Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

How about some Indian food today?  Chicken Tikka Masala is the Indian dish for people who say they don’t like Indian food (but have probably never had any).  If you don’t trust yourself and have been wanting to try your local Indian restaurant, but didn’t know what to order, you can go there and order this too (it will not be Whole 30, Paleo, blah, blah, blah).  If you are in for a restaurant experience then you might as well get it over rice and don’t forget Naan.  Garlic butter naan…little pieces of chewy grilled carb heaven.  I believe I may have gotten off track.

If, however, you are looking to spice things up in the kitchen or revisit an awesome dish, here is our first stop.

This is also an excellent opportunity to cook some extra chicken breasts for lunches and other meals!  Just sayin’…

Chicken Tikka Masala

Serves: 4
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 ½ c. full fat coconut milk, divided
  • 1 or 2—14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small to medium white onion, diced
  • ½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp. coriander
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Tikka Masala Seasoning Mix:

  1. 1 tsp. coriander
  2. 1 tsp. cumin
  3. 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  4. 1 tsp. ground ginger
  5. 1 tsp. cardamom
  6. 1 tsp. nutmeg
  7. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  8. 1 tsp. fennel seeds or substitute with ½ tsp. caraway or ½ tsp. anise
  9. ¼ tsp. cayenne
  10. ¼ tsp. ground cloves


Preheat your broiler.

Mix Tikka Masala seasonings together and set aside.

Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander. Coat each side with a ½ cup of coconut milk.

Place under the broiler, on a metal rack, and cook for 10 minutes per side, or until the edges begin to slightly blacken.  Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is cool enough to handle.  Then cut into 1-inch pieces.  Set aside.

Place a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat (Note: If you have one with high sides you may use your immersion blender later with less splatter later, but make sure it is large enough not to crowd the onions while they brown).  Heat the olive oil then add the onion and sauté until the onions begin to brown and become translucent.  You may cook these to taste but be careful not to let them burn.  Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute or until they become fragrant.

Add the Tikka Masala seasoning mix and stir to incorporate, cook for 1 more minute.

Stir in the diced tomatoes. Adjust seasonings as needed.  Bring the content to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.

If you want a smoother sauce use an immersion blender or transfer your sauce to a standing blender and process until you achieve the desired consistency.  This is a good opportunity to taste it and adjust the spices to your liking.  Also, if you like more tomato you can easily add up to another full can of diced tomatoes.

Once your sauce is the consistency of your dreams, return to the pan, if necessary, stir in the pieces of chicken, a cup of coconut milk, and cilantro.  Let simmer for 5 more minutes or until heated through.

Serve hot.  Eat by as a stand-alone meal or over cilantro (cauliflower) rice.

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