Sunday, 15 March 2009


I may be of Indian heritage but that does not mean that I know everything Indian. Being a fourth generation Malaysian born, it’s no wonder why….and especially for one that has never been to India too! I have always wondered what TIKKA meant and while researching for this post, I found out that TIKKA actually means ‘pieces’ or ‘bits’. So, there you learn something new everyday!

The traditional way of making CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA is to pre marinate the chicken pieces, then the pieces are grilled and finally, it is added to a thick creamy sauce/gravy. The result is a lovely smokey flavour mingled with the cream.

This however is a simple way of cooking CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA, when you have had a hard day at work and don’t really have the time to BBQ your chicken. My version uses fresh, non marinated boneless chicken thigh pieces. You still get the beautiful flavour from the spices in the sauce, minus the effort and cooking time!


1 kg chicken thighs or breast – cut into cubes
2 medium-sized onions finely chopped
4 to 5 cloves garlic chopped fine
5 pods cardamom (see my GLOSSARY post on CARDAMOM)
1 tin (400 gm approx) chopped tomatoes
1 tbsps garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1 cup cream (see my GLOSSARY post on CREAM)
3 tbsp almonds blanched and ground to a paste
Cooking oil or butter (or a combination) to seal the chicken
2 tbsp butter or cooking oil (or a combination)
Salt to taste
1 fresh tomato - diced
Coriander – for garnishing
Freshly ground black pepper - optional


Heat some oil in a deep pan on a medium flame and seal the chicken in batches. You only want to seal the chicken here, not fully cook it. Remove from the pot and set aside. Drain the oil but there is no need to wash the pot.

On a medium heat, now add 2 tbsp of butter to the pot. Add the onion. Cook till soft.

Add the cardamom and the garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add the garam masala, ground cumin and paprika and moisten with a tbsp or two of water if required. Cook the spices for 2 mins.

Now add the brown sugar, tomatoes, and almonds and mix well. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and a thick paste forms.

Add in the cooked chicken and stir. Cook for 10 minutes.

Add the cream and mix well. Add in half of the fresh diced tomatoes. Mix well.

Lift and serve the dish garnished with chopped coriander leaves and the diced tomatoes. Sprinkle some freshly cracked black pepper.

Serve hot with naan, CHAPATTIS or rice such as my CUMIN AND CARROT RICE.


Zue Murphy said...

I love chicken tikka masala with capathi or nan bread. Emmm... this look so yummy!

VG said...

Thank you Zue. I like to have it with chapattis too but by the time I come back from work, too tired to roll rice it is, he!he!

Anonymous said...

This is one of the dishes I usually order when I go to Indian restaurants. It looks good VG.


Dora said...

Looks so yummy...I'm hungry now!

VG said...

Dora and Grace, thank you.