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Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


chicken tikka

  • 500g (1 lb) boneless, skineless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 5ml (1 tsp) fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 5ml (1 tsp) garlic, finely chopped
  • 5ml (1 tsp) chili powder
  • 1.25ml (¼ tsp) turmeric
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) ground coriander
  • 5ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 150ml (¼ pint) natural yogurt
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) lemon juice
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) coriander leaves
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) lime juice

masala sauce

  • 50g (2 oz) ghee or 30ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2.5cm (1 inch) piece of fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 cardamoms, bruised
  • 10ml (2 tsp) garam masala
  • 10ml (2 tsp) ground coriander
  • 2.55ml (½ – 1 tsp) chili powder
  • 300ml (½ pint) double cream
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) tomato purée
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) hot water
  • 2.5ml (½ tsp) sugar
  • 2.5ml (½ tsp) salt


  1. First, prepare the chicken. Mix together the chicken, ginger, garlic, chili powder, turmeric, ground coriander, salt, yogurt, lemon juice and 15ml (1 tbsp) chopped coriander in a large, non-metallic dish. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. To make the masala sauce, heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and fry over a low heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until soft but not browned.
  3. Add the spices and fry, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, then add the cream, tomato purée, water, sugar and salt. Bring to the boil over a moderate heat, stirring, then lower the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand while cooking the chicken.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread on wooden skewers. Cook under a preheated grill, turning frequently, for 6-8 minutes until tender and cooked through.
  5. Remove the cubes of chicken from the skewers and put them in the masala sauce. Place over a low heat and simmer, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining chopped coriander leaves and the lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished and coriander leaves and slices of lime and accompanied by plain boiled rice, chapattis or naan bread.


  • Serve with boiled basmati rice, chapattis or naan bread.
  • To save time I placed the onions, ginger and garlic in a food processor and blitzed them all into a paste, which makes for a smoother sauce.
  • For those who don’t like their food to have too much of a bite, go easy on the chili powder.
  • The acid in the yogurt and lemon and lime juice helps to break down the muscle fibres in meat. The longer you leave the meat in the marinade, the tenderer it will be.


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 135
  • Sodium: 1559 mg
  • Fat: 4.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.5 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 20.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 58 mg