I learned how to make chicken tikka masala at some of the best UK curry houses. Now you can make it too!
This Chicken tikka masala recipe is my kids’ all time favourite curry. They aren’t into spicy food so this and chicken korma are often on our evening menu.
My recipe is the result of many visits to curry house kitchens. I have watched it being made many times and of course made it myself hundreds of times more.
If you are a chicken tikka masala fan, this one is probably the best out there. It’s a scaled down version of the chicken tikka masala recipe in my cookbooks ‘The Curry Guy’ and ‘The Curry Guy Bible’.
In my cookbooks, the curry recipes were written to serve 4. This is a curry house portion which serves 1 – 2 people.
My chicken tikka masala recipe is not as sweet as some. I don’t personally care for overly sweet curries but if that’s what you like, add more sugar. That will do the job.
Is chicken tikka masala Indian or British?
I get asked often in my curry classes how chicken tikka masala came to be in the first place.
Chicken tikka masala, like most of the curry house curries made famous in the UK, are different to what you would expect to eat when in India
That said, the past few times I visited India, I found chicken tikka masala on the menus. Indian food made its way to the UK and we sent it back again with a British touch. Many chefs in India are now learning how to make BIR (British Indian restaurant) style curries for tourists and the curious.
The origin of chicken tikka masala…
There are many stories about the origin of chicken tikka masala. Some say that it is simply a curry house version of the world famous butter chicken which became popular in New Delhi back in the 50s. This could be true as the two curries are quite similar.
Another theory is that it was developed in a curry house in Glasgow. The story goes that a customer sent his chicken curry back because he found it two dry.
Wishing to please, the chef added tomato soup and cream to the curry. Those were the days before the essential base curry sauce which is now used at all curry houses and in this recipe. The customer loved it and the curry was added to their menu.
There are many other stories and the real truth of its origin will probably never be known. One thing is certain… people love it worldwide now.
What is the difference between this chicken tikka masala and other recipes?
Most Indian cookbooks and blogs show how to make chicken tikka masala using more authentic Indian cooking methods.
Finely chopped onions are fried and water or stock added instead of using the base sauce.
Although this does make a good curry, it’s nothing like the restaurant style chicken tikka masalas you find at curry houses.
Using a base sauce is essential for getting the correct flavour and sauce texture.
All of the authentic Indian restaurant style curry recipes on my site use a base curry sauce. My ‘go to’ recipe is here.
Most restaurants use tandoori style chicken for chicken tikka masala. Here is my recipe.
Personally, I think this one needs to be made with tandoori chicken! If you prefer spicier curries like me, this sauce is delicious heated up some with fresh chopped green chillies and/or chilli powder. It would not longer be a chicken tikka masala but from experience, it is really good.
Following are a some step by step cooking photos of this chicken tikka masala.
Here are more curry house curry favourites you might like to try!
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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. This nutritional info is just an estimate.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 489Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 489mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 14g
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
This nutritional info is just an estimate.
Other ways to make this chicken tikka masala your own…
As with all curry house style recipes, you can make this chicken tikka masala to taste.
In fact, it doesn’t need to be a chicken tikka masala at all. It’s all about the sauce!
Just like when you go out for a curry and see tikka masala on the menu, you can decide which main ingredient to use. Try substituting tandoori lamb, paneer and/or king prawns in this curry.
All are delicious.