Easy Chicken Tikka Masala
This recipe has been one of our go-to family recipes for years. We love Indian food around here and my kids seem to like masala best of Indian dishes. It’s a tomato base to the sauce so it’s not as daring as some other curries. This Easy Chicken Tikka Masala is a great way to add some Indian food to your dinner rotations.
You can also make this Easy Chicken Tikka Masala in the crock pot – just cook the onions and chicken in the crock pot with some salt, garlic, and garam masala sprinkled over it. Then when it’s done, transfer chicken and onions to a large sautee pan or saucepan and finish recipe with spices, tomato paste, stock, and coconut milk. This dish is dairy free, sugar free, and gluten free so it’s a crowd pleaser when friends or family are on diets/have allergy restrictions.
Easy Chicken Tikka Masala
- 3 Tbsp. oil
- 5 large boneless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated ginger
- 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
- 4 tbsp. garam masala
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. cayennne pepper depending on how spicy, you like it or you can omit
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2-3 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie stock add more or less depending on how thick you'd like it
- 1 can coconut milk 14 oz (or heavy cream)
- For serving: Plain yogurt cilantro, & rice (basmati is best with indian food!)
Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of the garam masala and cook on each side until cooked through. Cook until golden brown, about 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
To the same pot, add onion, garlic, and ginger to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, about 8–10 minutes.
Add tomato paste, additional 3 tbsp. of garam masala, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne - and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste is beginning to darken, about 4 minutes.
Add chicken pieces and chicken stock to pan. Stir until sauce has thickened. Then add coconut milk.
Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is tender and liquid is slightly thickened (the longer it simmers, the longer the flavors have to mix. You can simmer for as little as 20 minutes, or even up to an hour).
If sauce is too thick, thin with a bit more chicken stock. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, spoon stew into a shallow bowl and place a large dollop of yogurt on one side. Sprinkle with some fresh chopped mint, cilantro or parsley and serve with naan on the side. Also great with warm basmati rice.
Basically, just cook up some chicken and onions, add tomato paste, stock, coconut milk and a lot of spices. It’s one of those dishes that seems like it’d be difficult but is really easy!