I’m in love with this chicken tikka masala recipe — it’s restaurant quality, made from scratch, and easy to make. It’s relatively quick to whip up as well; most of the time is spent marinating the chicken and only 20 minutes is spent simmering the sauce on the stove. If chicken tikka masala is your go-to dish to order at Indian restaurants, then you’ve got to try this!
UPDATE: I added an Instant Pot chicken tikka masala recipe for those of you who prefer to use your pressure cooker.
Making your own Indian food at home without store-bought sauces can sound daunting, but in practice it is a lot easier than it sounds! Tikka masala sauce is essentially just tomato puree mixed with heavy cream and garam masala, and then simmered until it becomes a nice thick sauce. Garam masala is simply a mix of dried spices like cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc. I recommend buying this dried Indian spice mix — it’s available at your local Whole Foods market and also on Amazon. A small amount will last you a long time and through many chicken tikka masalas!
Let me give you some background on my history with chicken tikka masala. My obsession with it started about a decade ago, when I was living with a roommate who introduced me to the world of Indian food. I fell in love with chicken tikka masala and since then, I’ve ordered it every time I’ve seen it on a menu. On average, I eat chicken tikka masala A FEW TIMES A WEEK 😮 — whether it be at a restaurant, the store-bought frozen kind (anyone else equally obsessed with Trader Joe’s frozen chicken tikka masala?), or various homemade ones. I’ve experimented with more chicken tikka masala recipes than I can count, and this recipe is my favorite! It’s the perfect combination of not-too-complicated (I’ve tried to pare it down to the essentials) and super tasty (I can’t tell the difference between this recipe and the kind I’ve had in restaurants).
Also, this recipe makes a very, very generous amount of sauce! The sauce-to-chicken ratio is very high. So there is PLENTY of sauce left to soak your basmati rice in, or to dip with naan. Yum!
If you like chicken tikka masala, you should also check out this delicious Indian-inspired dry curry dish: golden cauliflower curry with potatoes.
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