This recipe is one of the best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe to make your favorite Indian take out at home. The homemade version is easy to make and the result is very tasty, restaurant-style, smoky chicken curry made in an authentic way. Chunky pieces of chicken simmered in a creamy onion tomato gravy which is infused with smoke flavor, this dish is a must-try. Here is How to make it at home.
If there is one dish we Indians hold steadfast to, it is tikka masala. Don’t you agree with me?
Be it Veg Tikka Masala or Chicken Tikka Masala, it never fails to satiate our taste buds.
This is probably why it makes its way into every menu card of every Indian restaurant.
This Restaurant Style Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe helps you achieve that restaurant-made taste in a few simple steps.
Follow the steps and you will get a fabulous result at home.
You will get the same smoky flavor that you get in restaurants in the comfort of your home and at a much lesser price.
Of course, the magic of your hands adds on the extra oomph to the dish!
About This Recipe
Chicken Tikka Masala is a creamy and rich curry made using marinated and grilled pieces of chicken which are simmered in a rich onion tomato based gravy.
In restaurants, the chicken is grilled in a tandoor giving it a smoky flavor, but at home, you can smoke the curry later using the method I have mentioned below and achieve the same restaurant like the taste at home.
Butter Chicken Vs Chicken Tikka Masala
Butter chicken is a mild curry made mostly using tomatoes however in Chicken Tikka Masala, the curry has a good amount of onion added to it.
The amount of spices that go in Chicken Tikka Masala is more than that goes in Butter Chicken.
Butter Chicken has a lot of butter going into it which gives it a typical flavor however in Tikka Masala Gravy, we use a mix of oil and butter and the amount of fat used is less as well.
To make this curry, you will need hung yogurt to marinate the chicken.
Hung yogurt is nothing but thick yogurt.
Take some yogurt in a muslin cloth, tie a knot in the cloth, and hang it for 1-2 hours for the water to drip down.
You will be left with thick curd in the cloth. If you have access to greek yogurt, you can use it too.
Boneless chicken works best for this recipe, however, you can use curry cut chicken too.
I prefer using boneless chicken thighs as they are juicier, but you can use chicken breasts as well.
Soak the chicken breast in salty water for 30 minutes. They will be juicier when cooked.
You will need ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, salt, vegetable oil, and tikka masala spice mix to marinate the chicken.
I have a perfect recipe to make Tikka Masala Spice Mix at home if you are looking to make your own however you can use readymade spice mix too if you are short of time.
To make the Tikka Masala Curry, you will need whole spices, chopped onion, ginger garlic paste, chopped tomatoes, green chillies, and tomato puree.
I recommend using readymade tomato puree as it has a bold flavor and is much concentrated.
Along with the above-mentioned ingredients, you will need the regular spice powders like Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder, roasted cumin powder, and more tikka masala spice powder.
Lastly, a whole lot of cream makes the gravy rich and yummy.
Do not forget to add honey and Kasuri methi for that perfect restaurant like the taste.
Now to give your curry a restaurant like the smoky flavor, you will need a charcoal piece and some ghee.
In Indian, ask your iron guy to get some charcoal for you.
You can also use the cubes that come for Hukkah. Make sure they are plain ones and not the flavored ones to smoke your food.
This step is totally optional. If you are not up for the extra work, feel free to skip it.
The origin of Chicken Tikka Masala is quite complicated and many have laid claim to discovering the dish.
Being an Indian and looking at the history of Chicken Tikka which was discovered during the rule of Babur, I would like to believe that it originated in Indian to use the leftover tandoori chicken pieces.
Here is an interesting article which brings in different perspective about the origin of this dish.
How do you make Tikka Masala Paste?
There are many sellers selling tikka masala spice mix but you can easily make it at home.
Check out my quick and easy recipe to make Tikka Masala Spice Mix which you can use in this recipe and any other tikka recipes.
All you have to do is to use this spice mix along with the ingredients listed to marinate the chicken to make tikka masala paste.
If you are pressed with time and have no inclination to make your Tikka masala Spice Mix, you can always buy the packaged one.
I personally like Everest and Suhana brand tikka masala. You can get these in any Indian store or can order online as well.
Is it Gluten-Free?
Since there is no flour that goes in this homemade recipe, this recipe is perfectly gluten-free.
However, if you are eating out, make sure to confirm with the restaurant.
Can it be frozen?
It can be frozen easily in the freezer-safe box. Just thaw on the counter for 2 hours and then microwave or cook in a pot until the gravy simmers.
It also goes well with steamed basmati rice or Jeera Rice.
How to make it in a slow cooker?
To make it in a slow cooker, you will have to cook it in two steps.
The masala needs to be fried on the stovetop so that it gets the depth of flavors and then chicken and other ingredients are cooked together in the slow cooker along with the cooked masala.
The Kitchen has a lovely recipe to make Chicken Tikka Masala in Slow Cooker. Do check it out.
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Step by Step Recipe
Mix all the ingredients for marinating the chicken in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a cling film or a plate and refrigerate for 10-12 hours. If you are pressed with time, marinating the chicken for one hour is also good.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Transfer the chicken pieces along with the marinade in a baking tray. Spread the chicken pieces in a single layer on the tray.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until it is charred from the top.
Heat butter and oil in a karahi.
Slightly crush the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, and black peppercorn and add them in the hot oil. Crushing the spices make sure all their flavors are released in the oil. Let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add onion and fry until it turns translucent.
Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute.
Now add tomato and cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes are mushy.
Add green chilli, tomato puree, Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, tikka masala, and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add grilled chicken and 1/2 cup of water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now add fresh cream, honey, and kauri methi and cook for another minute.
Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
For Marinating the Chicken
- 500 g Chicken (Boneless, Cut into small cubes)
- 1/4 cup Hung Curd
- 2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp Tikka Masala Spice Mix
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 pinch Red Food Colour (Optional)
For the Gravy
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2-3 Cardamom
- 3-4 Cloves
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 3-4 Black peppercorn
- 1/2 cup Onion (Finely Chopped)
- 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 cup Tomato (Finely Chopped)
- 1-2 Green Chilli (Slit into half)
- 1/4 cup Tomato Puree
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
- 2 tbsp Tikka Masala Spice Mix
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup Fresh Cream
- 1 tsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Kasuri Methi
For the smoky Flavour
- Piece of charcoal
- 1 tsp Ghee / Oil
- Mix all the ingredients for marinating the chicken in a bowl.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 10-12 hours.
- Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
- Transfer the chicken pieces along with the marinade in a baking tray.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until it is charred from the top.
- Heat butter and oil in a pan.
- Slightly crush the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and black peppercorn and add them in the hot oil.
- Let them crackle for a few seconds.
- Add onion and fry until it turns translucent.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
- Now add tomato and cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes are mushy.
- Add green chilli, tomato puree, Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, tikka masala and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add grilled chicken and 1/2 cup of water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add fresh cream, honey and kauri methi and cook for another minute.
- Heat the piece of charcoal over direct flame until it is red hot.
- Keep a bowl in the centre of the karahi with the chicken and keep the hot charcoal piece in the bowl.
- Pour ghee on top of the charcoal and immediately cover the karahi with a lid.
- Let it rest for 15 minutes for the smoke to incorporate in the masala.
- Serve hot with naan or laccha paratha.
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