Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

chicken tikka masala

For today (and the future), something fun and different because it’s Saturday and spring and who doesn’t need to change it up a bit?

A few weeks ago, a my friends suggested that I try and do something like come up with a menu to pair with a movie.  Good idea, and I do always like to take friend suggestions for foods (so send them over!), and I love me a good theme party even more.  However, it wasn’t until I thought about how this would happen when the new Bridget Jones comes out this fall (blue soup, omelet, marmalade) that I started to really get an idea in my head as to how to do it.  With that, I made a list of movies that’d be fun to cook and, for the inaugural Screen Cuisine series, we’re kicking it off with Slumdog Millionaire and a new recipe for chicken tikka masala

chicken tikka masalaPicMonkey Collagechicken tikka masala

If you haven’t seen it, use this as an excuse to get to seeing it, and to eat some delicious Indian food beside it. It’s an oldie (oldie!) but goody and really does leave you with all the feels, and the foodstuff will leave you with all the fulls. 

Also, the song at the end…well, one of my workout faves.

Overly-simplistic synopsis via IMDBA Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is accused of cheating on the Indian Version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”


Photo from IMDB

Welcome to tonight’s eating of Slumdog Millionaire

Cocktail or Mocktail Hour

Hasty Devonshire

Mango Lassi


Apple Chutney with Chapati

Tandoori Chicken Flatbread Pizza

The Main Course

Chicken Tikka Masala

Garlic naan

Wam Beverage and Dessert

Chavel Kheer or Kulfi

Chai Tea

This recipe for chicken tikka masala came at the request of Apple Crisp, and was made possible by the recipe suggestion of Vert.  Truly a friend effort.  I adapted this from a Cooks’ Illustrated version, adding a bit more spice to suit my taste, and a bit lighter cream to suit my waist (didn’t even try on that rhyme! #Skillz). I made it mine, now it’s time for you to make it yours.

chicken tikka masalaPicMonkey Collage2

Recipe notes:

I used half and half but if you want a truly authentic tikka, use heavy cream in all its glory.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4
Traditional creamy chicken tikka masala
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
For the chicken
  1. 1/2 tsp cumin
  2. 1/2 tsp coriander
  3. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1 -1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  6. 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
  7. 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (2 tsp)
  8. 1 TB fresh ginger, grated
For the sauce
  1. 2 TB vegetable oil
  2. 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  3. 3 garlic cloves minced
  4. 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  5. 1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  6. 1 TB tomato paste
  7. 1 1/2 TB garam masala
  8. 1/4 tsp turmeric
  9. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  10. 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 2 TB)
  11. 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  12. 4 tsp sugar
  13. 1/2 tsp salt
  14. 1 tsp black pepper
  15. 1 cup half and half or cream
  16. 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  17. Rice or naan to serve
  1. Make 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.
  2. Make the sauce: Heat oil in large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeño, tomato paste, garam masala, paprika, turmeric, and lemon juice; 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. Cover to keep warm.
  3. While sauce simmers, 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. Broil chicken about 12 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
  4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes. While the chicken is resting, add the cream to the sauce, and simmer 5 minute until the chicken is done resting. Cut the chicken into 1" chunks, and add the chicken to the sauce, let heat through about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve with rice or naan.
  1. Half and half or cream. Your call!
Adapted from Cooks' Illustrated
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World
chicken tikka masala

Written after a lovely tea party.

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2 thoughts on “Chicken Tikka Masala”

  • Thanks so much for including my flatbread here Chrissy. This looks delish! Most other recipes I’ve found have the seasoning and yogurt together to marinate the chicken. This version is the opposite and I need to give this a try. That sauce sounds wonderful from all the ingredients. Thanks!

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