Chicken Tikka Masala

in Oct 13, 2023

From its mild, kid-friendly spices to its tender, bite-sized chicken pieces, this chicken masala recipe is bound to become a favorite on your toddler's menu. Bursting with aromatic spices and tender chicken it offers rich flavors while also providing essential nutrients. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that will have your little one eagerly asking for seconds!


For the chicken:
  • 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam marsala ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or grape-seed oil
For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Optional: 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  • Begin by combining yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper in a spacious bowl. Coat the chicken pieces thoroughly in this mixture. Allow the chicken to marinate in the yogurt sauce for at least 30 minutes. Optionally, you can refrigerate it overnight.
  • In a large skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken to the skillet and cook until it turns golden, stirring occasionally. This should take around 4 to 5 minutes. Once done, transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.
  • In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Incorporate the onion and cook until it becomes tender, which should take about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Cook until the mixture is well blended, typically 1 to 2 minutes. Introduce the diced tomatoes and chicken broth, bringing it to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and let it simmer. Stir occasionally until the sauce slightly thickens, approximately 10 minutes.
  • Add the cream and lemon juice, then reintroduce the cooked chicken to the pan. Cook until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Serve the dish warm with rice and freshly cut vegetables and salad.