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Restaurant style chicken tikka masala with chicken tikka skewers.
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4.88 from 8 votes

nearly restaurant style chicken tikka masala

This is as close to Indian restaurant chicken tikka masala as you can get without cooking restaurant style.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken tikka masala, restaurant chicken tikka masala, tikka
Servings: 4
Calories: 582kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


The onion paste

  • 2 cups onions - coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

quick tandoori chicken skewers

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 3 pieces per thigh. or 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp tandoori masala - you can get this from any Indian grocer.
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

chicken tikka masala

  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste diluted to the consistency of tomato sauce
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk or more - up to 2/3 cup if you want it creamier
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/6 lemon - juiced


The onion paste

  • Place the onions in a microwave safe dish and cover loosely. Microwave at 70 percent until the onions are soft and translucent. This takes 10 minutes in my 1100 watt microwave. I can't predict how long it will take in yours...
  • Remove the onions from the microwave. Be careful. They will be hot. Let them cool slightly. Place the onions, 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 cup of warm water in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.

tandoori chicken skewers

  • Combine the tandoori masala, salt and oil. Stir to combine.
  • Cut chicken into large bite size pieces. Combine tandoori marinade with the chicken. Toss to coat the chicken and let sit, refrigerated, for one hour or so.
  • Thread the chicken on skewers (pre-soaked is a good idea if you are using wood). Grill, over medium high heat until just done. This should take about 5-6 minutes. Alternately, you can broil them. Set aside.

chicken tikka masala

  • In a small bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, garam masala, 1 tbsp tandoori masala, kashmiri chili powder, and salt. This is your spice mix.
  • Heat 4 tbsp vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat until it shimmers.
  • Add the garlic ginger paste and cook until it stops spluttering.
  • Turn the heat to medium low. Add the spice mix and stir continuously until it starts to smell really good - around 30-40 seconds. Watch it carefully. If you burn the spices at this point you have to start over.
  • Add the diluted tomato paste and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the onion paste and turn the heat up to medium high. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5-6 minutes. Cover it loosely. It will splatter. If it doesn't your heat is too low. The curry will darken a bit as it cooks. 
  • Turn the heat down to medium low. Add the coconut milk and brown sugar and simmer for another 3-4 minutes. 
  • Add the pre-cooked tandoori chicken and lemon juice. Simmer until the chicken is warmed through - another 2 minutes or so.
  • Garnish with a bit of cilantro and diced green chili pepper if desired.


You can buy garlic ginger paste but it's easy to make and homemade is way better. Here's an easy recipe for garlic ginger paste. If you cook Indian fairly often it's so worth it to whip up a batch. It will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.
If you are a fan of creamy chicken tikka masala add it. It's entirely up to you!


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 582kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 1112mg | Potassium: 773mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 425IU | Vitamin C: 10.6mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 4.8mg