How to make it

  • The Problem: Chicken tikka masala is not an authentic Indian dish—it was invented in a London curry house. Without historical roots, there is no definitive recipe. The variations we found had mushy or dry chicken and sauces that were unbearably rich and/or overspiced.
  • The Goal: The promise of a new way to cook chicken with exotic flavors holds plenty of appeal—especially if the recipe can be kept simple and made with readily available ingredients.
  • The Solution: To season the bird, we rubbed it with salt, coriander, cumin, and cayenne and refrigerated it for 30 to 60 minutes. Then we dipped it in yogurt mixed with oil, garlic, and ginger. To cook the chicken, we chose to keep this a year-round recipe by using the broiler instead of the grill. And since large pieces don't dry out as quickly as smaller ones under the broiler, we cooked the chicken breasts whole, only cutting them into pieces after cooking. While the chicken was cooking, we made the masala sauce. Masala means "hot spice," and the ingredients in a masala sauce depend on the whim of the cook, although tomatoes and cream are always present. We added onions, ginger, garlic, chile, and a readily available commercial garam masala spice mixture (McCormick won a recent taste test). A little tomato paste and sugar gave our sauce color and sweetness.
  • 1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside. (Note that restaurant Tikka Masala will sit in the mixture ideally overnight, per another group recipes user who commented on this recipe)
  • 2. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
  • 3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
  • 4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.

Reviews & Comments 10

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  • abermouse 5 years ago
    Incidentally, all of the people who commented that the recipe is "wrong" are saying this about America's Test Kitchen, which is where i got it. They do all of their work in a lab kitchen and try the recipe dozens of times before deciding on what worked for them. I dont know if its "right" or "wrong" but im sure that you can do this more than one way. "....(Note that restaurant Tikka Masala will sit in the mixture ideally overnight, per another group recipes user who commented on this recipe)"
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  • AlaninAZ 8 years ago
    Sdc - sorry you are wrong.on this one. Just make the recipe and you will see.

    It is common to marinate in yoghurt and spices for a good while but actually a salt/spice rub is faster and achieves the same spicing result - the yoghurt meanwhile is used to do what it does best - keep the food moist while cooking and create a little crusting. It just works and turns out good CTM. And yes I know what it is suposed to taste like - I'm British - just try it.

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  • abermouse 9 years ago
    Sdc thank you for letting me know. I posted this recipe out of interest rather than experience. This is very good information you have provided.
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  • sdc 9 years ago
    This recipie is totaly wrong it will not create an indian resturant style chicken tikka masala. A crucial part of a chicken tikka masala method is the chicken should be marinated in the yogurt and spice mixture for several hours or overnight, it is the yogurt/spice mixture that breaks down the fibres in the chicken and tenderises it and infuses spices into it.
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    " It was excellent "
    trev ate it and said...
    I had this when I ate out once and it is one of my most remembered meals. It'll be great to be able to make it. Thanks.
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  • cabincrazyone 11 years ago
    This is a must try! Sounds great. Thanks for the post.
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  • abermouse 11 years ago
    ...And remember to make basmati rice to go with! I love to make the rice with just a few cardamom pods, a clove or two and a few black pepper corns it in for flavor, added into the rice during cooking.
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  • chefmal 11 years ago
    Oh my gawd, this would kill me. But I must try it.
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    " It was excellent "
    divaliscious ate it and said...
    my favorite Indian dish! Thanks for the perfect posting.
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  • cheryilyn 11 years ago
    Loving this. Thanks.
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