Chicken Tikka Masala!

This is actually the wrong name for the dish.  Chicken tikka is usually bite size pieces of boneless chicken grilled in a clay oven and chicken tikka masala is dish made with chicken tikka simmered in a spicy and creamy sauce.  This recipe is Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s (Modern Family) from Rachel Ray magazine and I think they made a mistake on the name of this recipe.  This is more a butter chicken masala than tikka masala.  I made a few changes to the recipe but this one is probably a keeper…pretty simple and fast to make and tastes good.  There are a few variations of this basic recipe and I plan to try some of them.

Make it vegetarian: Use the same sauce and make paneer/tofu butter masala by adding fried paneer/tofu instead of chicken.



  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot/onion finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika or red chili powder
  • 2 14.5 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 10 oz bag frozen peas


  1. In a large saucepan heat oil over medium-high
  2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño; cook stirring often for about 3 minutes*
  3. Stir in the spices and cook until aromatic; 30 seconds
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits
  5. Transfer the tomato mixture to a blender and puree
  6. Return to the pan, stir in the cream and season the sauce with salt and pepper; bring to boil
  7. Add the chicken; reduce the heat to medium-low*
  8. Simmer stirring often until the chicken is cooked through (about 15 minutes)
  9. Stir in the peas and simmer for 5 minutes*
  10. Serve with rice or naan or rotis

*My changes:

  • I used 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste in place of fresh ginger and garlic
  • I marinated cubed chicken in 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1/4 tsp  salt, 1 tsp coriander powder and 2 tbsp yogurt for about half hour (you can marinate for longer or overnight)
  • Heat oil in a pan and add marinated chicken pieces and cook them, stirring often, until they are browned on all sides
  • Then add the chicken to the sauce
  • Added a few sprigs of coriander leaves in the last minute of cooking
  • I served up a side of roasted carrots

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