Chicken Tikka Masala

The smell of Indian spices satueing on the stove makes me swoon. This is my go-to recipe when I'm craving that warm depth of flavor. It seems like a long arduous recipe, but it is a lot more simple than it looks.. I promise! (and it's so so SO worth it). This is a good recipe to make for a crowd (I just made this for my uncle John's birthday dinner!)

still struggle with cooking rice, but the method below seems to be pretty foolproof for jasmine rice. If you're comfortable cooking rice a different way or you have a rice cooker (or Trader Joe's glorious microwavable jasmine rice), then feel free to veer from the rice cooking steps in this recipe.

This recipe calls for grilling! I believe in grilling all year round. We're ootragirls! There's no such thing as seasonal clothing and there's no such thing as seasonal recipes! Grocery stores carry most summer ingredients all year round. So put your parka on and heat up that grill! 

Serves about 5

adapted from a recipe by Pioneer Woman

For the Chicken

  • 3-4 bonless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt
  • coriander
  • cumin 
  • (enough of each to sprinkle over and coat the chicken)
  • about 1 cup plain yogurt

For the rice:

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed to room temperature

For the sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro


For the Chicken

1. Pat the chicken dry and place on a large plate. Sprinkle salt, cumin and coriander over the top of the chicken and rub in to coat. Flip and repeat on the other side. 

2. Spoon a couple dollops of yogurt over each breast, rub to coat the chicken, and flip and repeat on the other side. 

3. Cook chicken on the perimeter of a hot charcoal grill or over medium-high heat of a gas grill. Cook about 12 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Let cool. Cut into bite size pieces and set aside. 

For the rice

1. Add rice, butter, salt, turmeric, and 3 cups water to a saucepan (make sure you have a tight fitting lid for the pan!)

2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, let boil for about 30 seconds and give it a quick stir, cover and turn off the burner (as the burner cools down the rice will simmer perfectly).

3. Let simmer for 20 minutes or until the rest of the meal is ready.

4. When the meal is ready to serve, fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the peas.

For the Sauce

1. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender. Add the ginger and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute).

2. Mix in the garam masala to coat the onions.

3. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes and scrape the bottom of the pan to stir in any delicious flavors stuck there.

4. Stir in a teaspoon of sugar and simmer for about 10 minutes. 

5. Stir in the chicken and heavy cream and warm over medium low heat for a couple minutes.

6. Sprinkle cilantro over the top and serve!