Mouth Watering Chicken Tikka Masala

cook cooking




For the marinade

  • 2 large pieces ginger 
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 400ml Greek yogurt
  • pinch chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 small green chilli
  • red food colouring (optional)

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp powdered fenugreek
  • ½ tsp powdered paprika
  • 4 cardamom pods, lightly bashed
  • 1 large piece cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 50g ground almonds
  • pinch soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 680ml passata
  • 100ml crème fraîche or double cream
  • fresh coriander leaves, flaked almonds, garam masala and smoked salt (optional), to serve


First remove the skin from the chicken and put a cut about a quarter way through each thigh two or three times. Put into a bowl or plastic container and toss with the lime juice and ½ tsp salt. Set to one side while you make the marinade.

In a food processor put  the ginger and garlic and blend to make a paste, add a little water if needed. Set aside half of the paste for the sauce. Tip the remaining marinade ingredients into the food processor, then blend to a smooth paste. Pour the paste over the chicken and marinate for at least 4 hrs . (We recommend overnight for a better richer flavour. )

To make the sauce, heat 2 tbsp of the ghee ( clarified butter)  or regular butter in a large shallow pan with a lid. Lightly brown the onions for 15 minutes  over a medium heat. Add the spices and remaining garlic and ginger paste, and cook for around 2 mins. Stir in the tomato purée, ground almonds, a pinch of sugar and vinegar. Cook for around 1 min. Pour in the passata ( Tomato), then fill the jar or carton halfway up with water  - shake to capture any tomato and then add this to the mix. Gently simmer, then cook for 2-3 hrs until you have a thick, red sauce. This can be kept chilled in the fridge for up to 48 hrs while you marinate the chicken.

Set your grill to its highest setting; Remove the chicken from the marinade, wiping off any excess and  reserve for the sauce.  Arrange the chicken on a large baking tray cut-side up. Place under the grill , and grill for around 10-15 mins or until charred and starting to blacken slightly.. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside with the cooking juices. Reheat the sauce, adding the reserved marinade, then tip the chicken and any pan juices,  add the crème fraîche or cream into the curry sauce. 


Cook for 40 mins until the chicken is completely tender. Stir the remaining butter or ghee in at the end.

Leave the curry to sit for a few mins, then season with the garam masala and smoked salt, if using. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and flaked almonds, ideally served with Pilau Rice and a Nan Bread - goes especially well with a Garlic and Coriander Nan. 

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