Chicken Tikka Masala …



I will certainly not sit here and pretend that I have any idea what I’m talking about when it comes to cooking Indian food, or Pakistani food, or English food because I certainly do not. This is honestly my first attempt at anything of the sort. Of course, I have made a curry here and there in the past, but nothing out of control; and by me saying that I’ve made “curry” means that I threw some curry powder in a skillet with other veggies and called it a “curry.” Don’t worry, I know my own faults. Anyway, this is my attempt at tikka masala, and boy did it come out spectacular. I don’t mean to toot my own horn or anything, but this may be one of my best attempts ever. I certainly learned a few things along the way. We will get into that in a moment. If you are out to try a fun and unique dish that you thought you could only get in restaurants, I suggest trying out this recipe. It’s a great beginner recipe that will take you into a whole new world of cooking (and flavor). You will appreciate it in the end. I know you will.







Chicken Tikka Masala makes me very happy. How happy you ask? Well, I blame dinner last night on my positive attitude today. Food tends to do that you know. I am so happy in fact, that I am thrilled we have leftovers for tonight. That’s right, I am thrilled there are leftovers. I’ll let you in on a little secret, I HATE leftovers. With a passion. Ever since I was little. (

Just like so many other recipes that come from near and far, this one has yet to pick a country of origin. Sure, you are going to have one country say they created it, and another say that they created it, but no one really knows for sure. This dish has a lot of great Indian flavors, so if you jump right into thinking that it comes from India, you will not be the first. Some say it is a British dish, by way of India. If you didn’t know this already, a lot of great Indian food comes from Great Britain. There are also some that think it comes from the mind of a Pakistani man. It’s all very confusing, I know, and I’m sure we will be debating this forever. The most important thing to know is how delicious it tastes. The most popular version seems to be chunks of meat (in this case chicken) tossed in a tomato-like sauce. This is exactly the route we went, and it did not disappoint.

We decided to go the “imperial” route for today’s beer pairing with Oskar Blues’ Imperial IPA: GUBNA. GUBNA is one of my favorites. It’s perfectly bitter with a touch of citrus sweetness. It pairs perfectly with spicy foods. Yes, this dish is a tad on the spicy side. Tone down the pepper usage if you are sensitive to spiciness. I would normally pair a beer like this with a Mexican-style dish, but IPAs go just as well with Indian-style foods. It’s just that good. Pale ales and your original IPAs will do as well, but if you can get your hands on GUBNA, I suggest giving it a go.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood; at least in our neighborhood =). I hope everyone has a great day!




Chicken Tikka Masala
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr, 30 min

Chicken Tikka Masala

Tikka Masala is a favorite around here, and it''s a lot easier to make than you may think. We added chicken, but the options are limitless!


  • 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 fresno pepper, stem and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, stem and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stem and seeds removed, minced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • 28 ounces whole tomatoes (large can)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup bamboo shoots
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup basmati rice, fully cooked


  • Place your cubed chicken in a shallow baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Pour the marinade on top of the chicken, making sure the chicken is evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.
  • Heat a saute pan over medium heat and drizzle in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chicken, with the marinade, (in batches if it seems overcrowded) to the pan. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • For the sauce, melt 1/4 cup of the unsalted butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the fresno, serrano and jalapeño and cook until just tender. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for another 2 minutes. At this point add the tomato paste, curry powder, garam masala and paprika. Stir with a a heavy wooden spoon so that all of the ingredients combine. Once the tomato paste has reached a deep red color, about 5-6 minutes, add the canned tomatoes, roma tomatoes, salt and chicken broth. Bring the sauce to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until it is slightly reduced and thickened.
  • Once your sauce has thickened, very gently and slowly add to a blender (this can be done in batches as well). Pulse until smooth and creamy. Transfer the sauce back to the pan and again bring it to a boil. Add the chicken and bamboo shoots and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer again for about 15 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup butter and the heavy cream. Stir to melt the butter and heat the heavy cream. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with basmati rice and Naan.


Hardware: * Cutting Board * Sharp Knife * Small Bowl * Shallow Baking Dish * Whisk * Measuring Cups * Measuring Spoons * Saute Pan * Deep Skillet * Blender * Wooden Spoons * Inactive Time: 2 hours

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