A classic mild Indian curry! Chicken marinated in yogurt and spices then grilled on the BBQ tandoori style. Served in a tikka sauce of tomato, cream and spices.

Chicken Tikka Masala

There is not much better than some good Indian food. Every few weeks it is either my wife or I that first get the craving for Indian curry. The other is never opposed to it and I am always happy to cook up a curry. Typically, I make butter chicken, tandoori chicken or beef curry.

Lately though, I have been wanting to make chicken tikka. I am not sure why, up to now, I have never made a tikka sauce. I have tried most others, but this was my first time cooking it. After dinner I knew this would become a regular dish I made. It was incredible!

Tikka is arguably the most popular Indian dish around the world. Chicken tikka is a favourite in Indian restaurants all over but it is also considered a British national dish. The origin of chicken tikka is under hot debate with two locations claiming the right to creating the first tikka dish. Most accept that it was likely first created in an Indian restaurant. One place is in the region of Punjab and the other is in Glasgow. Crazy, as those places are not even close to each other. Either way, tikka has been around for 50 or so years and it is a wonderful mild curry.

This chicken tikka masala recipe dish has two main components; the chicken and the sauce. I cubed the chicken breast and marinated it in a spiced yogurt marinade. After it had been marinated for at least 6 hours I put the chicken cubes on skewers and grilled them on the BBQ.

It is the same method I use to make tandoori chicken. In a saucepan I make the sauce bringing it to a boil and then a simmer. Once the chicken is grilled, it is added to the sauce and simmered for 10 minutes or so. It turned out beautifully!

A classic mild Indian curry! Chicken marinated in yogurt and spices then grilled on the BBQ tandoori style. Served in a tikka sauce of tomato, cream and spices.

My kids had never had tikka before, but they love mild curries that have a lot of sauce. This chicken tikka masala recipe did not disappoint and the boys went through a couple naan breads each sopping up the curry sauce.

I also have a slow cooker version of this recipe. Check it out here – Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

5 out of 5
1 review
A classic mild Indian curry recipe! Chicken marinated in yogurt and spices then grilled on the BBQ tandoori style. Served in a tikka sauce or tomato, cream and spices.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 4 chicken breasts cubed

Chicken Marinade

  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp ginger finely minced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Tikka Sauce

  • 3 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 2 cups crushed or strained tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 cups cream 10%
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped


  • Prepare the marinade for the sauce by mixing the yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin and cayenne pepper. Mix the chicken throughout the marinade ensuring they are fully coated. Marinate in the fridge a minimum of 6 hours.
  • Place the chicken cubes on skewers and grill on the BBQ until fully cooked.
  • Make the sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan. Add the paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt. Stir and let the spices bloom for a couple minutes. Add the tomatoes and honey and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cream and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  • Once the chicken is grilled, remove from the skewers and add to the tikka sauce. Simmer for a final 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
  • Serve with rice and/or naan bread



A classic mild Indian curry! Chicken marinated in yogurt and spices then grilled on the BBQ tandoori style. Served in a tikka sauce of tomato, cream and spices.

Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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  • That’s an awesome looking tikka masala. I had some just a couple of months ago. I loved it. Your recipe sounds great.

  • I have not make tikka masala yet…I wish we were neighbors so you could share! 🙂 I love all of the flavors, I must add this to my menu soon!

  • We were just out for Indian buffet today at lunch! Tikka Masala is one of my favorite dishes and the kids like it too. I have a sauce from the UK that tastes pretty good but now I will definitely try making it on my own. Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Indian buffet……drool. There are a bunch around here and I love them. Love trying all the different curries. Dana, let me know when you try this and what you think. It was to-die-for!! I can wait for leftovers tonight. Say hi to the rest of the fam from us!

  • Great photos, Steve! What a yummy dinner.

    PS. I’ve only tempered chocolate once…and it was not difficult at all. But it was tedious waiting for the temp of the chocolate to drop…felt Iike I was watching paint dry!

    • Thanks Liz, it was. One of these days, I want to try the technique of tempering chocolate. It is something that I have steered away from thinking it is too advanced.

  • I love tikka masala but have not made it yet myself, want to give me some of yours?? haha..I need to try this though. Where do you find that garam masala? I don’t recall ever seeing it at my local grocery, but then again, I’ve never had a reason to look for it 😉

    • Hi Julie – swing by, there is extra in the fridge! 🙂

      I buy garam masala at a local Indian grocery store. If you do not have that option and you cannot find it, you could make your own. Garam Masala is just a spice blend, like Asian five spice. The main ingredients are cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper. If you have access to those you can make your own garam masala.

  • What a great dish, this looks so flavorful and I love your recipe! Your pictures rock too! Feel free to stop by my blog and check out the $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card giveaway going on right now! 🙂

  • This is one of my favorite Indian dishes, and your version looks lovely and creamy 🙂

  • All I can say is that I cannot wait for dinner tonight – all these leftovers!!! Yippee!!!

    • Reply
  • Warm flavors and writing. 🙂 Thanks for this.

  • Wow, this looks incredible! Love tikka masala, I’m going to have to give this recipe a try!

  • This looks utterly fantastic, Steve. I am madly in love with Indian food. I make chicken curry often but have not yet tried to make Tikka Masala. Seeing this photo, I really really want to try it now.

    • Thanks Janet! We are also in love with Indian. I love the aroma in the house as it simmers on the stove.

  • Oh yesssss….must make this! Sounds divine!

  • That looks sooo good!I love chicken tikka

  • oh yum! i love tikka masala, so much flavour. thanks for sharing your recipe.

    so glad you dropped by my blog and left a note so i could learn more about you. lovely blog! i’ll be sure to visit again.


    • I am glad I popped over there too! Nice to have you over here. Stop by anytime. And yes, Tikka is amazing!

  • I love Indian Food – we just had some last night as a matter of fact! This recipe is printed and waiting for our next Indian food fix!! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Thanks so much for the shout out on your page for this recipe. I really appreciate it!!

  • Looks wonderful!! I can just imagine how good it was sopping up the gravy with the naan.: )

  • I love the way you have presented this dish and the recipe does sound incredible!
    Being Indian, I do cook a lot of Indian food and this curry looks great!

    • There is a stamp of approval that I will take anytime!! Thanks a lot.

  • Greetings from Kansas, I am a first time visitor and have just spent the last 45 minutes going from post to post in your blog! This chicken dish looks amazing. I have added you to my RSS feed … can’t wait to see more.

    • Reply
  • Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at foodepix.com.

  • yum! one of my favourite dishes. this looks amazing, stunning photos and a seemingly easy to follow recipe! i only ever make nonya curry, but indian curries, i always find very daunting! thanks for sharing and i’ll let u know how i go when i try my hands at it!

  • Looks fabulous, and I LOVE chicken tikka masala and Indian food in general. Did you guys know that Indian food is the fastest growing cuisine in this country! We’ve gone to an Indian buffet place in our town for 15 years. Our kids grew up eating this stuff & they all loved it all the way down to my-then 6-year old. The tradition continues as they all seek out Indian cuisine wherever they are. Can’t wait to try this.

    • Reply
  • […] Chicken tikka masala is easily the most popular Indian dish in our home. Everyone in the family loves Indian curry, but not everyone loves the heat. Tikka masala brings a nice mild curry flavor with a hint of sweetness. I have a traditional recipe for the dish found here – Chicken Tikka Masala. […]

  • Hi! When you say “add cream” in step 3. What kind of cream are you talking about? Thanks!

    • Reply
    • I use 10% cream that, in Canada, is called Half and Half cream.

  • I’ve made this recipe several times and it is great.

    • Reply

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