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Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Murgh Tikka Masala or Chicken Tikka Masala has now replaced Tandoori chicken as the most popular Indian dish in the world.

bar Chicken Tikka Masala
It is believed that Chicken Tikka Masala originated from the kitchens of Bangladeshi chefs in the UK. It is a great way to introduce a first time ‘curry eater’ to Indian food.

Picture by William Lingwood

Serves 4

The Sauce:
4 tomatoes, chopped
6 tbsp double cream
2in piece ginger root, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
2 onions, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp salt
A pinch of garam masala
1 recipe quantity Tandoori chicken bites

Tandoori Chicken Bites:

2tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp natural yogurt
1 tsp garam masala
4 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp paprika
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp tomato puree
4 garlic cloves, crushed
5cm/2.5in piece fresh ginger, grated
450g/1lb or 4 boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces


Place the tomatoes, cream, ginger, and garlic, in a blender and blend until a thick sauce forms, then set aside.

Heat the oil in large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add the bay leaves and onions and fry, stirring constantly for 6 to 8 minutes until the onions are golden brown.

Add the chillies, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, and garam masala and stir 1 minute, or until you can smell the aroma of the spices. Watch carefully so the mixture does not burn.

Add the chicken pieces and fry, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir the tomato and cream mixture into the pan. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer 3 minutes.

Bring a kettle of water to a boil while the chicken mixture is simmering. Add ½ cup boiling water to the chicken and simmer another minute, stirring, or until droplets of fat appear on the surface. Serve hot with buttery spinach and potatoes and plain basmati rice.

Chicken Bites:

Preheat the oven to 180C/350C/gas mark 4 or turn the grill onto medium.
Soak six wooden skewers in cold water for 15 minutes. This prevents them from burning when they are heated.
Mix the oil, yogurt, garam masala, cream, paprika, chilli powder, cumin, salt, tomato puree, garlic and ginger together in a large bowl.

Fold in the chicken pieces, coating them well.
Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Skewer the chicken and place directly on the oven shelves or under the grill for 10-15 minutes, turning and brushing or basting them with oil at least once during grilling. Make sure the chicken is cooked right through, then remove from the grill.


(c) 2012

Spice Bites