making sure that each piece is well covered with the marinade. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.

2. For the tikka masala: heat the oil in a pan or casserole, add the onion and lightly fry until golden.

3. Add the ginger, chilli powder, coriander seeds and cumin and cook for a further 30 seconds. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat and stir in the tomato purée and leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes.

4. Transfer the marinated chicken into the pan and mix well to coat with the sauce. Add the water. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer over a low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Take off the lid and stir in the cream. Add salt to taste and leave to simmer for a further 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

6. Serve with boiled basmati rice and garnish with a sprinkling of coriander leaves.

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