Easy Chicken Tikka Masala


  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup plain whole mile yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated

Masala Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fresh serrano pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 28 ounze can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar (originally 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup? fresh cilantro


For the chicken: Combine cumin, coriander and salt in a small bowl.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken with the spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres.  Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30-60 minutes.  In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic and ginger; set aside.

 For the sauce: Heat oil in large dutch oven over medium heat until simmering.  Add onion and cook, stirring, until light brown.  Add garlic, ginger, chili, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant (~3 minutes).  Add crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover, simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If the sauce looks too chunky, puree it in a food processor, then return to pan.  Stir in cream and return to simmer.  Remove pan from heat, cover to keep warm. 

While sauce simmers, put oven rack about 6 inches from broiler and heat broiler.  Using tongs, dip the chicken in the yogurt mix (chicken should be coated with a thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on a broiler pan with a wire rack.  Discard extra yogurt.  Broil chicken until thickest parts are 160 degrees and exterior is lightly charred in places (~10-18 minutes), turning chicken halfway through.

Let chicken rest 5 minutes, cut into 1 inch chunks, and stir into warm sauce.  Stir in cilantro, adjust seasonings with salt, and serve with basmati rice.