How to Prepare Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala - traditional dish of indian cuisine in a clay bowl over dark blue slate, stone or concrete background.Top view with copy space.
Photo by Liliya Kandrashevich, c/o

The chicken tikka masala is justifiably the national dish of the United Kingdom, it certainly is if you have it as an Indian takeaway. The current recipe may even have originated in the United Kingdom with the British Indian community although the Indian sub-continent throws up its own versions.

Frankly, there are many levels of tikka masala available from Indian restaurants in the UK and it is a measure of how good the establishment is if they can knock out a decent one. It seems to go well with a crisp Indian lager like Kingfisher.

The dish itself is chunks of roasted chicken marinated in a spicy curry sauce. It is always served with basmati rice and more importantly at least one naan bread. Plain naan is ideal but a case must be made for the garlic version or Peshwari naan bread in this instance. The tikka masala pastes can be bought ready-made or prepared accordingly but to save time we’ve gone for the bought in version.

It is a truly easy dish to prepare.

Serves: 2 – 3

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes.  


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5g butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp chicken tikka masala paste 
  • 1 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2½ cm cubes
  • 1 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney (you can make your own if you follow the link but I still buy Sharwoods or Pataks because of their sticky sweetness).
  • 50ml double cream
  • 50ml natural yogurt
  • a good handful of chopped coriander leaves, to serve


  1. Slice the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 2½ cm cubed pieces.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil and  butter in a large, lidded casserole on the hob, then add the roughly chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Cook for 15-20 minutes until soft and golden.
  3. Add the chicken tikka masala paste and red pepper, cut into chunks, then cook for 5 mins more to cook out the rawness of the spices.
  4. Add the cut chicken pieces  and stir well to coat in the paste. Cook for 2 mins, then tip in the can of chopped tomatoes, the tomato purée and 50 to 70ml water.
  5. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 15 mins, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Remove the lid, stir through the mango chutney, double cream and natural yogurt, then gently warm through.
  7. Season, then set aside whatever you want to freeze. Scatter over the dish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice and naan bread.
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