Chicken Tikka Masala

This dish, made with chunks of yogurt-marinated chicken cooked in a richly-spiced tomato gravy, is so popular in Great Britain that it has been declared a national dish. You can buy Kashmiri pepper, ginger-garlic paste, and garam masala at Indian markets and online.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 5 hours 15 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 6


  • 1 tsp. Kashmiri red pepper powder
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1⁄2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large cubes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, puréed
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground fennel seeds
  • 2 1⁄2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro


  • In a large bowl, add the Kashmiri red pepper powder, ginger-garlic paste, coriander powder, garam masala, yogurt, lemon juice, and chicken and mix well. Cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers. Brush lightly with 1 tablespoon oil. Grill the skewered chicken until done, about 8 minutes per side. When cooked, remove from skewers and set the grilled chicken pieces aside.
  • Combine the tomatoes, onion powder, black pepper, ground fennel seeds, and olive oil together in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, letting the masala simmer into a thicker sauce.
  • During the last 45 minutes of cooking, add the heavy cream and stir in the chicken pieces. Add up to 3⁄4 cup water, if necessary. Stir everything together well and continue cooking for 45 minutes.
  • Preheat broiler. Transfer the chicken tikka to an oven-safe baking dish. Place under the broiler until the top starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven. Top with cilantro and serve hot.