Chicken Tikka Masala

This has become my go-to for mercy meals — if the family likes Indian food and doesn’t need to cut out dairy, this is probably what I’ll bring. It also makes a great freezer meal.

Originally posted in March 2009: I saw this recipe a while ago on Bethany’s blog and finally decided to try it this week. Oh my. It was goo-ood. And, best of all, Simon ate it up (it’s hard to get him to eat, so this is definitely a keeper). I made a few substitutions from the original recipe to make it lighter (with Jason’s full knowledge).


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut in 1-inch cubes


  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, minced
  • 6 (6-inch) bamboo skewers


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (I omitted this, and it was just spicy enough for us)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk (the original recipe calls for the same amount of whipping cream)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade, add chicken pieces, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator (or for at least an hour).
  2. Thread chicken onto bamboo skewers, and grill or broil until thoroughly cooked (8 to 10 minutes).
  3. For the sauce, melt butter in a skillet and saute the garlic and jalapeno (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add the spices and the tomato sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken and coconut milk (or cream) and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice and naan.

4 Responses

  1. Oooh. I made this once and we loved it. Now I’m craving it.

  2. Mm, I love this recipe. I usually skip the whole bamboo skewer thing, and just throw some foil on a baking sheet and broil the chicken.

  3. I discovered this dish when we were traveling Australia. I swear we had at least four nights a week. Love it. Yum.

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