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Published on June 16, 2020

Tikka Masala (Chicken Curry)

Healthy Meals Made Easy

Serves 4 to 6


  • ¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 T high heat oil, divided
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala, divided
  • 2 tsp turmeric, divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 T ghee (clarified butter)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 (14 ½-ounce cans) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 c unsweetened coconut milk


  1. Combine yogurt, 1 T oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, ½ teaspoon each of garam masala and turmeric and chicken in a bowl. Cover and chill for 2 to 4 hours.
  2. Heat ghee in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and ginger; cook until onions are golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Add bell pepper and stir in coriander, paprika, cumin, cayenne, cardamom and remaining garam masala and turmeric. Cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Add crushed tomatoes and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chicken to the sauce and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. 

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