This dish. You guyssss. This Easy Chicken Tikka Masala is unbelievably easy, requires mostly pantry stable spices, and is just SO cozy. Skip the take out tonight! You’re gonna wanna make this instead.
The first time I was ever introduced to Indian food was through my husband, Ben. He took me to this brunch buffet where it was all you could eat AND bottomless mimosas for $12. My type of restaurant! Anyway – they had allll types of foods to try. Spicy, sweet, and the overall consensus was they were all packed with DEPTHS of flavor.
Oh, and did I mention there was also unlimited naan bread? Yes please. If you’re unfamiliar with naan, it’s this wonderful stone fired bread that is packed with garlicy goodness and is the best thing to dip in Indian food (or just eat it on it’s own…let’s be honest here.)
So….I’ve always wanted to try out making my own. But it seems super intimidating, right? Like, there are probably a million speciality spices that I need and I’ll have to spend so much money and time when I could just call up the local Indian place and have them deliver.
That’s what I thought too!
BUT FRIENDS. Today, I have created something magical. Something that will never make you want take out again. This Easy Chicken Tikka Masala will make your dreams come true. Let’s get started.
So, let’s get the spices you’re going to need out of the way. Most of which you already probs have in your spice cabinet.
- chili powder
- ground cloves
- garam marsala
Not so bad, huh? The garam marsala was the only spice I had to go out and buy. My recommendation is to go to a grocery store that sells spices in bulk. That way, you can literally buy the amount you need just for this recipe. Mine ended up being a little less than $1.00 for about 3 tablespoons of spice.
The rest of the ingredients you will find below – most of which you also probably have in your fridge/cabinet.
This dish is packed full of flavor. Between the buttery rice, the garnish of cilantro and the flavors that meld together in the marsala sauce, it’s a true delight. I asked Benjamin to describe it and he used the term “aromatic”. Which is so spot on. Not only does it smell amazing, it tastes amazing! Thanks to the coconut milk and a touch of heavy cream, it’s delightfully creamy. It’s packs a slight heat and is a little spicy but never overwhelmingly so.
I recommend that you dip naan bread in it. I bought mine at Trader Joe’s. You can find it/the price in my Trader Joe’s haul post.
So, to reiterate, skip the take-out tonight! All you need is some good tunes, a glass of wine, and 30 minutes to make this delicious meal.
Enjoy! Full recipe down below.
Easy Chicken Tikka Masala
- 1 lb chicken breast (diced)
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1-2 cups white rice (depends on how many you're serving)
- handful cilantro (for garnish)
- juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
- store bought garlic naan (optional)
- 2 yellow onions
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp fresh ginger
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp garam masala spice
Begin by making your masala seasoning. Place onion, garlic, ginger, juice of one lime, and all of the spices listed above in the food processor. I used a mixture of the pulse/puree setting until I got the right consistency - which is a thin paste.
Dice your chicken breast. Add to a bowl. Add 2 tbsp of the masala seasoning to the chicken and coat it thoroughly. Let it marinate for 15-20 minutes in the fridge.
Heat a cast iron skillet on low to medium heat. Add the chicken. Cook for 1 minute or so and then add the remaining masala seasoning to the pan. Cook until the chicken is done. Lower the heat and add the crushed tomatoes and coconut milk. Stir to combine. Let simmer for 20 minutes or until thick. Once taken off the heat, stir in the heavy cream if desired for ultimate creaminess!
Cook your rice according to the package. Add in one tbsp of butter once it's cooked for flavor (optional).
Assemble your bowls! Add in rice, top with the tikka masala. Garnish with cilantro.
The naan bread is not included in the nutritional information below since it's an optional add-on.