Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Chicken tikka masala

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

If you look up the recipe for chicken tikka masala, the first page of Google will be filled with recipes from the US or the UK. That’s because of what we already know – chicken tikka masala originated in the UK. Chicken is first grilled or roasted and then dunked in a tomato curry laced with cream. I did a milder version of this though. No cream and with little butter, this tikka masala tasted restaurant like. Alright, not restaurant like but very close. Special thanks to my air fryer that made the chicken roasting easy.

Chicken tikka masala

I almost always get whole chicken legs for curries. The meat is tastier, more moist and cooks really well as opposed to the dry and stringy breast pieces. You could get mixed parts or a whole chicken cut as well. We had it with roti and you can too. Rice will work just as fine. If you do want it slightly richer, add 2 tbsp of cream after you turn the heat off and a dollop of butter.

Chicken tikka masala

Prep time:

20 mins (with all the chopping and grinding)

Cooking time:

25 mins


Chicken – 4 whole legs, each cut into 3 pieces (600 gm approx.)


Plain yoghurt – 1/4 cup

Cumin/jeera powder – 1 tsp

Coriander/dhaniya powder  – 1 tsp

Garam masala – 2 tsp

Chilli powder – 2 tsp

Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp

Other ingredients:

Onions – 3 large ground to paste

Tomatoes – 4 medium ground to a puree

Butter – 1 tbsp

Green chilli – 1 chopped

Ginger – 1 inch piece finely chopped

Garlic – 3-4 cloves finely chopped

Cinnamon – 1 inch stick

Cloves – 3-4

Cumin/jeera powder – 1 tsp

Coriander/dhaniya powder  – 1 tsp

Garam masala – 1 tsp

Chilli powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves for garnish


Marinate the chicken with the ingredients mentioned overnight or for at least 2 hours.

Prep all other ingredients and keep aside.

You could roast the chicken 3 ways – pan, oven or air fryer.

I used the air fryer. Preheat it for 5 mins at 200 degrees C. Place the pieces on the basket gently and let it cook for 15 mins. Check at 7 mins to make sure they aren’t sticking to the basket.

If you’re pan roasting, then grease a nonstick pan with a little oil and place the pieces in the pan. Give them 5 mins on one side before flipping them over. Let them cook for 20 mins.

For the oven, just preheat it at 200 degrees C for 10 mins. Place the chicken on a foil lined baking tray and pop them into to the oven to cook for 20-25 mins.

As the chicken cooks you can move on to making the curry.

Heat the butter and add the cinnamon and cloves.

Once fragrant, add the onion puree and saute.

When the onions slowly begin to cook (say around 5 mins), add the ginger, garlic and chilli.

Now add the rest of the spice powders and cook for 5 more mins. Add a splash of water so the spices don’t burn.

Add the tomato puree to this and mix well.

Pour in glass of water and salt to taste. Lower the flame and let this simmer for another 10 mins.

In go the chicken pieces to this and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Add more butter and cream if you’d like.


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