Restaurant chicken tikka masala is one of the most popular Indian restaurant dish going. Creamy. A little bit sweet. A little bit savory. It has something going on for everyone.
I think it’s funny that restaurant chicken tikka masala isn’t an Indian dish at all. It was invented in the UK some time in the early 1970s.
Some say chicken tikka masala was invented in Glasgow
The best story around this dish is that it was invented in Glasgow when a bus driver complained that his curry wasn’t saucy enough.
The chef, who was eating tomato soup at the time, tossed some of his soup in the curry and sent it back out to the bus driver. The rest is history.
There’s no tomato soup in this recipe. Please don’t do that. I know there are recipes out there that use tomato soup, garam masala and cream.
That’s Indian spiced cream of tomato soup with chicken. I know that’s how the story goes but it has evolved. Improved. If your local Indian restaurant is still serving something that tastes like soup it’s time to find a new restaurant.
Build flavours for a really tasty chicken tikka masala
It’s a mild curry. One suitable for the most timid palates. You can make restaurant style chicken tikka masala for your kids. Or as a counterpoint to spicier dishes. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure.
Layering flavours is key. The chicken is first cooked in tandoori spice and then finished in a tomato cream sauce. Hints of coconut and almond and a bit of sugar round it out.
This chicken tikka masala is pretty straightforward and follows the Indian restaurant technique exactly. Do yourself a favour and read that post first. There are pictures to help you understand.
Pre-cook your chicken tikka
You can pre-cook chicken for all restaurant style curries. I do. Adds a bit of flavour to the chicken and keeps the sauce from getting to runny. It is optional in most recipes though.
Not this one. You need tandoori chicken or chicken tikka to start. It’s not hard. Make a runny paste with oil and the tandoori spice. Toss the chicken in to coat. Marinate for as long as you’d like.
I skewer the chicken to make it easier to handle. Makes it easier to make sure every piece cooks evenly. You don’t have to do this. If you do, wear some sort of gloves. Tandoori spice has food colouring in it. It stains like crazy.
You can make this right before you make chicken tikka masala. Or you can cook it ahead of time. Up to a day before. You reheat the chicken in the curry at the end. Like they do in restaurants.
You might want to cook a little extra as well. I can’t help myself. Comes out of the oven and I want some.
Grilling chicken tikka is an option
If you feel like going all out you can grill your chicken tikka. Adds a nice smoky flavour. I do that sometimes. In the summer when I can get to my grill.
Indirect high heat is best. As high as you can get it. Tandoors run around 700 plus degrees Fahrenheit. So if you can get your grill to 600 F you are getting close.
Watch it closely. At these temperatures little pieces of chicken can dry out fast.
If you do grill your chicken tikka do yourself a favour and make lots extra. You will want to nibble. It’s really hard not to.
Be ready before you start cooking Indian restaurant style
This is Indian restaurant cooking. It goes fast. Prep your ingredient. Make your curry base and have some heated and ready to go.
Measure out your ingredients. Put on some old clothes – the curry sputters.
You can make most of the recipes here with just about anything. This is chicken tikka masala. But you can still do what you want. Lamb tikka is really nice as an example…
Try this one if you always order chicken tikka masala in restaurants. Or if you are just getting into learning Indian restaurant cooking. Or if you just want a nice mild but still tasty curry. It’s a great place to start.
restaurant chicken tikka masala
- 4-5 boneless chicken thighs or two chicken breasts
- 2 Tbsp tandoori masala powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3-4 Tbsp vegetable oil
Restaurant chicken tikka masala
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp garlic ginger paste - recipe link below
- 2 tsp Indian restaurant spice mix powder - recipe link below
- 1 Tbsp tandoori masala powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste diluted in 2 Tbsp water
- 15 oz curry base - recipe link below
- 3 Tbsp coconut milk powder
- 1 Tbsp almond flour
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup whipping cream 35%
- juice of 1/6 lemon
- Pre-heat your oven to 400F.
- Combine 2 Tbsp tandoori masala powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 3-4 Tbsp vegetable oil in a bowl that won't stain. Cut the chicken into big bite size pieces and combine with marinade. Let stand briefly.- or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
- Transfer chicken to a sturdy cookie sheet and roast until it reaches an internal temperature of about 165F, about 15 minutes.
Chicken Tikka Masala
- Combine Indian restaurant spice mix powder, tandoori masala and salt in a small bowl. This is your spice mix.
- Combine the almond and coconut milk powder with enough water to get to the texture of coconut milk or heavy cream.
- Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to get to the consistency of passata.
- Heat your frying pan (don't use non-stick) briefly over medium heat. Add 3 Tbsp vegetable oil. Use all the oil specified. It's important.
- When the oil starts to shimmer add the garlic ginger paste. Cook it, stirring constantly, until it stops sputtering.
- Turn down the heat and add the spice mix. This is the critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn.
- Turn the heat up to medium high. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form (the oil will likely separate). This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat.
- Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. Watch the edges of the pan. The curry can stick here.
- Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.
- Add the rest of the curry base and let cook until the bubbles form. Turn the heat down to low and add the pre-cooked chicken, coconut almond mixture and sugar.
- Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick add a bit more curry base. Don't add water.
- Add the cream and stir. Mix in the lemon juice, garnish with a bit of chopped fresh coriander if you like and serve.
106 thoughts on “restaurant chicken tikka masala”
Do you think there’s any mileage in preparing the Chicken Tikka as for home style, where the meat is marinated in plain yoghurt, garlic, ginger, green chilli, garam masala, with a slug of food colouring?
Please keep up the good work!
Regards, Dayl, Oxford, UK
You can use whatever tikka recipe you like. Personally I don’t find yoghurt a great addition unless you have a tandoor so I leave it out always.
This is my go to tandoori/tikka recipe when I’m going the distance. https://glebekitchen.com/tandoori-chicken/
I’ve been cooking homestyle currys for years and managed to figure out some stuff that it pretty tasty.
After finding Glebe Kitchen and your recipes and techniques I was really intrigued as to how much better a curry could be cooked in this way.
Just tried this recipe for the first time and all I can say is WOW! I think I had the heat too high and burned my spices on my first attempt. I took your advice, stopped binned it and started again, learned my lesson and the results are absolutely incredible.
Thank you for taking the time to put your recipes together and for sharing your techniques. What clearly shows is a lot of experience and trial and error and the way you present everything makes those errors so much easier to avoid.
I love cooking and knowing that I’ve not got the ability to make currys at this level at home means that there’s only going to be Indian food on the menu at my next dinner party. Gunuinely can’t wait to try the other recipes. Again, thank you! 🙏
Welcome down the rabbit hole Mike! It’s a lot of fun. And it sounds like you are well on your way so I expect there’s no stopping you now!
I screwed up pretty much every part of this and still got delicious food out of it. My curry base didn’t have tomatoes or turmeric, and I didn’t add brown sugar, and I was using powdered coconut instead of coconut milk powder. But the remaining ingredients were amazing together. Thank you for the recipe! And for teaching me how restaurant curry works. Gonna do it again more accurately soon.
Haha. If it was delicious you couldn’t have screwed it up that badly!
Tried to cook this recently, and I must say this recipe easily beats the hell out of all other recipes I tried before. The curry that I got didn’t taste like possible substitute for the restaurant stuff, it tasted like the restaurant stuff. Though, next time I shall use less coconut milk powder as its flavor was a bit too overwhelming and reminded me a Thai curry a little. Overall, very good recipe and the use of base curry sauce really is the secret for restaurant curries!
Now you know the secret there will be no stopping you!
Hi Romain! I’ve been reading all your content and recipes and have decided on this for my first attempt tonight! For future reference, is there a big difference between the method for the chicken here and your recipe for chicken tikka on its own (https://glebekitchen.com/chicken-tikka/) in terms of the result? The chicken tikka on its own has a lot more ingredients (and looks sensational) so just wondering if it can be used for tikka masala or if I’m better off just using the tandoori masala powder as in this recipe since it’s specifically chicken tikka masala. Also, apologies if that’s a really stupid question!!
No such thing as a stupid question. By all means you can use the standalone chicken tikka recipe. It gives excellent results and is very popular. It’s just a bit more work so I offer a simpler approach because the tikka masala is already fairly involved and the tikka is coated with sauce (so you don’t get the full effect like you would if you were just eating the tikka straight).
I left my previous life as a chef because I fell out of love with the entire hospitality sector. I’ve been trying to get back into food at home for the last few years but until I came across your website I was falling short of enjoying it. This recipe always manages to to put a smile on my face especially when I go rogue and start winging it roughly from memory. Thank you so much Romain, I’m sure you are an inspiration to a lot more than myself
You are very welcome and I’m delighted I could be a small part of your coming back into the kitchen!
Amazing curries I have tried all the restaurant ones and I love them all. One question. I have coconut milk in a can to use up and wondered how much I use rather than the powder.
I’m using canned coconut milk more and more myself. I’d go for about 1/4 cup to start. It’s a tradeoff. More coconut milk/coconut flavour takes more milk which adds more liquid. At some point your curry will become too thin and the flavours will become too dilute.
A very successful meal yet again using this recipe. Perfect for my none heat loving friend to eat. Full of flavours as always. Thank you
Awesome. Hope your friends enjoy it! Maybe you can train them to eat a little hotter in time? Tempt them with your curries!
Love every recipe so far, I’m working my way through them all.
Slightly confused with one item in this recipe, it may be me but you say 1/6 of lemon, this seems very precise or have I missed something? Maybe 1 to 6 lemons.
Awesome to hear!
It is one sixth of one lemon. A lemon wedge worth of lemon. Cut the lemon in half and then each half into thirds. Leftovers can go into cocktails:-).
Thank you for this recipe! I have no tried making it yet, but from the pictures it looks the same as what I know from the local indian restaurant, which is great. I have been searching for the true recipe for years. Now its only the same amazing restaurant naan I need to figure out 🙂
Hope you enjoy it. I’ve been tinkering with a naan recipe but I still don’t have it to the point where I am fully happy with it.
So glad I found your site! Our local Indian restaurant is so bad I decided even I couldn’t mess things up any worse so I decided to try making my favorites at home. I’m a fairly experienced cook (at 72 I should be) and so far every recipe I have tried has been fantastic. Your instructions are clear and easily followed and now instead of waiting for a friend to drive me 30 miles to the “good” restaurant I can make my favorites anytime I want them. Thank you!
I’m glad you found glebekitchen too and I’m especially happy that you are turning out curries that are better than your local restaurant although that doesn’t sound too hard. Hopefully they are as good or better than the one that’s 30 miles away!
Excellent Recipe you several times made lots of the base and then frozen it now we want to expand do you do anything else using the same curry base
Great to hear you are enjoying it. All the recipes that have restaurant style in the title use this base. I’ve just redone the website so there is a restaurant category. Should make it easier to find things (I hope:-).
Can the completed curry (not the curry base) be frozen? It’s awesome, btw – better than any restaurant (bar one) CTM I’ve tried in the USA!!
I don’t tend to freeze my curries but I hear of lots of people who do and they seem to like how it turns out.
I’m loving that tagline – life is indeed too short for bad food! Amazing isn’t it, the trick really is in the marinating and baking that chicken. Simple but so delicious.
This was good and my family loved it they went back for seconds! However, my curry didn’t look like yours it was an pale ish orange-y colour particularly after I added the cream. I’m wondering how you got it that deep red. Also, I think next time I will use less coconut milk because I think there was too much of a coconut taste. I also will try reducing the amount of cream because it made the colour paler and I think maybe it toned down the flavour. It was good though, and I will keep tinkering with it.
I can only assume it is the amount of red food colouring in the brand of tandoori masala you used. With the amount specified and the brand I use there is no way it could be anything but red unless you added way more coconut milk and cream (like triple). I don’t think the colour matters all that much really. It’s just food colouring and doesn’t affect the flavour.
Yes you are completely right as I just checked my tandoori masala and it’s a deep orange not red. I ate the leftover curry today for lunch and it was even more delicious and spicy and sweeter than yesterday! It was a deep orange colour exactly like the tandoori masala so I think I will experiment with a redder brand next time for fun. Thank you for your wonderful recipes I can’t wait to make more, and now it will be even easier since I already made the spice mix, ginger garlic paste, and curry base!
Can use raw king prawns in this recipe.
Sure. You can use prawns with any of the restaurant style recipes. Just be careful not to overcook them. Prawns are much less forgiving than chicken thighs.
Added the raw butterflied King prawns at the end when simmering.
I’ve made this a few times as well as your pilau rice, all absolutely fantastic. I’m making this again this weekend and prepping now. I wish to make a larger batch this time, so I’ve purchased double of the chicken thighs which are now marinading. When it comes to actually making the curry should I double everything else do you think? I guess so. Double everything at every point, even the oil? Except perhaps don’t double the initial additions of curry base, just one ladle at a time to start? What do you think? Hopefully you’ll see this and be able to get back to me in the next 24 hours, otherwise I’ll have to wing it!
Thanks for your excellent website and recipes, I’m delighted I found it and will never cook a different CTM recipe again!
Glad you are enjoying glebekitchen. The trick to making bigger batches is to make sure you can really fry the curry base like you do for a single batch. You can try a bigger frying pan or just make it twice in a row. I tend to alternate depending on my mood at the time. For the oil you need to make sure you have enough to bloom the spices. You never want them sticking/burning.
I have been cooking Indian for a few years now. I was able to perfect recipes from a former restaurant in Cincinnati whend the owner/chef gave me her homestyle recipes from Andhra Pradesh. But now I am trying to copy the curries from a new restaurant run by Punjabi Sikhs, in the same location as the former. The base is the same for all their dishes, but completely different. This chicken tikka masala is delicious, but too sweet for me, and not like theirs, which is much stronger/spicier. Any ideas on recipes I should look at that may be similar to that style?
Sorry – without tasting it, it’s hard for me to come up with something. You could try cutting the sugar down to a tsp (or omitting it) and upping the kashmiri chili powder. You could also cut back on the cream as it has the effect of blunting the spice. You could also try some of the hotel style curries I’ve posted recently. It’s a different take altogether.
Good luck in your quest!
Thanks! BTW, I ate my last serving yesterday, three days after making it and it was incredible! As with most stews and sauces, the flavors meld and change as you let them sit. Three days was incredible!
Also, I just made the Butter Chicken and left out the sugar. Much better! I’m a recovering diabetic, so sugar is always an issue for me. Closer to what I am looking for. Outstanding! Next up is Restaurant Madras Curry.
It really does get better as it sits doesn’t it.
Funny thing is, Don, I’m looking for chicken tikka masala recipes that are similar to a restaurant in Cincinnati myself. What was the name of the restaurant you were referring to? I wonder if it’s the one I’ve been to. If so, I’d love to know the recipe they gave you.
Looking to cook this later! Sounds good. Any tips of adding sweetness? My local Indian has a Tikka that is very sweet and I love it! Any suggestions on getting this sweetness? It is a very savory sweetness.
Thanks will let you know how I go!
Maybe at some jaggery to taste? I don’t like my curries sweet so I haven’t really tried that but this is a pretty savoury version so I hope it works for you.
Absolutely gorgeous ? made this tonight after trying many other recipes this will now be my go to thank you
Awesome to hear! Thank you for saying.
When you say “cup” is that US or UK?
US. Canadian in fact:-)
But the difference is so minor it will make no effective difference.
YUM DOUBLE YUM. I made this curry last night along with your dal Tadka, there was a lot going on in the kitchen but I managed to pull it all together and recruited my 19 yr old son to help out, and he really enjoyed learning about “blooming the spices”. Working my way through your recipes has definitely been a highlight for me during this endless pandemic and so, so worth the effort. Both dishes were incredible, it was the 2nd time I’d cooked the Dal Tadka. I have 3 more curry bases left and then I’m going to try your Hotel style recipes. Thank you again Romain for being so generous sharing your cooking world with us!
My absolute pleasure. I’m delighted to hear you are enjoying it and especially happy to hear you’ve discovered dal Tadka. I like a dal with every Indian meal!
Wow, I’ve tried a lot of recipes and this one is by far the best. It does take a lot of work, but 100% worth it!!
Great to hear you went for it. Now you have all the bits in place you can make curries much faster. The first time is definitely the biggest effort to get everything prepared.
Can I ask which brand Tandoori Masala you use? I saw you mentioned to be wary of the salt content, but still – brands really differ in composition, flavor profile, color…
Right now I am using Kissan Tandoori Masala. Comes in a plastic jar where I am. It has salt but it’s not high on the list of ingredients.
Thanks so much for this recipe – I made it last night, and we just barely had the self control to have leftovers for lunch today! I was amazed by how perfect the chicken tikka is straight from the fridge, a lot of flavors in cold chicken are too muted. I’m glad I made an extra breast worth! We have a coconut allergy in our house, so I subbed extra almond flour to make up for leaving that out.
It was an endeavor of patience for sure. Made the base in mid-March, and *finally* got my order of spices in the mail last week (thanks COVID). Couldn’t get almond flour (again, thanks COVID), so I pulverized sliced almonds as fine as possible in my spice grinder :-D.
Well worth the wait, and thrilled I have seven more containers of curry base in the freezer. Thanks a lot!
That’s dedication and patience! Now that you know what you’re doing there’s no stopping you!
I made this but found it missing sweetness or the distinctive masala taste
It was still very nice. I had no almond powder so used ground blanched almonds instead and coconut milk instead of powder
How do i get it sweeter? Is it just a case of adding more sugar?
I was born without any form of sweet tooth so I tend to go easy on sweet in my recipes. You could try more sugar or honey. Or you could get some Maggi masala chili sauce. It has a wonderful mix of sweet and masala flavour. I don’t often include it in recipes because I don’t do product endorsements. But I do use it fairly often. I think of it as way tastier ketchup. Great on eggs or burgers etc.
Chicken tikka masala is why I cook Indian. My absolute favorite dish. I’ve made this recipe twice, and while it is very tasty, I find myself wanting more creaminess like another person said above. What I found works well for that is adding sour cream. I’ve also tried upping regular heavy cream, coconut milk powder, and adding ground cashews. While I think that helps too, sour cream had the most noticeable effect. It also seems to cancel out some extra saltiness (I needed that after using hot curry powder in marinade with salt high on the ingredient list and not noticing until everything was cooked).
I was wondering if there’s a particular reason you use coconut milk powder and not just coconut milk? And tomato paste with water instead of already more liquid tomato puree? Just personal preference or do you find the taste different?
And unrelated to this recipe, but have you cooked with reshampatti chili powder? I recently bought it because I liked the bright color (kind of like kashmiri), but the description online says it’s hot and similar to cayenne. I’m thinking of maybe trying it instead of regular extra hot chili powder next time. I’m just curious if there are any dishes that work particularly well with it?
Glad you liked it. I’m allergic to cashews. So I can’t use them although I am tempted to see if I can handle them boiled in a white cashew base. We’ll see. Always important to look for salt in pre-mixed powders.
I don’t always use coconut powder or tomato paste. They are just easier to keep around. If I have passata (tomato puree) open I’ll use it. And if I have a reason to open a can of coconut milk I’ll do that too. I just try not to set myself or my readers up to waste things. Tomato paste and coconut milk powder keep forever.
I don’t go overboard on creaminess because I find it blunts the flavours too much for my taste. I am always flavour first on glebekitchen. Sour cream is a good idea though. A bit of tang and a little would go a long way. Thanks for the idea!
I do use resham patti chili powder if I want hot. You can’t add enough kashmiri to make anything really spicy. The dish gets a bit gritty from all the spice I find.
Not one of my usual go to curries in restaurants as i’m not really a fan of dairy but thought I would give this a go. I left the cream out and used a bit of creamed coconut in it’s place to give it texture (and a bit of extra sweetness). Not bad at all!
Glad you liked it. Creamed coconut milk is a great idea for those that don’t want the dairy.
Hi just cooked this was lovely,but just wondered why my sauce was like a orangey colour and not red like yours??
I would imagine the tandoori masala you used had a different food colour in it. Should not have affected the taste though. If you really want more red just get some red food colour. Be careful though. A little goes a long way and it stains like crazy. I don’t personally add food colour but if you have to have red…
This is as good as you can possibly get a tikka masala made at home! The spice, cocunut and almond mix was a massive hit with my family, all of whom love curry – as a Londoner I have them well indoctrinated, even though we now live abroad 🙂
For almond flour we just blanched & skinned normal almonds, ground them and then dried the powder, it worked great. We used (unsweetened) desiccated coconut and ground it in a coffee grinder until it said it was “expresso fine”! When you add water to this mix take care, it thickens quickly. And if you can leave it so the coconut absorbs the water and softens, so much the better.
The “restaurant style” CTM is a truly excellent recipe, great work, thank you! I have learnt so much about immaculate preparation and use of correct temperatures (hot but not too hot for cooking spices, as hot as you dare caramelising the onion base)…
Next stop is to build a tandoor as I doubt any home cooking replaces chicken cooked in a clay oven over charcoal at 500C/900F. But my wife has a few things to say about that, it’s a project still in the conceptual / political stage 🙂
Great work, during the covid virus lockdown in Europe glebekitchen has been my friend in learning how to home cook restaurant quality Indian!
Absolutely delighted to hear this. Thank you so much for the tips as well. I can’t wait to hear how your tandoor turns out once you get past the conceptual/political stage!
Planning on trying this recipe this weekend after trying and being very impressed with the jalfrezi!
One question I have, is there an alternative ingredient to use instead of almond flour? I’m having trouble finding this.
Glad you liked the jalfrezi. I can’t think of a decent substitute for almond flour I’m afraid. I would probably just leave it out. It won’t be exactly the same but it should still be tasty.
Are coconut powder and coconut milk power the same thing?
I couldn’t find any coconut powder, only coconut milk powder so made this recipe with some desiccated coconut that I already had in my cupboard. The tikka masala was still very delicious but the texture wasn’t smooth enough for my liking.
I use coconut milk powder. Apologies for the confusion. Thank you very much for pointing that out.
Great tika sauce. We were blown away, it was definitely restaurant standard, though I still managed to cut back a bit of the oil.
The base was really great too.
You’ve pretty much nailed it
I just need your korma, pasanda and one or two other recipes
Glad you liked it. I have a korma recipe posted although it’s a bit unconventional (shahi korma). Pasanda is on the to do list.
A cautionary tale. I made this recipe using East End brand tandoori masala powder and on trying a bit of chicken straight out of the oven, my immediate reaction was blimey, too salty. I checked the packet and lo and behold the second listed ingredient (same as order of predominance) was salt. A quick check round reveals that the same is true of Rajah brand, but in Fudco brand salt is down at number 12. Think I’ll go that way in future. I know salt is necessary, but hey, moderation in all things.
Helpful information for sure. I don’t have access to either East End or Rajah brand where I am and was completely unaware that these brands were so high in salt. I will add a note to the recipe. Thank you!
What the world needs now
Is curry great curry
That’s the only thing
That we need in a hurry.
Keep it up chief. Keep it up.
Thank you! I will try my best.
I’m making this right now. Currentlty in last stage of curry base- separating the oil. It’s like a science endeavour! Hope I get it right but if I don’t, well, practice makes perfect 😉 Can’t thank you enough for writing this in such concise detail. Massive Thank you x
You are very welcome!
I’ve commented a few times before. You said, keep it up and I certainly have! This recipe was my next challenge. Perfect in every way again. Careful preparation and cooking gets results! We were invited over to friends last weekend for a catch up. They have had what I thought curry was before. This old recipe has now been dumped! Basically they had no idea when the offer was put . They were expecting the old, but I cooked 3 of yours. This one, butter chicken and chicken tikka saag ( which I basically copied the lamb saag recipe for the sauce, hope this was ok! ) We did the whole thing, right down to sealed plastic containers. I personally was quite nervous, having only ever made these for the household, 4 of us. I genuinely can’t thank you all enough! Table was laid, me out their kitchen making sure everything was as good as I could get it, curries warmed, serving bowls etc. Results!! They loved it. Thanks guys for everything! This was something special.I’m not going to turn my back from Indian takeaways and restaurants though.Huge thanks!
You are very welcome! And I love that you are improvising now with the chicken tikka saag.
This is the best tasting curry I’ve ever made! I’ve previously bought lots of books on BIR curries but none turn out as good as this. Bang goes my diet.
So glad you liked it. Sorry about your diet…
What’s the best way to make this dish hotter(spicier)
You could add a tsp of Kashmiri chili powder to the restaurant spice mix, tandoori masala and salt. That would give it a nice medium hot profile. If you want hotter still use a hot chili powder instead. No guarantees on what that will taste like though.
Have now made 3 recipes all of which are excellent, I would go as far to say that this tikka masala is better than my local take away, now on to the jalfrezi. For many years have tried to cook Indian meals never thought I would achieve this quality.
That is awesome to hear!
This recipe is fantastic! I have adapted it to a vegan version and honestly, it tastes better than a resturant tikka masala!! I thoroughly enjoy the Indian cooking technique and it makes a huge difference to the final result. I also use your recipe for the curry base – I have made others before but yours is by far the simplest, which I think allows each curry’s identity to shine through. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to cook curry like that at home!
I’m so glad you like it. And that you get why I keep the curry base simple. Letting each curry shine through is exactly why I don’t like too much flavour in the base.
Better than restaurant in your own kitchen. That’s so great to hear.
As a Brit, my take on the story how Tika Masala evolved was that it was actually in Birmingham in the West Midlands, as this area historically has a very large Indian immigrant population due to industry & as India is a member of the Commonwealth. All restaurant style currys evolved in the U.K. to suit British tastes & taste nothing like authentic curries. In fact Tika Masala doesn’t even exist in India. As Tika Masala is my favourite curry, along with Chicken Bhuna, I’ll give this a go & see how it turns out
It’s not just the UK. The British style curry is big in North America. The technique actually adapts pretty well to more authentic spiced curries. I will get around to posting some of my hybrid recipes soon. Hope you like my take on CTM.
Hi if I am making this for 4 people do I just double the ingredients and how much coconut milk do I add for 4 as I can’t get coconut powder
Doubling these restaurant style curries doesn’t work well unless you have a really big pan and high heat. You need the curry base to caramelize. Best to make it in two batches and keep the first batch warm while you make the second one. If you can’t get the coconut powder I would guess about 1/4 cup of coconut milk per batch would work out.
Thank you. I have made the Dopiaza and the madras this week. Amazing. My 30 year search for a decent home made curry is over. X can I also ask is TAndoori masala curry spice mix, the same as tandoori spice mix.
So glad to hear they are working out for you! Tandoori masala is the tandoori spice mix from the Indian shops. It says tandoori masala on the container where I am. I’m pretty sure it is the same thing as tandoori spice mix.
How do you make the tomato paste please.
I’m guessing you are in the UK? If so it’s called tomato puree and comes in tubes or small tins. You don’t make it (although I suppose you could). Rather you buy it.
Hi, can’t wait to try this chicken tikka masala recipe.
I am a little confused, the only place I see curry powder is in the Indian restaurant spice mix but for the chicken tikka masala instructions, you say to “mix the curry powder, tandoori masala and salt in a bowl, this is your spice mix”?
Further on in the instructions it says to add the spice mix,maybe I’m reading it wrong, but could you clarify this for me. Laurence.
I’ve clarified the recipe. Hope you enjoy the it.
Thanks for this! Recipe looks brilliant! I’ve tried twice to make this with other recipes, but never knew there was a base! The last time I tried, it tasted very bitter so I’m guessing I must have burnt the spices (I’m very new to the world of Indian cooking). One question, what difference does it make adding things like peppers and carrots to the curry base? Look forward to hearing from you and thanks for the awesome tips! ?
Bitter sounds like burnt spices. Be careful at that stage. I find adding peppers and carrots to base tends to make my curries all taste like carrots and peppers. I prefer to keep the base simple and let the individual recipes shine through. Good luck!
This sounds great thank you! I’ve tried twice to make chicken tikka masala but had no idea there was a base!! The last time I tried to make tikka masala, it tasted bitter for some reason. Is this because I burnt the spices? Thanks again for this, I will definitely be trying when my new blender arrives!
Wow! This is amazing! I’ve been on a “quest” to duplicate my favorite restaurant chicken tikka masala (Mela in SF), and this is really close! Mela’s has a bit more buttery mouth-feel and a deeper tomato “layer.” But this is the closest I’ve ever come to ANY restaurant tikka masala! AWESOME. AND…thanks for the HOW to cook it. That seems half the challenge!
I do have a few questions: a.) I couldn’t find “coconut powder” but I did find “coconut flour”. Is that the same thing? I had a difficult time getting the almond/coconut to become a “creamy” consistency….more like oatmeal. b.) do you ever use ghee in this? I was wanting more buttery/fatty taste and c.) is there a way to up the tomato flavor layer?
These are all novice questions from someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing!!! I just found your website and am loving it! There’s so much more for me to explore here!
So glad you found me and delighted you like the recipe. Coconut flour is not the same as coconut powder. Using canned coconut milk would be much closer and take care of your problems with consistency. I use Maggi brand coconut powder. Look for that. You should be able to find it in San Francisco. Down in the Bay for sure…
You are absolutely right – if you want more buttery use ghee instead of vegetable oil. It will be richer and perhaps the flavours will be a bit muted but the buttery taste will be there for sure. Maybe start half ghee, half oil and go from there.
If you want more tomato flavour in your chicken tikka masala maybe up the amount of tomato paste? You might be able to get some tips from Mela as well if you ask nicely. I find restaurants usually willing to share if you show a sincere interest…
I don’t even want to admit right now that I thought I’d made this before. After reading your recipe, and already knowing that you are THE expert in curry/meat EVERYTHING, I know this is the recipe I’ve got to do to get it right. Recipe by recipe, you are educating the midwest/me haha. Thank you!
I’d take a lesson in Kansas City BBQ as a trade any day:-) I’m so glad you are learning from my posts. That’s why I do it!