Fall Masala

 Tikka Masala Recipe

Fall Masala.

Chicken Tikka Masala. Chicken Tikka Masala. Chicken Tikka Masala.

I know, I know… it’s no longer Fall, but I’ve had this recipe prepared for your guys since November and life just picked up between med school preparation and the holiday season.

So here’s the last recipe for my Fall Food Series,  it’s so warm, creamy, and delicious it’s perfect for Fall or this freezing Winter we are getting nationwide.

This week’s recipe is Chicken Tikka Masala and it’s one of my family’s favorite Indian dishes. My family loves catching the lunch buffet so we can fill up on as many dishes as we can, but I think we have come to consensus that Tikka Masala is the at the top of our list.

This dish is full of rich spices, has a creamy tomato sauce and is served over rice for the perfect comfort meal.

So let’s get going on this recipe.

Tikka Masala Ingredients


Chicken Marinate
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ cups whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 dried chiles de árbol or 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1, 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (or crushed)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
  • Steamed basmati/jasmine rice (for serving)



Tikka Masala Sauce

Before you start the sauce, you are going to want to get your chicken in all those spices so it can be marinating while the sauce is cooking. To make the chicken marinate simply place the chicken cutlets in a Ziploc bag along with all the Marinate ingredients. And then just let it chill in the fridge for 4-5 hrs. (I like to toss everything in a bag the night before so its ready to cook the next day).

Tikka Masala Marinate

Now it’s time to make the sauce. The first step is heat up the ghee and sautee the onions along with the tomato paste, cardamom, and chiles (red pepper flakes). About 5 mins or until onions are soft and the paste is brown.

Tikka Masala Onions

Next add all the remaining spices. Cook for another 4 mins or until bottom of pan begins to brown.

Tikka Masala Sauteed Onions

Now you are just going to add the tomatoes along with all their juices. And let it come to a boil. Then reduce heat and let simmer for 8 -10 mins or until thickened. Stir often and scrap bottom for brown  bits.

*If using whole tomatoes,  crush them with hands. If you are using already crushed tomatoes just add juices from the can.

Tikka Masala Tomato

For the last step of the sauce, I like to add the leftover “sauce” portion of marinate from the chicken. Because it has so much flavor and I would hate for that to go to waste.

Then I add the heavy cream and the cilantro and let it simmer for 30-40 mins covered until it is nice and thick. Stir often.

Tikka Masala Creamy Sauce

And while that is simmering, it’s a great time to cook the chicken.


Tikka Masala Chicken

For the chicken we are simply going to cook it at high heat to get some nice black char on it.

Tikka Masala Chicken cooked

I cooked my chicken on the stove, but you can also put it under the broiler in the oven.

For the stove, place a little bit of oil in pan and cook the cutlets on high for about 2-3 mins on each side. For the broiler, just line a baking sheet with foil and cook under broiler for 8-10 mins.

*To get the best chicken, I suggest cooking the chicken enough to grill the outside, but leave the inside a bit under-cooked. And then let it finish cooking in sauce. But if you are one of those cooks that isn’t a fan of that, feel free too cook it all the way through before the sauce.

Tikka Masala Cubed

Now just take the chicken off the heat and cut into bite-size pieces.

Tikka Masala Chicken and Sauce

Lastly, add the chicken to the sauce and let it simmer for another 8- 10 minutes (*let the chicken cook all the way through).

Tikka Masala Final Sauce

Bam. You are done.


The best way to serve this dish is with a bed of rice, a cilantro garnish, and a  nice big warm piece of naan.

*You can actually find naan at your local grocery story, typically in the bread section near the bakery.

This dish is the ideal comfort food for this type of weather we seem to be having nationwide.  My friends and I love getting together during this time of year, because we are such suckers  for warm comfort food, a big fire, hot drinks and catch up sessions. So whip up some of my samosas, put on a pot of tea, add a fire and have yourself your own wonderful get together.

My Samosa Recipe: https://faithwithflavor.com/2017/08/22/summer-samosas/

Tikka Masala and Naan

Whatever you end up doing, I would love to hear how you served this dish and how you liked the recipe. So tell me in the comment section below.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Well cooked recipe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! Do you cook Indian food a lot?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mistimaan says:



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