Chicken Tikka Masala/ Spicy Chicken Tikka Curry

Chicken Tikka Masala is a spicy Indian Chicken dish with thick gravy and intense flavours. The deep saffron colored dish is extremely alluring with its rich, aromatic gravy and smokey flavours. Served with Ghee rice, Pulao, Plain rice, Pita Bread, Naan, Paneer Kulcha etc.  Chicken Tikka Masala is a popular Indian curry, famous all over the world.

Butter chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala looks similar with their thick tomato gravy, although the flavours are different. Chicken Tikka Masala has more intense tangy flavours and the smoky flavours from charred chicken pieces, while butter chicken gravy is richer and creamier.  Those who love Indian curry cannot resist this delicious Indian Chicken Tikka Masala.  There are several claims to its place of origin- and some chefs claim they made this curry to please their British customers when they complained about Chicken Tikka being dry.  Maybe that is the reason for its popularity in UK.

This recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala involves few steps like marination, grilling and curry preparation. Marination for at least 4 hours is required, overnight marination will give you juicier and flavourful tikka. In this recipe I have pan grilled the Chicken Tikka. You can also grill it in the oven or tandoor for better smoky flavours. Please check my Chicken Tikka recipe for perfect grilling. The spiced Curry sauce is made with Onion, Tomatoes, aromatic spices and cream. It is quite easy to prepare with less ingredients and is quite delicious and flavourful.

If you love Chicken Tikka, please do check my delicious Chicken Tikka Pizza, a wonderful, crowd pleasing dish for parties and get togethers. You may also like my grilled chicken, Chicken Satay and baked chicken roast. For curry lovers, I have quite a big collection of recipes like- Butter chicken recipe, Ginger chicken, Kerala Mutton Curry, Kashmiri Butter chicken, Spicy Beef curry, Fish Caldine, Chicken Xacuti, Fish in coconut milk curry, Nadan chicken curry, Punjabi Chicken Curry, Cauliflower Mappas or Kashmiri Mutton curry.

I do hope you will enjoy this recipe for restaurant style Chicken Tikka Masala. With a heartening combination of spices, tomatoes and cream, this delicious gravy will leave you craving for more! Enjoy!

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka Masala (Marination):

Chicken Breast

: 500 gms

Turmeric Powder

: ½ tsp

Ginger Garlic Paste

:  2 tsp

Kashmiri Chilli Powder

: 1 tsp  (or more)

Garam Masala (Check Link) 

: ½ tsp

Cumin Powder / Jeera powder

: ½ tsp

Thick Curd

: ½ cup

Kasoori Methi

: a pinch

Lime Juice

: 2 tbsp


: as required

Oil (any vegetable oil)

: 1 tbsp

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka Masala (Curry Sauce):


: 2 nos. (big)

Ginger Garlic Paste (Homemade)

: 1 tbsp


: 2 nos. (Big)

Kashmiri Chilli Powder

: 2 tsp

Coriander Powder

: 2 tsp

Turmeric Powder

: ½ tsp

Garam Masala

: 1 tsp

Cumin Powder

: ½ tsp – ¾ tsp

Fresh Cream

: 2 ½ tbsp

Tomato Ketchup

: 1 tbsp


: 1 tbsp


: 1 tbsp + ½ tbsp

Hot water

: 1 cup or more


: to taste

Coriander leaves

: for garnishing


Clean the chicken breast and drain. Cut the chicken pieces into small chunks/ bite- sized cubes. Marinate with all the listed ingredients and leave for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. Heat a thick bottomed grill pan or iron skillet, pour 1 tbsp oil and place the marinated chicken pieces and roast on high heat till slightly charred on both sides. Drain and keep aside.

Chicken Tikka Masala Chicken Tikka Masala Chicken Tikka Masala

Slice the onions roughly. Heat a non-stick pan and pour remaining oil from roasting to the pan. Add 1 tbsp butter also to the pan. Fry the onions till slightly limp and then add homemade ginger garlic paste. Sauté for two minutes and add sliced tomatoes. Mix well, cover and cook on low flame till the tomatoes are slightly mushy. Now, add the spice powders – Coriander, Chilli, turmeric, Garam Masala and Cumin Powders. Combine well and cover and cook for few more minutes. Switch off the flame and allow to cool.

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Grind into a smooth paste in a blender/ Grinder. In the same pan, add ½ tbsp butter and pour the pureed curry. Add hot water and combine well. Bring to a boil. Adjust salt and simmer for some time. Next, add the cream and Tomato Ketchup to the curry and mix well. Let it simmer and mix in the Chicken Tikka pieces.

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Cover and cook on low flame, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or more till the chicken is juicy and soft. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with plain Rice, Ghee rice, Pulao, Naan, Roti or Porotta.


  • Please adjust the spices according to your spice level.
  • Use fresh chicken breast (skinless) for best results.
  • Add more water if you need more gravy, ideally you should have a thick creamy gravy.
  • Onion spice mix should be allowed to cool before grinding. You can add water to make a smooth gravy.
  • Please check the link for Garam Masala for best results.
  • You can add little color if you prefer, usually Kasmiri Chilli color is enough.
  • I have added little cream only because of health reasons. However, Tomatoes and cream are the highlight of Chicken Tikka gravy. Add more cream as per your liking.

I would love to hear your feedback about Chicken Tikka Masala. If you like this recipe, please leave your comments and suggestions below the post, and follow/ share with your friends using the buttons on the side. You can also subscribe to my newsletter to get recipe updates on regular basis. God Bless!!

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