One of the most popular Indian dishes in the U.S. and the U.K., chicken tikka masala usually involves several steps including marinating and grilling the chicken before simmering in a curried tomato cream sauce. We've simplified it to a one-skillet dish and lightened it by increasing the vegetables, omitting the butter and using less cream. Serve with brown basmati rice and, for dessert, dates.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2010


Recipe Summary

40 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir together garam masala, salt and turmeric in a small dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. (Reserve the remaining spice mix and 1 tablespoon of the remaining flour.)

  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

  • Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the reserved spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon flour and stir until coated. Add tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Stir in cream. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.


Garam masala, a blend of spices used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin and coriander. It is available in the spice section of most supermarkets.

Nutrition Facts

318 calories; protein 26.6g 53% DV; carbohydrates 21.4g 7% DV; exchange other carbs 1.5; dietary fiber 4g 16% DV; sugars 6.2g; fat 14.1g 22% DV; saturated fat 5.1g 25% DV; cholesterol 84.8mg 28% DV; vitamin a iu 1029.1IU 21% DV; vitamin c 29.4mg 49% DV; folate 55.5mcg 14% DV; calcium 109.3mg 11% DV; iron 2.6mg 14% DV; magnesium 50.8mg 18% DV; potassium 681.6mg 19% DV; sodium 585mg 23% DV; thiamin 1.3mg 130% DV.

Reviews (31)

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32 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 8
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 3 stars
I made this dish today for the first time and followed the directions exactly. It was good but i didn't think it would have been something I'd make again. I decided to simmer a little longer and added 1 tsp curry powder and 4 dried chilies (chopped with seeds) and I couldn't keep away from it! I can't have Indian food without a bit of heat and this definitely made the recipe much better imo. I would also use diced tomatoes instead of whole next time. I will definitely make this one again as long as I've got some dried chilies to add to the mix. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My husband and I both love this recipe. It is very flavorful and pretty easy. We make it with the curried red lentil soup and they are a perfect combo. We make about 1.5 times the garam masala spice mixture and put about 1.5-2 tablespoons on the chicken as we found the chicken definitely needed more spice/flavor and sometimes add some early peas. Otherwise we cook as directed and it is great! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Really loved this recipe - made it twice in the last couple weeks and the second time I used fire roasted diced tomatoes - even better. Made it with tofu the second time as well and the tofu soaked up all the awesome flavors - really excellent!!! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
I made this for the 1st time it isn't REAL chicken tikka masala like the kind I get at my Indian restaurant but it is good and healthy. I made basmati rice which was really good the sauce is good with rice and I also used petite diced canned tomatoes makes it easier but it really tastes like tomatoes which I don't really like. My fiance thought it was spicy I thought it had a little kick but not a lot I probably won't make it again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
OMG! I am recently trying Indian recipes and this turned out awesome and even better the next day. I definitely will make this again and again. I will need to swap out the flour for maybe rice flour for my celiac friends and family. Give this a try for sure! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made this recipe today and I thought it was absolutely delicious! I do have a few tips for anyone that wants to make it. Where it says "plum tomatoes" I just used a can of crushed tomatoes. I didn't know this before making the recipe but apparently plum tomatoes are a type of tomato that's good for canning. So basically any variety of canned tomatoes (whole diced stewed crushed) contains plum tomatoes (thank you Wikipedia). Using the crushed tomatoes I really just had to stir the mixture instead of worrying about crushing the tomatoes as I went. For the garam masala seasoning I couldn't find it at HEB so I had to go to Whole Foods (I'm sure you could find it at Central Market too). If you're having trouble finding it you might try looking up a recipe for it online since it's just a mixture of a few common spices. I made it with white rice and some pre-made naan that I found at HEB. I didn't use basmati rice but I will next time! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Love this recipe. I will make this again and again. We used more chicken than it called for and no rice because my rice does not turn out good. We substituted milk for cream and it turned out just great. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Quick and easy! This is the first time I have prepared this dish. It was great to try it with an easy recipe. Very tasty! Pros: Easy ingredients. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious - converted to gluten & dairy free I used brown rice flour for the flour and coconut milk (the thick creamy kind) for the cream. Also I subbed mild curry powder extra tumeric coriander and a dash of cayenne for the garam marsala just because I was out. I added a diced zucchini to the onion mixture. It was excellent and I will make it again. Pros: quick nutritious easy to modify Read More