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baking, sauteeing Indian
Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe-8936

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 1


This dish was called Chicken Makhanwala (Butter Chicken) until the British adopted it as their favorite Indian dish and its name morphed into this one. Chicken tikka means “bite-size boneless chicken.”

Yield: Serves 8


  • 12 cooked Tandoori Chicken thighs
  • 3 green chiles, preferably serranos, each 2 inches (5 cm) long
  • 1 piece (1 inch/2.5 cm) peeled ginger root
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) whole or diced tomatoes, including juice
  • ½ cup (125 mL) butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) freshly ground toasted cumin seeds, divided (see Notes)
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) paprika
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream (35%)
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) garam masala
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) cilantro, chopped


1. Carefully debone cooked chicken, taking care not to shred it.

2. In a food processor, process chiles and ginger. Add tomatoes with juice and purée until smooth.

3. In a large saucepan, melt ¼ cup (50 mL) of the butter over medium heat. Add one-third of the chicken and sauté until edges begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Brown remaining 2 batches of chicken in the same manner, adding 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the remaining butter as needed to prevent sticking.

4. Turn off heat and scrape up all the browned bits. Return to medium-low heat. Melt remaining 2 tbsp (25 mL) of butter. Stir in 4 tsp (20 mL) of the cumin and paprika. Cook, stirring rapidly, for 1 minute.

5. Pour in tomato mixture and return to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring frequently to allow flavors to blend, about 10 minutes. Add cream, salt, chicken and accumulated juices. Simmer, stirring gently a few times and scraping bottom to prevent burning, until chicken is heated through, 10 to 12 minutes.

6. Stir in garam masala and remaining cumin. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

© 2007 Suneeta Vaswani

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information does not include Tandoori Chicken Thighs. For nutritional information on Tandoori Chicken Thighs, please follow the link above.

229kcal (11%)
70mg (7%)
11mg (19%)
246mcg RAE (8%)
71mg (24%)
593mg (25%)
14g (71%)
23g (35%)
2mg (12%)

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  • habermas

    11.04.12 Flag comment

    Wonderful dish. I suppose like other WASPs, this is one of my favorite dishes. I made the Tandori Chicken with boneless chicken breasts on the grill and used a can of San Marzano tomatoes. I'm new to cooking Indian food and I must admit that this recipe was not at all difficult. Of course it will be easier the second time around. I made her Naan bread along with this dinner. See that review/


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