International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Murgh Tikka Masala

Murgh Tikka Masala Recipe (Indian chicken masala curry)

(Indian chicken masala curry)

Image Creative Commons by michaelhays

Average: 4.4 (41 votes)

Murgh tikka masala is an easy curry made with ingredients found in most American and British kitchens. And there's a reason for that: it was probably invented in Scotland! Never mind that. Tikka masala is now popular around the world.

The chicken chunks for tikka masala are usually roasted first as for chicken tikka, but this recipe is simpler, and the chicken is just simmered in the creamy tomato sauce until tender.

4 to 6 portions


  • Onion, chopped -- 1
  • Garlic, crushed -- 3-6 cloves
  • Gingerroot, peeled, thinly sliced -- 1-inch piece
  • Oil -- 1/4 cup
  • Coriander -- 1 tablespoon
  • Ground cumin -- 2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric -- 1 teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper -- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Tomatoes, chopped or crushed -- 1 cup
  • Chicken breasts or thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces -- 2 1/2 pounds
  • Water -- 1/2 cup
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Yogurt or cream -- 1/2 cup
  • Cilantro, chopped -- 1/2 bunch
  • Lemon juice -- 1 to 2 tablespoons
  • Garam masala -- to taste


  1. Add the onion, garlic and ginger to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add a little water if necessary.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot, wok or kadhai over medium flame. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne and lightly toast in the oil until fragrant, 10 to 15 seconds. Add the onion puree and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 to 8 minutes until cooked down.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Then add the chicken, water, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Add more water as needed.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the yogurt or cream, cilantro, lemon juice and a dash of garam masala. Adjust seasoning and serve with pulao or naan bread.

Murgh Tikka Masala Variations

  • For true tikka masala, prepare the chicken as for the murgh tikka recipe and use the marinated, cooked chicken in the recipe above.
  • Add more or less of the spices as you like. Adjust the heat of the dish by adding more or less cayenne pepper.
  • Garnish the finished dish with some toasted cashews or almonds.


Cook on hob until you have added all the ingredients (switch to Chicken thighs for a tender meat) and bake in oven for 1hour + on a low heat so you can go out and have it waiting for your return. Steam some spinach blend and add at the end after the yogurt. Or add King Prawns or roasted veg/ veg mix ( butternut, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes / green beans, red lentils) instead of the chicken.
Very tasty and delicious served with leftover yogurt mixed with a spoonful of mint jelly and chopped onions/toms and cucumber with popadoms.

I added more cayenne and some finely chopped Serrano peppers, plus a little bit of green pepper (capsicum). I also put in more tomato and curd/cream to get extra gravy. Very good served with homemade naan!

Yummy! For a dairy free version of this recipe and for more on the origins of this dish, check out my blog post:

Made this recipe with the broiled chicken (linked above) and it was absolutely perfect! I've been trying a bunch of recipes, but this one was most similar to what I've gotten at restaurants. I'll never go out to eat this again.