Quick Chicken Tikka Masala for Two

September/October 2009

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (61 votes)

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 for two and lightened it by increasing the vegetables, omitting the butter and using less cream. Serve with brown basmati rice and, for dessert, dates.

"Excellent, loved it. I love Indian dishes. Lots of aroma and you made it healthy. "
Quick Chicken Tikka Masala for Two

Makes: 2 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

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  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (see Note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces chicken tenders
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Stir together garam masala, salt and turmeric in a small dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. (Reserve the remaining spice mix and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the remaining flour.)
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the reserved spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 1/2 teaspoons flour and stir until coated. Add tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. 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.

Tips & Notes

  • Note: 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.


Per serving: 300 calories; 12 g fat (4 g sat, 5 g mono); 79 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 26 g protein; 3 g fiber; 659 mg sodium; 692 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (40% daily value), potassium (20% dv), iron (19% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 fat

More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Type of Dish
Main dish, poultry
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

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