Madhur Jaffrey’s Tikka Masala

spice box

After watching Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Nation, our mouths were salivating at her chicken tikka masala, a dish that doesn’t have a lot of respect but I really like, especially with a little extra kick.

The recipe is split into 2; first the chicken tikka, which is marinated pieces of chicken (I used breast) cooked on skewers in a tandoor oven, or under the grill in a normal oven, which is what I did. Ideally you marinate the chicken for 4-6 hours, I prepared mine on Monday night to cook on Tuesday evening.

First, leave the chicken in bowl with 3 tbsp of lemon juice and salt for 20 minutes, then add all the below ingredients and refrigerate until time to cook.

1 tbsp root ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
6 tbsp cream
½ tsp garam masala

I was out of ground cumin so used cumin seeds instead, which were really nice when cooked.

chicken tikka

So when I got in yesterday evening I made my massala sauce by warming coconut oil on a medium to low heat and frying sliced onion until soft (around 7 mins). Then I added:
– 6 crushed garlic cloves and 1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger.
After leaving to cook for a minute, add the rest of the spices
– 1 tbsp ground coriander
– 1/2 tsp turmeric
– 1 heaped tsp chilli and a little extra for luck (this turned out to be too much)
– 2 tsp paprika

After a moment of heating the spices, mix in 4 tbsp of yoghurt, 1 tbsp at a time to make sure it doesn’t curdle.

Then, add 2 medium chopped tomatoes (or 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes), leave in the pan until they soften a little then add 350ml of chicken stock and a little salt, bring to the boil and simmer for 20minutes with the lid on.

In the 20 minutes while the massala is simmering cook the skewered chicken tikka under a grill, with the little sunflower oil brushed on top.

Once cooked, put the chicken tikka in the massala with half a tsp of garam massala and eat.

chicken tikka masala

As I was worried about mine not being spicy enough I deviated from the suggested 3/4 tsp of chilli powder and added 1 heaped teaspoon and a bit, which was way too much. Even after adding some cream to mellow the flavour I was still sweating a little eating this! The learning point is not to be to heavy handed with the chilli powder, keep tasting and only add more if needed – oops!


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Christina Hunter

I'm a personal trainer who loves to cook and eat so I started a blog to share my food, recipes and experiences.

6 thoughts on “Madhur Jaffrey’s Tikka Masala”

  1. definitely a recipe that is worth it. its not a 15 minute curry but doesnt take an hour of preparations with a million spices either

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