Indian Chicken Tikka Masala

Tikka masala in bowl with cilantro and chili on side

Chicken Tikka Masala is always my favorite when I go to Indian restaurants, but always felt a little overwhelmed with the idea of making it at home. When my mom went to India last year she brought me back tons of spices, and I’ve been obsessed with making it at home ever since!

Chicken tikka masala in bowl with rice

Where can I find the spices?

You may look at this list and think WHOA, that’s a lot of spices. Calm down. It’s going to be okay. Don’t get overwhelmed! Most of the spices are available in all of your mainstream grocery stores!

Ginger, cumin, tumeric, coriander, can all be easily found in the spice aisle at your grocery store!

Kashmiri chili—I love the flavor that kashmiri chili adds to this mix. But if you can’t find it, don’t sweat it, you can always substitute regular chili powder. But if you want to try out the kashmiri chili powder check at your local Asian or Indian market.

Or you can buy it here on Amazon:

Garam masala—This spice is becoming more and more available at mainstream grocery stores! If you don’t see it in the spice section, check in your ethnic food section. Or, there’s always Amazon! Amazon is my favorite, what can I say.


Chicken tikka masala in bowl with rice and cilantro garnish

How do I make it keto or low carb?

Easy Peasy. The recipe itself is already low carb, just serve it with a side of cauliflower rice instead of white rice.

How do I make it Paleo or Whole 30?

The two main ingredients in this that aren’t Paleo or Whole30 are the yogurt and cream. The yogurt is used in the chicken marinade, swap the yogurt for a coconut or almond based yogurt or use canned coconut milk (make sure there aren’t any added sugars in it!).

You can also swap the heavy cream for canned coconut milk as well. Then, like in the keto/low carb instructions, swap your rice for cauliflower rice.

chicken marinating in ziplock bag

How long do I really need to marinade the chicken for?

The chicken really only needs to marinade for about 15 minutes, but it can always marinade for longer! I like to mix the marinade and chicken up the night before and have it ready to go so my dinner comes together super quick!

Two bowls of chicken tikka masala



Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later! You can also follow us on Pinterest here!

Yield: 6

Indian Chicken Tikka Masala

Indian Chicken Tikka Masala

Indian Chicken Tikka masala is a creamy and hearty Indian curry. It's delicious, serve it with naan, rice, or cauliflower rice!


Chicken Marinade:

  • - 2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breast, uncooked (cut into small bite sized pieces)
  • - 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • - 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
  • - 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • - 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • - 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • - 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • - 1 teaspoon kashmiri chili (you can substitute regular chili powder too)
  • - 1 teaspoon salt


  • - 2 tablespoons oil
  • - 2 tablespoons butter
  • - 1 large onion, diced
  • - 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
  • - 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • - 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • - 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • - 1 teaspoon ground coriander (you can substitute for ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro)
  • - 14 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • - 1 teaspoon kashmiri chili (can substitute regular chili powder)
  • - 1 teaspoon salt
  • - 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • - 1 ¼ cups heavy cream (you can substitute canned coconut milk to make paleo)
  • - chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. In a large bowl or a gallon sized bag add in the yogurt and seasonings for the marinade. Mix together and then add chicken. Cover chicken in marinade completely. Chicken should sit in marinade for at least 15 minutes up to overnight.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook marinated chicken in small batches. You just want to sear the chicken for 2 minutes on each side, it’s okay if the chicken isn’t cooked all the way through, it will finish cooking in the sauce later. Repeat until all chicken is seared. Set chicken aside for now.
  3. Add butter, minced garlic, and ground ginger to saucepan. Fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir so that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  4. Add in tomato sauce, spices, and sugar. Let simmer for 10 minutes until thick, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add in cream and chicken. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Sauce should be thick and chicken should be cooked all the way through.
  6. If sauce is too thick you can add a little bit of water or more cream to thin it out. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice (or cauliflower rice for a low carb alternative)


Sometimes I like to add extra vegetables to this (ex: diced bell pepper, diced tomatoes, etc.) though this is not traditional to chicken tikka masala. 

Make it Keto or Low-carb--swap the rice for cauliflower rice

Make it Paleo or Whole30--swap the yogurt in the marinade for coconut or almond yogurt or coconut cream. Swap the heavy cream for coconut milk

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 489 Total Fat: 25g Carbohydrates: 22g Protein: 43g

Tried this recipe and loved it? Comment and Rate it! Also send us a picture, WE WANT TO SEE!

You May Also Like These Other Delicious Recipes: 

Try our roasted chickpea gyros recipe

Try our Indian butter chicken recipe

White bowl of Greek Salad with tomatoes, lettuce, garbanzo beans, cucumber, feta cheese red onion, olives

Try our dark chocolate pistachio tahini cookies

originally posted June 9, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Please rate*

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *