Preparation time: 10 minutes + marination (2-12 hours)
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Chicken tikka masala, an interesting way to prepare chicken breasts. Specifically recommended to those who enjoy to serve their food spicy, yet tasteful as well as healthy. Prepare such a chicken variation today with us at Hana’s Recipes!

How did we get to chicken tikka masala?

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that a dish like chicken tikka masala is traditionally Indian. What might be considered interesting though is that there have also been British influences along the way, when chicken tikka masala was evolving. This is because in the mid-20th century, Indian cuisine was highly popular in Britain due to the migration of South Asians to the UK.

Although the exact origins of chicken tikka masala are still widely debated, there is one theory that stands out and is believed by the majority of experts. It claims that the dish was discovered in the 1960s by a Bangladeshi chef in Glasgow, Scotland (due to the mentioned migration influences). The story tells that there was a customer in his restaurant complaining about the chicken tikka being too dry to serve. The chef therefore started improvising and came up with the idea to moisten the dish with the tomato sauce, spiced with garam masala blend. And that’s how the recipe was created!

Newly born chicken tikka masala quickly spread across all Indian restaurants in Britain. Thanks to its enriched, specially creamy sauce using not only garam masala but different spice blends immediately appealed to British preferences. After a while, the meal has become one of the most ordered chicken dishes in the UK.

It will also not be surprising to you that chicken tikka masala managed to persuade the rest of the world about its significant combination of flavours. Shortly after, the recipe evolved outside of UK and cultural variations using special regional ingredients were formed. Therefore, some versions of chicken tikka masala tend to be spicier these days, while others enrich the flavours of the dish by either adding the cream or yoghurt for the sauce base.

Enough of the history though and let’s get to cooking! Follow clear and easy steps of the photo recipe below for this Indian-British chicken meal!


  • 400 g of chicken breasts,
  • 4 tablespoons of white yoghurt,
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil,
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice,
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala spice blend,
  • ½ tsp of turmeric,
  • 1 tbsp of ground paprika (can be spicy too),
  • 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger,
  • 1 clove of garlic,
  • Salt,
  • Ground black pepper,
  • 300 ml of tomato puree,
  • 150 ml of coconut milk

Preparation of the chicken tikka masala


Properly clean and dice the chicken breasts. Salt and pepper. Then prepare a marinade in a bowl. Grate 1 clove of garlic and 1 clove of fresh ginger and add white yoghurt together with spices. Mix all with olive oil and lemon juice.

Chicken tikka masala. Photo: Andrea


Mix the chicken with the prepared marinade and let it soak up in the refrigerator for 2-12 hours.

Chicken tikka masala. Photo: Andrea


After the above is finished, start frying the marinated meat in the pan. Roast on the medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Chicken tikka masala. Photo: Andrea


When the chicken pieces are pulled from all sides, add the tomato puree. Mix well. Let it bubble for another 2 minutes.

Chicken tikka masala. Photo: Andrea


Next, pour the coconut milk from the can (don’t forget to shake before opening). Stir, taste the sauce and, if necessary, add salt and pepper again.

Chicken tikka masala. Photo: Andrea

All done! Hopefully the preparation went as planned and now you may enjoy your chicken tikka masala to the fullest with all family members or visitors, depending on the occasion you had in mind while preparing the dish!

In case you still have some meat leftovers and are not yet tired of chicken recipes, Hana’s Recipes recommends trying out these specialties: Spicy chicken wings, pasta salad with chicken pieces or pineapple chicken curry, where leftover coconut milk as well as spice blends can be utilised too!

Are you preparing lunch or dinner of several courses? Then Hana’s Recipes also advices to take a look at the traditional Eastern European recipe for the chicken soup, where leftovers can be ideally consumed as well!

Similar chicken tikka masala videorecipe

FAQ no.1: Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

Yes! It is certainly possible to use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Although breasts tend to be typically utilised within the classic chicken tikka masala recipe, chicken thighs have the power to make the overall meal juicier by adding more flavour and aroma to the dish. Therefore, it might be more beneficial to base the recipe on them in order to let all the spicy tastes combine very well together for a satisfactory outcome. However, do not forget that the choice is always yours!
Bon appetite!


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