Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

From Ellen's kitchen with thanks to Cook's Illustrated

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka:
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 lbs boned, skinned chicken breasts
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs grated fresh ginger
Ingredients for Masala Sauce:
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 serrano chile, de-seeded and minced
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs garam masala
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt in small bowl.  Sprinkle on both sides of chicken breasts, pressing gently so mixture adheres.  Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic warp, and let sit in fridge for 30-60 minutes.  
  • large bowl, combine yogurt, vegetable oil, garlic, and ginger and set aside.
  • oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 8-10 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala, stirring until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt and bring to a boil.  Turn heat to simmer for 15 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.  Add cream, and return to simmer.  Remove from heat and keep warm.
  • sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to middle-upper position (about 6" from broiler) and heat broiler (or convection broil, if have that setting).  Using tongs, dip chicken breasts into yogurt, giving each a good coating, and arrange on wire rack in foil lined, rimmed baking sheet.  Discard excess yogurt mixture.  Broil chicken to 160, about 10-18 minutes, flipping once during cooking.  
  • chicken rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1 inch chunks, and stir into warm sauce.  Stir in cilantro, adjust flavor with salt, and serve over rice.


  1. Sous vide version: Combine the Chicken tikka mixture and chicken breast in bag. Sous vide at 150F for at least 1 hour (2 if chicken is frozen). Once cooked, chop and put into Masala sauce prepared normally. Skip the broiling, it's not worth it.


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