Chicken Tikka Masala with Cumin Rice and Bombay Potatoes

Enjoy a home-made curry night with Monisha Bharadwaj's rendition of two British takeaway favourites served with a fragrant bowl of pilau rice
By Monisha Bharadwaj
Chicken Tikka Masala with Cumin Rice and Bombay Potatoes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus marinating time
  • Effort: medium


For the chicken tikka masala:

  • 50 ml plain yogurt
  • 4 tsp ginger- garlic paste
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 900 g chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • sunflower oil
  • 150 ml tomato purée
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • salt
  • 3 tsp butter
  • 100 ml double cream
  • sugar
  • 1 pinches dried fenugreek leaves, (optional)

For the Bombay potatoes:

  • 300 g potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 pinches asafoetida
  • 2 fresh green chillies, finely minced
  • 1 tsp ginger- garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 handfuls coriander leaves, chopped

For the cumin rice:

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 300 g basmati rice, washed and drained

Tips and Suggestions

The preferred garam masala powder for this recipe is made from white pepper, green cardamom, nutmeg and cumin.


1. To begin the chicken tikka masala: put the yogurt in a mixing bowl and stir in 2 teaspoons of the ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Add the chicken, stir and leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for at least a couple of hours.

2. About an hour before serving, start preparing the potatoes. Put the cubed potatoes into a heavy saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through but still hold their shape. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the mustard seeds for a minute or so, until they pop. Add the asafoetida, green chillies and the ginger-garlic paste. Reduce the heat and fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the turmeric powder, then the cooked potatoes. Increase the heat, season with salt and stir gently. Add the coriander and a large pinch of sugar and take the pan off the heat, setting it aside in a warm place.

4. Meanwhile, cook the chicken: preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Place the marinated chicken on a greased, ovenproof tray and bake for 8 minutes, basting once with a little sunflower oil during cooking. Drain off the excess marinade. Preheat the grill. Transfer the chicken to the hot grill blacken the exterior slightly. Remove from the grill and set aside.

5. To cook the rice: heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and add the cumin seeds. When they turn dark, add the rice and fry for about 3 minutes, until the rice is shiny. Add a pinch of salt and 600ml of hot water and bring to the boil. Stir once, reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the pan uncovered for a further 5 minutes, so that the rice finishes cooking in the steam.

6. Meanwhile, to make the masala sauce for the chicken: heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy saucepan and add the remaining 2 teaspoons of ginger-garlic paste. Fry for a few seconds and add the tomato puree, chilli powder and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Salt to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, over a low heat for about 5 minutes.

7. Stir the butter, cream and a pinch of sugar into the tomato sauce. Add the cooked chicken along with all the pan juices.

8. Place the chicken tikka masala in a serving dish and sprinkle with the dried fenugreek leaves (if using) and the remaining teaspoon of garam masala.

9. Uncover the pan of rice and lightly run a fork through the rice to loosen it. Serve hot with the curry and potatoes.

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