chicken tikka masala with rice in tourenes

Chicken Tikka Masala

This dish should really be called Chicken Tikka Masala 2.0. I looked back at my early recipe for the dish and decided it needed a few upgrades. Namely, the chicken kabobs needed more time to marinade and then go onto the grill before going in the pan with the sauce. I also used whipping cream in the marinade to give it a richer flavor and adjusted some of the spices.

chicken tikka masala up close

I love these beautiful copper tourenes that Ginny bought for me! They add so much flash to the pictures with Indian dishes. One day when I have saved up lots of money I want to take a food and culture tour of India and learn some of the secrets to this vast array of cuisines on the subcontinent. Until then, I will live vicariously through their food.

chicken tikka masala with rice and lime

I recently learned there is a dispute about whether this dish was invented in India. Some claim that it came about somewhere in the United Kingdom. But such is the way of culture and food…it is always changing and evolving. It’s delicious wherever it came from!

Ginny is on vacation in San Francisco and has left me to my devices in the kitchen. This usually means a bit of experimentation and lots of leftovers. She just saw the redwoods for the first time and was awe inspired by their size. She will return to Arkansas on Wednesday and hopefully have some tasty recipes in mind for the weekend.

Lots of recipes for chicken tikka masala call for tomatoes, but I have found you get a richer, more consistent texture by using a bit of tomato paste instead. If you do use tomatoes, make sure they are ripe and cook them down well.

Grilling the chicken kabobs was lots of fun. It only took a few minutes and added a new level of flavor to the final dish. I had the grill set on about 400 degrees.

chicken tikka on skewers up close

Soak the skewers in water for a few minutes before putting the chicken on to prevent them from burning. As you can see, my skewers did brown some but they did NOT catch on fire.

chicken tikka on plate

If the final product is too acidic or spicy, a bit of fresh plain yogurt makes a great topping to tame it down a bit.

chicken tikka masala with rice from angle



For the marinade:

  • 2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. ginger powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 tbsp. whipping cream

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced thin
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. whipping cream
  • cilantro for garnish


  1. Place chicken in a medium bowl. In another bowl, mix together remaining marinade ingredients and pour over chicken. Let marinade for at least two hours.
  2. Heat grill to about 400 degrees. Spray olive oil or non stick spray on grill to prevent sticking. Place chicken chunks on skewers and put on grill, cooking for 4-5 minutes per side or until grill marks are visible. Remove from grill.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Place onion in pan and cook for a bout 15 minutes or until reduced and brown. Add ginger and garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add remaining ingredients except whipping cream and simmer until well blended. Add chicken into pan and simmer for a few more minutes. Remove pan from heat and slowly add in the cream, making sure it does not separate into chunks. Less heat is better here. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over white basmati rice. Enjoy!





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