Chicken Tikka Masala

Adapted from Cafe Delites.

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground red chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1½ tbsp garlic finely grated
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely grated
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 14 oz tomato puree
  • 1 tsp ground red chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water if needed
  • 1 head worth of cauliflower rice, warmed in a pot with plenty of olive oil
  • optional veggies to add: bell pepper, cabbage, frozen peas, etc.


In a bowl, combine chicken with all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade; let marinate for 10 minutes to an hour (or overnight if time allows).

Heat oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. When sizzling, add chicken pieces in batches of two or three, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until browned for only 3 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm. (You will finish cooking the chicken in the sauce.)

Melt the butter in the same pan. Fry the onions until soft (about 3 minutes) while scraping up any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.

Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Fry for about 20 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.

Pour in the tomato puree, chili powder, and salt. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and becomes a deep brown red color.

Stir the cream and sugar through the sauce. Add the chicken and its juices back into the pan (and any optional veggies you want to add), and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling. Pour in the water to thin out the sauce, if needed.

Serve over cauliflower rice.

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