[Note: This dish was previously, incorrectly called “Chicken Tikka Masala.”]
In February, I fell into an I Miss GBBO rabbit hole (my interest waned when Mel, Sue and Mary Berry left, although perhaps it’s my loss) and found myself on Chetna Makan, the talented semifinalist from the 2014 season’s YouTube page, watching her make her mom’s chicken curry. It looked absolutely amazing. I watched the video, “BEST Chicken Curry recipe!” three times, and, having failed to find the recipe online or in her cookbooks, did that thing I imagine we had to in the pre-internet era of food television: wrote down the recipe from what she was saying. My kids were in the backseat and I kept saying “shh! I need to hear what spice this is!” (I’m fun.)
I have so many dishes of Indian subcontinent origin on this site, but there hasn’t been a go-to chicken curry, just this sheet pan tikka, mostly because I didn’t know I needed one in my life. Silly Deb. But then I followed the recipe from my scrawled notes, we ate it for dinner, and absolutely did not shut up about it for at least three weeks after, telling everyone I saw about this “unbelievably good chicken curry” that would now be a staple in my cooking repertoire forever. I told friends to watch the video and make it, and would then text them a list of the changes I’d made and shockingly, this [“Watch and transcribe a 5-minute cooking video and then make these edits”] didn’t tempt anyone. I mean, if only I had an internet website I could share the edited recipe on and send them a link to? Nah, who needs that noise.
But despite vowing to make it forever and ever, I didn’t do it again for eight months, and I realized as some point I was afraid that my notes weren’t very good or that I’d remembered is better than it was — because it’s that the worst, having oversold something… to yourself? However, last week my craving was finally stronger than my fear of muddling the memory of it with something good but not shout-from-the-rooftops good and I tackled it again and it barely made it to the table for dinner because everyone around that day wanted to eat it straight from the pot, standing up. It is shockingly rich for something with only a cup of yogurt in it, but more, cozy and complex. Cooking the base flavors deeply and layered helps build a foundation that makes even a 6-pack of chicken thigh cutlets from the grocery store taste like something you’ve toiled over all day. I will never go eight months without making it again.
Six months ago: Toasted Pecan Cake
One year ago: Even More Perfect Apple Pie
Two years ago: Quick Pasta and Chickpeas and Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Three years ago: Garlic Wine and Butter Steamed Clams, Baked Alaska, Indian-Spiced Cauliflower Soup and Skillet-Baked Pasta with Five Cheeses
Four years ago: My Old-School Baked Ziti and Cannoli Pound Cake
Five years ago: Better Chicken Pot Pies and Better Chocolate Babka
Six years ago: Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl and Purple Plum Torte
Seven years ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Eight years ago: Apple Pie Cookies
Nine years ago: Mushroom Lasagna
Ten years ago: Quiche Lorraine and Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp
Eleven years ago: Majestic and Moist Honey Cake, Best Challah (Egg Bread), and Mom’s Apple Cake
Twelve years ago: Peter Reinhart’s Bagels and Peanut Butter Brownies
Thirteen years ago: Lemon Cake
- 2 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup plain, full-fat yogurt (I use Greek; with Greek, 2% worked too)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced or grated, divided
- 2-inch piece of ginger, minced or grated, divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons neutral oil or ghee
- 2 large yellow onions, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- About 2 1/2 cups small diced fresh tomatoes, from 3 to 4 roma tomatoes, or 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne or a mild chile powder, such as kashmiri, or to taste
- 1/2 cup water
In a large (4 quarts), heavy pan with a lid, heat oil or ghee. Once hot add onions and cumin seeds, cook 5 minutes, until browned at edges. Add remaining ginger and garlic and cook one to two minutes more. Add remaining salt, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cayenne or another chile powder cook for two minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to break down, 4 minutes. Add tomato paste, cook for another 2 minutes. Add chicken and yogurt marinade from bowl, plus water, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer, stirring. Simmer 25 to 30 minutes over low heat, covered, stirring once or twice to ensure everything is cooking evenly.
Chicken is done when it is cooked through and very tender (you can cut a larger chunk in half to check for doneness). Adjust seasoning as needed and serve with rice.
* In the video, Chetna Makan makes this with one whole chicken that’s been skinned and cut into chunks; I do not doubt that having bones in the mix provide a deeper flavor. I went with boneless chicken thighs for speed and ease.
* Re, fresh tomatoes: I often see fresh tomatoes suggested in Indian dishes and found it surprising, when they’re so lousy out of season and canned tomatoes are so consistent. But in Priya Krishna’s Indian-ish cookbook, she suggests that you only use canned tomatoes “if you have to.” She said she finds that even those sad fresh winter tomatoes seem to work better in bringing that necessary brightness to Indian dishes than canned ones.” I’ve used fresh tomatoes in dishes that call for them since, even firm, unjuicy ones, and really like the complexity they bring once cooked. I’m fully converted.
* Re, removing dairy: I definitely think you could marinate the chicken in full-fat coconut milk (I find the cans from Trader Joe’s particularly rich) for a similarly delicious dish.
* Re, InstantPot: Yes, I think you could. Chunks of boneless thighs usually take 7 minutes for me on high, however, I suspect by the time the IP comes up to pressure and then releases, you’ll have saved little of the 25 minutes stovetop simmering time. But, the IP is hands-off, and that counts too.
* About the name/name change: Makan called the recipe chicken curry, but I had taken the liberty of calling it what I believed to be the full dish name: chicken tikka masala, because I’d read mixed things about the word “curry” (more here on why, but it’s basically it’s catch-all term that doesn’t mean a whole lot). Many commenters came forward and corrected my mistake (namely, this isn’t chicken tikka masala!) — thank you — and I changed the name back to the original.
* I’m using the pot you probably see all of the time here, a Staub 4-quart braiser. The rice you see is golden sella basmati rice; I bought mine at Kalustyan’s.
474 comments on chicken curry
This looks fabulous – perfect for fall!
If using chicken breast, marinate it for at least an hour, then preceded to cook with it, breast in general cooks faster, and does not do well in stews and curries, esp if the tang of the tomato is nor cooked out
These should allow for not ending with dry stringy chicken
Don’t use brats breast if you intend to save for the next day, it does not reheat well
Definitely not chicken tikka masala. This is a – delicious-looking – version of a pretty standard, every day chicken curry. My Bengali family’s version adds ground cumin, uses whole garam masala and bay leaves, and stirs in a heaping spoon of yogurt and a touch of sugar at the end. Chicken tikka is made with chicken tikka – chunks of tandoori‘ed chicken, usually white meat, mixed into a prepared sauce.
And absolutely agree – even the crappiest of winter winter tomatoes are better than tinned tomatoes.
SO excited to try this. Do you think the cooking time would be different for breasts?
Wondering the same! Any issue with using breasts vs. thighs?
I’d expect the cooking time to be the same for breasts. I find them a bit more stringy and dry vs. thighs, but both should work here.
I made this with chicken breasts and I would definitely recommend checking on it early. Mine were venturing into the land of overcooked by the time I checked on them at 20 minutes. Also canned coconut milk worked great as a substitute for the yogurt!
Delicious, but the yogurt did not incorporate to make that beautiful silky sauce. It just broke. What happened?
My yogurt broke too! I am using 2% Greek – thinking perhaps not enough fat – next time full fat
Adding butter – from the comment below – will report back :-)
My two cents: since the original recipe called for an entire chicken, cut up, I’d think the same timing would work. (I think the size if the pieces you cut the meat into would be more of a deciding factor.)
But feel free to check early…
This looks so delicious and is going on the menu for this week. We are dairy free, but I always make your sheet pan chicken tikka with plain coconut milk yogurt. It’s pretty vile to just eat on its own, but works great as an ingredient. All the garlic and ginger mask the weird taste that stuff has! I’ll probably use it here too instead of the recommended coconut cream, allowing me to avoid the terrifying Trader Joe’s parking lot.
Thanks for the tip about coconut milk yogurt, Mimi! Are there any other of Deb’s recipes you’ve successfully adapted for dairy-free?
You’re welcome. It’s weird that my comment posted as a response to another one, but in any event, yes. I I usually use thinned mayonnaise instead of buttermilk in creamy salad dressings like the famous broccoli slaw. I’m not sure how it compares to the original recipe, but it’s pretty good my way too. I also just omit things like Parmesan cheese (and maybe up the salt and spices a little) when it’s used as a flavoring rather than an integral part of a recipe, such as in the meatballs. It depends on the recipe and I usually just kind of wing it :)
You can use nutritional yeast in place of Parmesan when it’s used as a flavoring in something like meatballs.
I’ve heard that before, and tried it once. I didn’t find the yeast stuff to taste cheesy at all. To me, it just tastes like yeast. Oh well! (But I also find the taste of bananas intolerable, so most likely it’s me that’s the problem 😂). Also, my apologies to the original commenter here who’s thread I seem to have hijacked!
Hi! Can I substitute the yogurt with sour cream instead?
Been looking to make Chicken Tikka for a while! Thanks for another great recipe. I have tried your sheet pan chicken tikka as well.
I love the “answers to questions I know are coming” post script. 😆
Lol, I do my best!
I laughed out loud when I saw them, especially since I came here top all one of them haha. You are a true professional
The day I was marinating chicken for chicken tikka masala from a combination of Meera Sodha’s Made in India cookbook which lists a recipe for Chicken Tikka and a bon appetite recipe to get the sauce, you posted this. Interesting to see different interpretations of the recipe. I don’t know what specifically makes it masala, but I love the richness adding heavy cream to the sauce brings. I also like the idea of using fresh tomatoes. I think next time I’ll combine your recipe with those two and see how things turn out haha.
I have another tomato question for you. If the recipe calls for fresh dice tomatoes, why would crushed be a substitute? Wouldn’t diced canned tomatoes be better?
In any event, this looks amazing & it’s now on the menu for this week. I love marinating chicken in yogurt. I think that’s one of the keys to making the recipe better than average.
It’s a good question and it has a very specific answer from me I didn’t want to make the post any longer to get into. Diced tomatoes are often treated to keep their shapes intact, something I have no interest in, and also explains why I find them so frustrating in recipes (little cubes of tomato left after very long cooking times). So, crushed are the way to go. Puree are often too smooth. Whole would be fine, but you’ll need to break them down a lot with your spoon, or blend them first.
Thank you for this great explanation!
Wow, I never knew this! Will definitely change the staples I keep around!
I’m a big fan of Chetna. I will definitely make this!
Thank you!!! I did not know this!!! I wondered why the wretched things never broke up no matter how long they cook. So glad I read this comment.
I had no idea either! I just found this article! Thanks Deb!
I couldn’t stop thinking about making this curry dish all week, but my attempt didn’t turn out well at all. Based on watching Chetna’s video, I should’ve cooked my onions and tomatoes much longer or at a higher heat level to get such brownness (even though I well exceeded the time listed in the recipe). My tomatoes were also not very ripe at all, and they were refusing to meld into the onions. Then I was afraid to cook the chicken on low, so I kept dialing up the heat with the lid on, which created too much steam that ultimately watered down the sauce. I didn’t end up enjoying the texture or the lackluster flavor, which was such a bummer. And it seemed to make much more than 4-6 servings (which normally would thrill me). I am reluctant to give this another go.
If the tomatoes are not fresh, especially in the dead of winter, I add about 1/2 Tbsp of tomato paste to up the flavor of tomatoes in addition to the finely chopped ‘dull’ tomatoes. I have my aunt to thank for this trick :) And when in doubt, cook on low, and if too watery, cook without a lid.
I have never done curry anything. But I thought curry was a spice and I don’t see that spice in the ingredient list. I do see garam masala so maybe it should be called chicken garam masala?? Just a litttle confused, but I will be trying this!!
Curry is both a spice and a style of dish — here it refers to the latter. Curry (the dish) doesn’t need to contain curry powder, usually a spice blend.
When I made this, the yogurt curdled instead of turning silky. What did I do wrong?
I had the same problem! I see several others did too when I read the previous comments. No response though from anyone about how to prevent this from happening.
Add a bit at a time and whisk it in with a fork . Let it cool a bit otherwise it will cuddle..
Stirring in a half to full teaspoon of cornflour into the yogurt before adding it will stop it curdling, but will also thicken the sauce slightly. Also, we always had a rule “add hot to cold” so adding some of the hot sauce to the yogurt before mixing it in, should help.
Try stirring the yogurt before marinating
So I think Deb has shared before that canned dice has a weird additive so that tomatoes keep their dice-y shape. She said that either whole or crushed are preferable, for this reason.
Looks delicious! I echo Anamika’s comment. This is definitely a straight up curry and not tikka, as the name implies the chicken pieces would be cooked in a tandoor or grilled before going into the gravy. As an Indian Canadian I think it’s important to get the naming right!
Add the ground cumin with the turmeric, coriander, etc. My MIL does the cumin seeds with her onions and my fam does ground cumin in the “masala” stage.
Can this be frozen? All alone here so would like to freeze some.
Do you think this could be made vegetarian with paneer instead? I’m not sure what marinading the cheese in yogurt would do (if anything).
Wondering the same thing. I have made a similar dish with cauliflower.
Yes, I also want to make this vegetarian! Maybe chickpeas and peppers and cauliflower?
Chetna has a bunch of excellent vegetarian meals on her channel including a really nice butter paneer. Made it a couple of weeks ago and it was delicious!
Absolutely. You could also use chickpeas or cauliflower or any other chunky vegetables you’d like here.
I have the same question. Or any other ideas for vegetarian sub?
How about eggplant? Or firm tofu? Or mushrooms?
Potatoes and cauliflower are a classic combination, you’d have basically Aloo Gobi. No need to marinate in the yogurt but still include it.
I have the same question about ideas for vegetarian subs. Would you still marinate in yogurt? I suppose that still helps the sauce come together.
I would definitely still marinate in yogurt.
I might tried fried tofu too. Thanks!
Try cauliflower and cashews! So good! See my post below for more details.
Chicken tikka masala implies making tikka (a seasoned, baked protein— traditionally in an Indian clay oven called a tandoor; in home kitchens in the oven) and then putting the cooked meat in a gravy. Apocryphally tikka masala was invented in a restaurant to use up leftover tandoori chicken. So the nomenclature here isn’t right; as an Indian American I’d certainly just call this a curry. And yeah, unfortunately that’s just the generic name for any item cooked in a sauce/gravy, but sometimes we specify by region of India or sub-continent to be slightly more descriptive.
I definitely agree with Anamika, this is not Chicken Tikka Masala & really a chicken curry
Agree here too. The making of the chicken tikka first is key to a chicken tikka masala. Chicken curry is pretty generic but it’s what my grandma always called her chicken curry. I called it grandma’s chicken curry :)
Yep, this is definitely a fairly standard chicken curry and not a chicken tikka masala for the reasons mentioned above. Chicken tikka masala was always a dish to use up leftover tandoori chicken and the good versions (not the overly tomatoey and creamy ones in most American restaurants) retain some of that flavor from the tandoor itself.
This one is a good chicken curry recipe that most people will enjoy. Most South Asians have some version of this in our repertoire. I’ll have to give this one a try!
Thank you for this clear explanation! I LOVE Indian food but always struggle remember which dish I like most and why because I can’t figure out the differences from the simple descriptions in menus.
Fully agree with Anamika that this is a chicken curry. Looks like a great recipe – love the site!
If you want to be picky chicken tikka just means pieces of chicken, and if it was cooked in a tandoor it would be tandoori chicken. It’s true that the chicken tikka is typically marinated and cooked separately, traditionally on skewers over a grill or brazier, then added to the sauce (masala).
Do you find that if you marinate the chicken “up to a day” the flavor is much more pronounced than if you use it right away? Or are the flavors in the sauce enough so that it really doesn’t matter? Thanks for what looks like a great reason to stay home rather than go to that little hole in the wall restaurant!
I haven’t even gotten as far as a day with this — because I’m a bad planner. But I think it’s good to know if you like to prep earlier. If you’re not, I had no complaints about the right-away or few-hours-later versions I made.
I wouldn;t marinate the chicken too long, especially not chicken breasts – the meat gets kind of tough.
As someone else commented, every South Asian has some version of this ‘curry’ or ‘masala’. And no two ‘curries’ or ‘masalas’ or dishes you eat will ever be the same :)
In Indian cooking, onion, ginger, garlic are browned (low and slow is key here), followed by some sort of a sour (tomato or tamarind in the South), fat (yogurt, fresh coconut / coconut milk in the South, cashew paste), and spice/aromatic combinations (commonly garam masala versions in the North, black pepper based versions in the Southern coastal areas, etc.). Typically, onions, garlic and ginger go in first with either cumin or black mustard seeds + salt (aids in faster cooking of onions), followed by tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes until they are mush (and oil leaves from the side, literal translation from family recipes) and then add spices of interest (the beauty is you can make it your own, less is more here) and then add meat/vegetable of choice (you can make the ‘dish’ with literally anything you have on hand including lentils. Cook, low and slow or pressure cook. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!
What a fantastic, helpful comment — thank you.
Thank you, this was extremely helpful.
Thank you, Akhila, great info!
While visiting India several years ago I found that “curry” there is a sauce or gravy, made up of several spices. Here in the US, we think of “curry” as a specific spice. Made for hilarious confusion as we wandered through the open markets in Kolkata inquiring if anyone had “curry”.
Who are you calling “we”? I am from the US and am not aware of anyone I know here (or elsewhere) who doesn’t know that the characteristic flavor of curry comes from a mixture of spices. Even if you buy a container of “curry powder” it lists the ingredients and you can plainly see that there is no one spice called “curry.”
Goodness gracious SB, don’t get your panties in a bunch! I totally agree with Kathy. She was simply referring to her own experiences. And for the record, I know a lot of people who think that curry is a “spice”, not a blend of “spices”. Uneducated? Perhaps. But not everyone is a culinary expert!
SB sounds NUTS!!!!
It’s pretty racist to say “here in the US we…” when really Kathy is just talking about white people. Through her language Kathy erases the Indian-American experience. Plenty of Indian identifying people live in the US and are just as American as Kathy is. Kathy was referring to her own experience, but then made a gross generalization off of her singular experience. Let’s not devalue SB’s accurate comment.
I read this as not so much as meaning one spice vs spice mixture, but meaning spice/spice mixture vs sauce or gravy. But I am sure there are plenty of people in the US who do not realize curry powder is a blend.
Thank you for the suggestion of coconut milk! It looks incredibly tempting (or, as Mary Berry might say, “inviting”), but coconut milk makes it kosher-friendly. It looks wonderfully cozy for fall and winter.
Looks amazing! Will put it on the menu for this week.
Also, yes you are missing out not having watched the latest seasons of GBBO
You tagged this as “freezer friendly” and I’m wondering how to make that work (which step to freeze at, how to adjust cook time, or how to fully reheat)?
To go with all these fab Indian recipes, is a recipe for naan on the horizon? Because I’ve tried lots of recipes and still haven’t found the one…so I make Indian and make my husband pick up garlic cheese naan from our favorite restaurant on his way home from work.
Seconded!! My best solution (for now) is to keep Trader Joe’s frozen garlic naan on hand, but I’d love to use a Smitten Kitchen recipe instead!
So, it’s not authentic naan, but I make a yogurt flat bread that works remarkably well and comes together so easily. If I recall correctly (and I may be off because I now just have the ratios of a tub of yogurt etc memorised) it is 4 cups of flour, approx 400g of yogurt, a pinch of baking powder and some salt. Bring together and knead for a minute or two. Rest. Roll. Dry fry. They come out really soft and almost naan like in texture without being so thick. You technically need a tandoori oven to make naan, roti can be made on the stove easily though. This is a compromise between the two.
Do you add the yogurt of the marinade or discard it? Whenever I add the chicken covered in the yogurt marinade, the gravy becomes grainy, like the yogurt has separated. Does anyone else have this problem? Any solutions?
That happened to me too, John.
I added it and it was perfect. I did the marinade half yogurt half coconut milk/cream though. And cooked it on a really low heat. I think it the heat is too high it’ll more likely split. And a solution I use when it does split is just add in a couple more spoons of yogurt once off the heat.
Yes, a lower heat is the key so it won’t ‘break’ or become grainy. If it does, you can strain out major pieces, this sounds weird, but wisk in a little butter. The grainy bits are the separation of the fats. You could always lower the heat, and try more yogurt. I’ve always found a little butter is faster.
You may want to temper it – add a bit of warm liquid from pan to the yogurt, stir in, do again, then add all back to the pan. This works with adding other dairy or lemon juice things that otherwise curdles when it hit the hot items.
Meera Sodha’s naan recipe from the NYT is great and really easy!
Too bad I always max out my free articles accidentally opening links. (I’d totally pay for it, but I need to be more than a full time student, part time employee)
Deanna – since you’re a student, try accessing the NYT via your school library. Chances are they have an institutional subscription.
Yum yum yum cannot wait to make and devour this!
Since “garam masala” is a blend of spices and seasonings, what brand do you use? or do you make it yourself?
This looks delicious, and I’m going to have to try it!
+1 to this question! I’ve read the ingredients for a few garam masala options at my local Whole Foods and they vary widely.
I think her sheet pan tikka recipe has a recipe for approximating garam masala
I, too, was wary of GGBO once Baking Queen Mary Berry, Mel, and Sue left but my 11 year old son and I just started again and Prue, Sandy, and Noel are fine. I encourage you to give it another try. His interest in British baking led to a trip to London this summer and also to Ireland. (How is the brown bread recipe coming, by the way?)
I really liked the first two seasons with the new crew. I like Prue just fine, and though I don’t love Noel, I didn’t really like Mel and Sue either, so that’s a wash. But more importantly, I really liked the bakers.
Noel has grown on me over time.
Deb: If you stopped watching when Mary et al left, then you have missed the Kim-Joy season. You must watch the Kim-Joy season!!
Would this work in a slow cooker? I’m 7 months pregnant and trying to make some (unfortunately named) crockpot “dump meals”!
I have made a similar recipe with a slow cooker, and more stove top like this (and am delighted to get to come to SK instead of trying to combine several other recipes), and think you might lose some of the complexity with how you “build” the recipe, but especially if you are still able to start with the marinated meat, it will still be very flavorful, if different!
I did it in my instant pot…and I then made a second batch where I did the onions and spices in the frying pan and then added them to the bag with the remaining ingredients to toss in my slow cooker another day. Both worked well.
Haha, ‘curry’ is such a British thing that chicken tikka masala is considered by many to be Britain’s national dish! I think it was actually invented in Glasgow by a Pakistani or Bangladeshi chef, and I remember a comedian telling a story of being in a Welsh pub and being served chicken tikka masala with sliced bread and butter and a cup of tea. Proper comfort food for most Brits.
Bangladeshi actually. And I don’t blame Britain for adopting it as a national dish. It is delicious.
This is almost identical to the way my two female cousins and I all make this dish! We all originally learned more labor intensive recipes from our grandmother/aunts and came to the same method when we were just out of college and trying to cook more quickly. It’s now a favorite with all our husbands and children too.
Yessss, this looks like a brilliant recipe! As others have said, to be chicken tikka the meat has to be prepared separately to get the lovely flavour. This is the most popular curry in the UK and Glasgow has long claimed to be the place of its invention :)
My favorite ever chicken tikka masala (from Ambar in Cincinnati, for any Ohioans out there) has a very smooth sauce, and I’m kind of wedded to that very creamy, no-lump texture. Do you think I could get at the tomato/onions with an immersion blender and then add the chicken in? Or would that compromise the recipe somehow?
I do that with a lot of Indian sauces.
This is a chicken curry recipe, not chicken tikka masala, which has a smoother sauce, as you remember. In chicken tikka masala, the spices are incorporated into the marinade for the chicken, which is grilled (or broiled) separately and then added to the tomato cream sauce, at which point some of the spices come off the chicken and blend into the sauce. You might want to find a recipe for chicken tikka masala instead of adapting this one. There are few separate steps, but Cook’s Illustrated’s is pretty easy and very good. It uses crushed tomatoes (no chunks), and while there are onions and garlic in the sauce, they are finely chopped or minced, so they sort of melt into nothing-ness after being sauteed.
I LOVE, love, love the Cooks Illustrated Chicken Tikka Masala – I’m sure it’s not totally authentic, but it’s delicious (and does follow the criteria stated here for a tikka).
Can’t wait to try this recipe!
Oh, Ambar! I moved from Cincinnati 20 years ago and I still dream about it (and tell people about when I lived in a neighborhood where the Indian restaurant scented the air). I was committed to their Malai Kofta, with a stroll to Graeter’s for dessert.
I also used to live in Cincinnati and love Ambar! The flavor profile in this was pretty close to their tikka masala flavor, although somewhat lighter in a good way since it was yogurt not cream.
Wheeee! Cincinnati! Ambar is great and I’m going to try to make this (have my chicken marinating) but may have to go to Ambar next week anyway 😉
+1 Ambar Love!!
RE: the paneer question… I find tearing malai (full fat) paneer into chunks instead of cutting and generously salting to taste before adding is a good way to replace meat in Indian dishes. The nooks an crannies do a better job of holding the gravy.
RE: curry… My hubby uses it to mean the dish has a sauce or gravy, rather than being dry. You can have onion, tomato, cream, etc. based curries in Indian cooking. Chicken Tikka Masala is a specific dish, which your recipe could definitely be, but usually real tikka masala is made with leftover tandoori grilled chicken (also called chicken tikka). It’s also similar to butter chicken.
RE: crappy fresh tomatoes… In Indian dishes I always sub good salsa, fresh or canned instead of mealy fresh tomatoes, and add a little fresh lemon juice and pinch of sugar to balance if needed.
I have a jar of ginger paste at home that makes making (ha ha!) Indian recipes a breeze. How many teaspoons of paste would a 2-inch piece of ginger yield, give or take?
Debs, I looooove you and god knows I cannot love you more than I do. And I loved you even more when you visited Portugal and my heart swelled with pride. But… as good as this is (and I bet its good!) THIS.IS.NOT.TIKKA.MASALA.
Tikka Masala is actually a very British disk, where chicken Tikka (basically BBQ’ed chicken in tikka paste) is basted with masala sauce.
Thanks for posting this recipe Deb! Reminds me of man mom’s chicken curry – although she adds some green chilis for extra spice! And always topped with a generous dose of cilantro!
This is a chicken curry though, not chicken tikka masala which requires the chicken to be marinated with spices and cooked separately. A great dish nonetheless!
The flavor of this is great! My one issue is that my yogurt seemed to separate or almost appear curdled or grainy? if that makes sense. Did I let the yogurt get too hot? I used Siggi’s Full Fat (Lactose Free) yogurt which is 4%. Thanks!
Lovely recipe which we’ll have to try. But I’m really writing to encourage you to go back to GBBO. With all due respect to Mel and Sue, we adore Sandy and Noel, and have since about the first 30 seconds. Takes a little longer to warm up to Prue – she’s not the sweet Mary Berry, for sure – but as the show has progressed, she’s standing up to Paul a little more, which we appreciate. The four of them are all looser and more fun together. We’re converted.
Hi Deb, thanks so much for posting this! I was looking to try another chicken tikka recipe to cook with my friends this week and you had the best timing in posting this today! Was wondering why you chose not to add spices to the yogurt marinade? In most of the recipes I have tried that marinate the chicken in yogurt, a bunch of spices are added. Do you find it doesn’t impart the spice flavor into the chicken well enough in the shorter marinade time? Wouldn’t it add more spice flavoring to the gravy once the chicken pieces are added?
The spices, especially the turmeric need to be fried in order to be cooked properly. It releases the aromas etc too.
Hi Andrea! Thanks for the tip. I’m gonna start marinating tonight. Wish me luck!
I “cheated” and added some spices (cumin, fenugreek) to the marinade as well, because I felt the same. It does all get cooked in the end along with the chicken.
I only recently started watching GGBO on Netflix (I adore Mel, Sue, and Mary!) and am not a baker, but have been trying… In any case, Chetna has been my favorite baker and I was delighted to see she has a website, and it looks like a book or two. Thank you for sharing!
A. you’re hilarious.
B. i have loved your recipes for years and have made 100’s of them, but i love you even more now that i know you have a GBBO obsession, as i do as well!
C. oh and i love your writing as much as (sometimes more than!?) your recipes
D. i am making this for dinner tomorrow night!!!
would love to hear someone’s feedback on making this in the instant pot. would you add the yogurt before pressure cooking or after?
Deb, would you mind sharing where your plates are from?
I have been CRAVING Chicken Tikka Misala and was in the market for a GOOD recipe! So glad you posted this, because I trust your recipes and you ROCK! Thank you for posting this!
And, why can’t I find your hidden pics of kids lately? Missing them!
Just made this tonight! Thought it was absolutely delicious. A few lessons learned (for me). My onions took forever to brown, so I ended up sauteing them for closer to 20 minutes as opposed to 5, not sure if that was right, but it didn’t end up hurting the final result at all.
My other (turned out fine) mistake was that I got nervous prior to the final simmer because it seemed so thick, so I added an extra half cup of water to loosen it. This ended up making the end result a bit more watery, so I just simmered it with the top off to let it reduce. But, for others, just trust the recipe and the amount of water, a lot of water is released as you simmer (especially given you simmer with the top on).
Lovely flavor, I’ve never cooked Indian before (been too intimidated), so this was absolutely fantastic!!
I loved Chetna. She was one of my favorites and her videos are great. Thanks for diligently transcribing and no matter what it’s called, it looks delicious!
This is definitely an Indian chicken curry.
I can understand the confusion but EACH culture has their own curry. Thai, Caribbean, Afghan, Indian, Japanese… etc.
All different cultures use different dry herb powders in solution to make up different curries in their own way.
The recipe above is definitely NOT chicken Tika Masala. If the chicken 🐔 had been cooked in the oven prior and some sort of creaminess had been added (dairy, coconut, cashews) it may pass for a Tikka masala.
Please call this by the right name. As others have said, it’s absolutely not a tikka. I’ve noticed you co-opting recipes before, calling them by different names and acting like you “discovered” them. What a funny and ironic thing to have pop up in my feed on “Columbus Day”. Keep up the colonialism!
It sucks when people act as though they discovered recipes that aren’t their own. As someone from a culture that gets that done to it an awful lot, it always rubs me the wrong way.
This, in which Deb clearly cited the person she got the recipe from, discussed the tips she gleaned from both her and another Indian author whose influence she praised and whose book she promoted with her highly trafficked website, and in which she asked for corrections herself, is not that. It’s an appreciation for a good recipe, as introduced by an Indian person who was freely sharing it with the world. A gentle correction would have been more than sufficient here, as they’ve already been shared.
JAS – what a nice way to address someone’s slightly vitriolic comment! You win the internet today!
Totally agree Jas – it can be offensive when that happens, and I also get upset over that and am happy to call it out when it occurs – but that isn’t what’s happened here. I’ve also been reading this blog for well over a decade and have always found Deb very respectful, i.e. giving credit where it’s due, taking comments/corrections on board, and being more than happy to learn.
Your attitude here is disgusting. Deb asked people to correct her if she’s wrong, she’s obviously not trying to co-opt anything.
How funny that you would be so defensive of ‘chicken tikka masala’ which originated in Scotland.
Sounds great. It’s not really chicken tikka masala though. That is chicken tikka in a sauce (masala) as opposed to the chicken cooked in the sauce but I’ve followed your recipe and it was amazing.
This is definitely chicken curry. Chicken tikka is a dry boneless piece of chicken, traditionally cooked in a clay oven. Anything with gravy is called a “curry” – chicken curry, meat curry, fish curry, prawn curry. There can be different variations of the same, depending on which part of the subcontinent you’re referring to, but they are all curries. Also, chicken tikka masala, as a dish doesn’t exist in India. It’s a British creation :) I would just call this chicken curry, as that’s what it is. P.S. – “masala” usually refers to a dry preparation, i.e without gravy.
Hi Deb, long time lurker and I just wanted to chime in about the name. Chicken Tikka Masala isn’t actually and Indian dish, its a British invention and a British recipe (a British person went into the first restaurant in the UK serving authentic tandoori chicken and asked for “gravy” – enter the chicken tikka masala).
Using the word “curry” is totally fine as its a large and generic name. It would be like saying “the best chicken soup recipe ever!”, a chicken soup can be many things.
Hope that helps, and I totally agree with you on the fresh tomatoes thing! Also, I find that replacing the water with chicken broth helps bring a lot of the depth that using a whole chicken brings.
An Indian viewer
Ha. Love the backstory. Can’t wait to try.
GBBO without Mary, Mel and Sue is totally worth a go. I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it after the switch, but I have been really enjoying the new crew as well, it’s just a bit different. And some of the baked in the past three seasons since the switch are amazing!
The chicken curry looks great. I’ve been following Chetna on IG but haven’t dug through the videos to get actual recipes yet. Good to hear it’s worth it!
Agreed! I do miss Mary, Mel, and Sue a lot, but Pru is pretty great, and in many ways, is a foil for Paul in many of the same ways Mary was. Noel is a goof, but entertaining, and I have really enjoyed Sandi.
Seeing them made me laugh out loud. You are a true professional!
Do you 1/2 the salt,garlic and ginger with the chicken? Just making sure.
Absolutely delicious! I took boneless thighs out of the freezer yesterday morning with no idea what I was going to do with them for dinner. Later that morning I checked your Instagram and realized it was meant to be. I had all the ingredients except garam masala so I used homemade ras al hanout. I was also lazy and chopped instead of minced the onions. I’ll have to wonder if this would have been even better the next day because there was nothing left!
Hi Deb, the recipe is one for a standard go-to chicken curry that almost all Indians make with their eyes closed (just kidding). Traditional chicken tikka masala is made by first marinating the chicken in yoghurt, ginger, garlic, garam masala, cayenne, grilled. And then you chop it up into bite size pieces and add it to a curry made of tomatoes and cream (see Alison Roman’s NYT recipe – easy enough for a weeknight meal). BTW, the ‘curry’ part of your recipe (minus the chicken) also goes great with hard boiled eggs, shrimp., cooked veggies, or poached eggs (think Indian Shakshuka or as Melissa Clark calls it “Eggs in South Indian Purgatory”. If yoghurt is not your thing, make it ‘South Indian’ by adding a cup of full fat coconut milk to the tomato sauce and you have Kerala-style curry – add eggs/shrimp etc. This recipe is super versatile. Thanks :-)
(AGree with Anu and Anamika and Manisha’s comments below)
1) As a person of Indian origin, this is a great curry recipe so thanks for that! I agree with several of the comments from Indian-origin folks here though that we would just call it “dahi chicken” – yogurt chicken – or “chicken curry” – it’s NOT chicken tikka masala because for that you need to make the chicken tikka in a tandoor or grill and the sauce separately. Anything that you cook the chicken in a sauce directly is a curry!
2) One minor edit to your recipe- the way you know that your sauce base is done is when the oil starts to separate at the edges of the tomato-onion base. That’s the moment to add in the marinated chicken. If you add it before that, your sauce base is not as well cooked as you need.
3) Please add some fresh cilantro as a garnish!
Tip number 2 is an excellent bit of information; I didn’t know that, and will look out for the separation in future; thank you!
This looks delicious, it will be supper tonight.
Can anyone comment on whether this is spicy or not with the cayenne? I have to make this for a 2 and 4 year old and they are not in to spicy foods yet (unfortunately…)
I made this last night hoping my 3 and 5 year old would eat it as leftovers tonight. I figured a full teaspoon of cayenne would be way too much for them, so I didn’t measure but gave a couple good shakes. I’m regretting it because unfortunately, after eating it myself, I think it will have too much of a kick for them. So I would say either a pinch or not at all for the cayenne! Not sure how much it will affect the overall flavor, but I bet it would be still delicious without.
Try substituting paprika for the cayenne and maybe even halving the amount called for.
We found it really spicy (ok, we’re a bit wimpy) with only a few shakes of cayenne — maybe our garam masala was spicy to begin with. So I’d say for little ones or those who prefer things not spicy, you might cut the cayenne entirely. Still lots of flavor. We’ll do that next time.
My two-cents about the tomatoes: I am an expat currently living in India and every Indian recipe I’ve ever looked at calls for fresh tomatoes, as opposed to canned. The reasoning behind it is very simple: canned tomatoes are hard to find. I have to look in the international section of the grocery store (if they have one) or stores that specialize in imported foods in order to find canned goods. It’s just not that common here.
Looks delish! I am wondering how different ground cumin would be to cumin seeds?
The sauce sounds delicious. But cooking the marinated chicken in it seems as if you’d end up with a boiled chicken taste & texture. In Indian restaurants, I always order chicken tikka masala because the chicken, cooked in the tandoori, has a lot of taste before it’s cooked with the sauce. Is there a way to sauté the chicken at home maybe skin on, before adding it to the sauce?
I sometimes just sear the chicken with the skin on to render the fat out. Then I use this fat to fry the onions
But the recipe she’s given is the actual wya of making the chicken. Before adding the chicken you have to make sure that the gravy is cooked. Which essentially means that you have to see oil at the sides and surface. Small bubbles. And then add the chicken. It won’t taste boils. Long and slow with lots of stirring is key
hi there – the recipe looks great – especially for someone that avoids Asian dishes because of an allergy to cumin! very small amounts can be tolerated in a chili spice mix but not as a spice on its own – any suggestions for a substitute or just leave it out?
Garam Marsala may also contain cumin, so check the ingredients in yours.
The closest (not same) I could come to taste from my spice jars is Mace. Having said that, I would start with much smaller amount and work to taste from there.
Or leave it out and use a little more coriander powder. Good luck 😉
Just leave it out :). And mix your own garam masala if it has it in it. To be honest, the turmeric, ginger, corriander and garlic are the prominent flavours here. The garam masala is the next most important and the cumin the least pronounced.
By whatever name this recipe is called, thank you for posting it Deb.
Months ago I had Chetna’s recipe recommended to me, & was disappointed to find it wasn’t on the internet, so I did as you did & watched the youtube video until I had the ingredients documented. It’s delicious & when I served it to friends we all loved it.
Your printed version looks much neater than mine so it’s gone in my recipe file.
You must have been reading my mind. I made this last night from an old recipe from Food52 that I had saved. Very very similar. I’ll give this one a try too! I love Indian food, and it’s hard to find good Indian restaurants where we live.
Wonderful !!! This morning I went to my farmer’s house to buy him a nice chicken for tomorrow. Because I have friends who are coming for lunch …
You imagine your recipe arrives and 1 + 1 + a beautiful chicken tikka masala
I’ll tell you tomorrow … A thousand thanks
So excited to try this. How do you think it would freeze?
It freezes great!
I’m going to try this tonight. I also found this recipe for Thai Panang Chicken Curry which I’ve made about 100 times since I saw it. My family is likely sick of it but I can’t get enough.
Thanks for this Deb. I have done exactly the same with Chetna’s video. So funny. I even tried to cook in real time along with the video – a disaster. I got curry sauce all over the key board ! I love Chetna. You should try watching the new version – I was very anti to begin with but actually its great. Prue Leith is fab. Thanks again Deb. xx
I’m so excited for this! I have a chicken tikka masala recipe I love (from the Chicago Tribune, of all the odd places), but it’s fairly effortful for a weeknight and I rarely make it. This one looks more streamlined, and I can’t imagine a better set of recommendations than both yours AND Chetna’s. Also, I’d encourage you to give the GBBO another shot — it took me a few episodes to warm up to the new crew, but I find that it’s maintained its charm well.
This is not chicken tikka masala nor a proper butter chicken. Why? Because you need to marinate the chicken in yogurt and seasonings and then grill or bake in oven PRIOR to adding to the salan(gravy).
Do u think a can of full fat coconut milk can replace the yogurt for a dairy free version?
I think so. I made it earlier this week with a 13.5 oz can and it was DELICIOUS. So much so, I’m making it again tonight. Good luck and enjoy!
This was delicious! I used coconutmilk and two large tablespoons of yoghurt for the marinade and added spices, as Chetna suggests in the video. The sauce was creamy and well-balanced, although I did add a little sugar at the end to adjust the acidity. Truly amazing and flavourful dish. Thanks so much for the inspiration!
Okay, we’re at the start of chilly weather. I’ve got everything but the chicken in the house. I’m making this!
I agree that this is a curry, not tikka masala. For a pretty easy and very tasty tikka masala recipe, the Cook’s Illustrated version will do nicely, though of course unless you happen to have a clay oven, it’s not authentic. I use white meat chicken and it’s not dry.
Made this! Super easy, super quick, super tasty. Substituted the onion for shallots since that’s what I had on hand, and added a jalapeno to up the spice quotient. 11/10, will definitely make again soon.
Having canned a bunch of tomatoes at home, I may have to try this!
Yes! Love Chetna so much!!
Can this be cooked in a tagine?
I love your recipes, but would really, REALLY appreciate it if you would include nutritional content/values. That is important to a lot of us, and I’m more likely to try a recipe that is low fat, high fiber, high calcium, etc. Thanks! Patrice
LOVE a good tikka masala!! Will definitely be trying this recipe because we have yet to find one we love!
xo, Brooke @ The Inspired Abode
Do you think this would adapt reasonably well with tofu? I know it won’t be the same but I’m thinking of trying it
I think tofu, either extra firm or baked or fried, would be delicious, but I wouldn’t add it until after you have simmered the sauce for 20 minutes or so.
I was just reading a recipe for tofu butter chicken the other day on another blog, and the think they reiterated was that the tofu should be pressed to get as much liquid out, and then cooked long and slow rather than on a high heat…I think it would totally work. The sauce may not permeate all of the tofu, but it’ll still smother it!
I’ll add my voice to the chorus: I was super skeptical when everyone left Bake-Off but the New Three have their own delightful rhythm, and I’ve even found myself having the heretical thought that I might like Paul and Prue better than Paul and Mary.
I prefer Pru 🤫
Yum! This sounds delicious and perfect for a Fall dinner.
I made this but had to leave when the chicken was simmering. . . My husband was in charge of keeping an eye on it. Well, you can guess how that went I’m sure! He ended up boiling it for 45 min. The dish came out watery and thin – not the thick and luxurious dish you have in the photo. I’m wondering, is there a way to save it? Can I just add more yogurt to thicken it up? Does boiling it change the consistency?
Do you add the yogurt of the marinade or discard it? Whenever I add the chicken covered in the yogurt marinade, the gravy becomes grainy, like the yogurt has separated. Does anyone else have this problem? Any solutions?
Excellent recipe! Used coconut milk, and it worked beautifully. Particularly appreciated the nuanced instructions (with each addition, a designated number of minutes), which seemed important for building the flavor base. I needed to heat the pan to medium-high to brown the onions, and I kept it there until the simmer stage. A crowd-pleaser!
This came out great! Love Chetna. Another vote encouraging you to try GBBO with Prue, Sandy and Noel — they are delightful, and this is coming from someone who was devastated to lose Mel and Sue.
where is the fabulous fenugreek???
I am writing to thank you for a DELICIOUS recipe by any name. I had to substitute chicken tenders for thighs and ketchup for tomato paste–what I had on hand. I added a chopped jalapeno, partially deseeded, and was a bit heavy on the spices. Somehow the dish was magical, the chicken falling apart tender. I served it with cauliflower rice and a tiny bit of tamarind-date chutney on the side. Half of the recipe made 3 generous portions. Your blog is always so educational, entertaining, and inspiring! Keep doing what you do because it keeps life from being too boring. With appreciation:-)
Everybody loved this tonight! I used cut up chicken breast and just watched it to not overcook.
Chicken tikka is not the same thing as chicken curry. Sorry.
One visit to a traditional Indian restaurant will give you all the answers as to why.
I made this last night, with a couple of changes. Per the original source video I caramelized the onions (this took about 20-25 minutes). Used full fat sour cream instead of yogurt. For heat, 1 fresh red chilli pepper + 1/2 tsp cayenne. Added 1 tsp ground cumin to the rest of the spice mixture. As other’s suggest, be sure to cook the tomato/spice mixture until oil starts to separate. Depth of flavour and texture was really great, if you’ve got the extra time I would definitely cook down/caramelize the onions in the first cooking step.
This is looks awesome!
Would it alter the taste too much to change the cumin seeds to just ground cumin?
I was wondering whether you add the yogurt of the marinade or discard it? Whenever I add the chicken covered in the yogurt marinade, the gravy becomes grainy, like the yogurt has separated. Does anyone else have this problem? Any solutions?
You add it. Don’t discard it. Even if it splits, if you cook it down the solids just add body to the sauce. It’s quite difficult to keep the sauce I split. I’m fact there is this dish called kadhi which is essentially a bastardization of the word curry. Its basically a yoghurt curry. And it’s thickened with chickpea flour so that the yoghurt doesn’t split. But in a chicken curry you can’t add that coz it would taste different. Also the kashmiri cook curd in a very specific way. You can find videos of people cooking goshtaba on YouTube to see this. They cook the yoghurt on a very high flame with constant stirring and its a miracle
I pulled 2lb of skinless, boneless thighs out of the freezer on Monday, with no idea whatsoever what I would do with them for dinner. A couple house later I saw your Instagram post and realized it was meant to be that I tried this recipe. It was so delicious! Served with basmati rice and buttered frozen peas. Did not have garam masala so I substituted my homemade ras al hanout from Epicurious.com recipe for Moroccan Matzo Pie with Lamb. (An amazing dish!). Makes a great dish with lasagna noodles when it’s not Passover.
Wow! I am really surprised by the vitriolic comments left by my fellow country-men/women, all for a recipe that clearly cites the source and makes ABSOLUTELY NO claims of authenticity. Tikka, curry, sauce, gravy – does it really matter that much? “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, said the bard. Maybe if you are so disturbed by the recipe, you should politely close the webpage and do something else with your time (like read Shakespeare, for instance) instead of trolling a person who does her best to make our country’s complicated cuisine available and accessible to all.
I am Pakistani and I do appreciate that people were vocal in correcting Deb whose site I truly enjoy. Like many, South Asians were the victims of colonialism and the effects are felt to this day. I take heart in the fact that people are standing up against the anglicizing of the name of this dish and correcting errors. I believe Deb is receptive to their comments. For what it’s worth, I would call this murghi ka salan.
Friends! I’m sorry. I don’t usually publish and run but I was keynoting an event last night and it consumed all of my energy. A few things:
I love the conversation here. I asked to be corrected if I was wrong. I always do. I was incorrect about the title of the dish, and I’m kicking myself because my intentions were exactly the opposite. Because I’d read so much in the last year or so about the problems with the word “curry”:
* Annada Rathi on Food52: “Curry is not Indian!… There is no word for ‘curry’ in Indian languages; you will not find curry powder stocked in Indian homes and grocery stores; and contrary to popular perception, Indians do not eat curry every day.”
* Priya Krishna in Indian-ish: “THERE IS NO
SUCH THING AS CURRY—at least not the way you might know it… the term was largely popularized by Europeans during their colonization of India as a homogeneous catchall for the various stews they encountered in Indian cuisine. If you don’t want to sound like a tone-deaf person when talking about Indian food, just refer to the dishes by their actual names.”
… And more! What I heard was: Seek out the correct dish name, not the one that might be used to explain the dish to an audience that may not know Indian cuisine well. I did not succeed, but my intention was, as always, to celebrate dish I love in a clear, respectful, and well-researched way. It’s important. It matters.
I’m trying to figure out the best way to change the dish name without breaking any links or confusing anyone looking for the dish that was here Monday called tikka masala… look out for the change in the next day.
Thank you for this Deb! I was one of those who posted about the name and this is basically the textbook example of how to take a correction well. I’m sure it must have been tough to see so many comments about the same thing when you tried so much and had such good intentions. I for one appreciate your reaction and the care with which you introduce recipes. Great job! Looking forward to trying this very soon.
Amazing! We love Indian cuisine (lived in London UK for many years before moving to Toronto, Canada.. good Indian cuisine cities) but every attempt of cooking curry has been less than satisfactory. This was amazing! I love SK in general but this is definitely going in rotation. Thanks!
I made this tonight and it was awesome. I’m watching my WW points carefully, so I used chicken breast, 0% Fage yogurt, added a cut up head of cauliflower alongside the chicken and doubled the rest of the ingredients. 10/10 even with the adjustments. Thank you so much!
I’m doing WW and have been planning to try this with the same substitutions minus the cauliflower. Thank you for reporting back and I’ll be making this tomorrow night!
Yeah! You’re welcome, Beth! Glad I posted. :)
Thank you, fellow WWs!! It’s like y’all knew I was lying in bed on this very rainy Sunday morning wondering if the industrial-sized tub of Fage 0% in my fridge would work as a substitute for this recipe. Thank you for posting :)
This worked great in the IP for 7 minutes, like you suggested. I used a whole can of coconut milk instead of yogurt and omitted the water. Do make sure to scrape the bottom well when you’re done sautéing, or the “burn” notice may come on. I added some chopped spinach at the end. Delicious recipe, and even my kids cleaned their plates! Thank you.
Made it tonight and it was fantastic!! This recipe is a definite keeper.
Just had my second go at this recipe and it turned out excellent! What I changed this time: 1) left the fat on the thighs to richen it up a bit; 2) doubled the cayenne to increase the spice; 3) browned the onions for longer and made sure I got a nice crust on the bottom of the pot before adding the (Canned) tomatoes — when I finally did add them they definitely caramelized and rounded the dish out with a sweet umami. I also chopped the onion a little larger and enjoyed having some bigger pieces in the final result. I would use a little less water next time. I doubled it and the 4 lbs of chicken released a lot of water. But after letting it reduce some it turned out to be very, very flavorful. For you CICO trackers I’ve got this at about 475 kcal/serving with an 80 kcal serving of basmati rice. A TON of protein in a very satisfying 565 kcal package.
Absolutely delicious! Used canned tomatoes, and added a step of blending it a bit in the blender before adding chicken+marinade because my tomatoes didn’t break down. Was really happy with the final texture with this addition.
OMG. This was sooooo good. I don’t think I have ever properly made a good Indian-style curry up until now. Thanks Deb!
I added one orange and one white sweet potato for some veggies and served it with Jheera rice and peas which I also just learned how to make.
Longtime lurker, first time commenter. Long overdue, because I ADORE this site!
First of all – thank you Deb for teaching me how to make my first Indian dish!!! I’ve always enjoyed eating Indian dishes but I’ve simply felt wayyyy too intimidated by the amount of ingredients and spices to make them. Stupid me because this was so simple to make, and SO delicious, and I’ll definitely make it again :o)
Only thing is, that (as mentioned in other comments) it became quite watery for me. I used chicken breasts, and they might contain more liquid than other cuts of chicken? But also I jumped over to lovely Chetna’s YouTube channel (thanks Deb for introducing me to that gem of a channel) to watch her make it. And I *think* that she only used 150 ml yoghurt, whereas the recipe on this site says 1 cup, which converts to 250 ml yoghurt. Or am I doing the conversion wrong?
Anyway – love the dish and will make it again!
I’ve made this dish several times now and it’s delicious, thanks for the great recipe! I’ve tried it with both chicken breast and chicken thighs, depending on what I had in the fridge. I agree with Deb’s recipe and with other commenters that chicken thighs are preferable here – it’s much more bland with chicken breast vs thighs. I always wait to add the 1/2 cup of water, in case I don’t need it. I also have added in some roasted cauliflower at the end and it’s delicious.
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Yummy! I made a few tweaks, the biggest being to add a paste of cashews as a base. There’s a chicken tikka masala dish at a local restaurant I enjoy that uses cashews and the flavor is incredible. I also added a stick of cinnamon and cloves and cardamom.
Curious what you (or other commenters here) think of this as a plan– i am having folks over for dinner and plan to make this (double recipe) and there is one vegan coming to dinner. I was thinking that before adding the chicken/yogurt to the pan, i would scoop out a decent ladleful of sauce, put in a separate pot with some water and a can of drained chickpeas, then bring to a boil and then turn to a simmer and basically keep that on the stove cooking the whole time the chicken is cooking in the main pot. If you were a vegan, does that sound like a tasty dinner in lieu of the chicken? (Then of course there would still be rice, naan, vegetables, salad etc as part of dinner).
I’d suggest processing cashews with a little water and adding that. It’ll give it creaminess in lieu of the yogurt.
I think that’s a good plan but if I were you I would add some canned coconut milk along with the chickpeas, instead of the water. Hope you have a great evening.
I just made this recipe exactly as written – I love chicken tikka masala! – it is really really runny – not thick and kind of creamy like in your video/picture – I’m going to leave the lid off of the pot for a bit while I make the rice and see if it thickens up…
Sheri here – again. I made this 2 days ago (not exactly as written I would find out lol!) and my brother and I have finished it all – every last drop!!! It is wonderful left over! My brother, who is extremely picky and likes to critique my cooking – loved it! When I invited him to try it, we were eating it and talking and I realized there was a whole onion sitting on the counter – I had put 2 onions out to make this recipe…LOL I completely forgot the second onion and this dish was excellent anyway!!! Best recipe for this dish (chicken curry?) that I have found – I’ve tried a lot of them but this is by far the best – thank you Deb – let us know what you rename the recipe…
I have a recipe very similar to this one and there are a few differences that I think make the recipe more complex
1. Marinate the chicken in yogurt, smoked paprika, turmeric, and ginger/garlic overnight and bake in the oven (gives it more of the tandoori feel to it especially with the smoked paprika)
2. If using fresh tomatoes, strain out the seeds to give the curry a smooth and silky consistency
3. Don’t add the yogurt marinade to the curry, finish the dish with a generous swirl of heavy cream
Other than that it is a very similar recipe and instructions, I’m sure your’s is delicious also!
This was delicious! I turned the heat up to medium and cooked the sauce down a bit to thicken it at the end. I used a teaspoon of ancho chile powder, because that’s what I had on hand; it definitely needed more heat, but I put some hot sauce in the individual portions, and that was perfect. My 20 month old loved it too. I’ll definitely be making this again!
Ok, I love Deb. I love Indian food. I love GBBO — and Chetna was amazing! (P.S. Also agree with you, Deb, I only liked the original cast with Mary Berry, Mel, and Sue! <3) So when I saw this pop up on your IG I was super excited to try out the recipe. I just made this last night and I cannot tell you how savory the aromas were and how DELICIOUS this curry was. I marinated the chicken overnight in the yogurt and added 1 tsp of Madras curry powder to the seasonings, but I don't know if I needed it. I made the recipe exactly as it was written and I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was perfect. We ate it with onion parathas, baigan bharta (NYT recipe), raita, and steamed basmati rice. I bet the leftovers will be even more tasty… what's left since it was devoured. lol. Another home run. Also — I agree with some of the other reviewers, this isn't tikka masala, but it is a VERY delicious curry nonetheless. Thank you, Deb! Xxx
This was so delicious! I made the recipe exactly as written, except I left the lid off for the last ten-ish minutes to let everything thicken up a bit. 10/10!
I made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS. Like others, I found that it was a little too watery at the end (I used whole milk yogurt but it wasn’t greek so that may have been the culprit) so I suggest omitting or using less water if your tomatoes were quite watery (mine were) or if you want a thicker sauce. I added about a ¼ cup of greek yogurt at the end to make it creamier (it needed a bit more salt after that) and it was perfect.
Like others have mentioned, I made this tonight exactly as written and it came out SO watery – literally like the texture you expect from chicken noodle soup =/ and the chicken itself seems tough in a way I’ve never seen from chicken thighs before. I don’t understand what went wrong…
Made this for tonight’s dinner. Delicious! Thank you so much for transcribing the recipe! We recently “discovered” GBBO, and the whole family has been binge watching together, so it seems fitting to enjoy this “curry”. I also appreciate that there’s no pre-browning or frying if the chicken pieces involved! Thanks again!
I hate correcting people, but here goes. Chicken tikka is essentially pieces of boneless chicken marinated in curd and spices and baked in an oven or over a fire. And chicken tikka masala is chicken tikka added to a tomato-based gravy. What you have made is a chicken curry. Not chicken tikka masala. Sorry, you said that you wanted to be corrected if wrong. :). Also, full fat coconut milk from a can would work probably because it won’t split on heating. But actual coconut milk would probably spilt if its thick coconut milk. Usually the second press of the coconut milk is added at the beginning and the first press is added at the end to just finish off the curry. But yeah. I feel like saying sorry to you for correcting ya. I’m from Kerala, India. I wanna give you my face chicken curry recipe made with coconut milk. And I will def try Chetna’s recipe.
Curry is an anglicised form of the Tamil word kaṟi meaning ‘sauce’ or ‘relish for rice’.from Wikipedia. This is absolutely true. Indians actually do it curry most days. Chicken Curry. Potato curry. Yoghurt curry. That’s what we call the thing we eat. I guess one could argue that a more descriptive and distinctive name for each differebtly made curry would be ideal, but this is what it’s called by Indians. Curry powder is however a British invention. Curry leaves is the name for the leaf. Many words have been anglicised. That doesn’t mean it’s any less real. Like bungalow. Or catamaran. Curry is a thing! Chicken tikka masala, this is not. Thanks Feb, for being so kind.
How about naming it “Not Chicken Tikka Masala”
This is right up my alley and, as usual, you’ve made me feel confident that I can pull it off.
And get back to the GBBO! I know, change is hard. But the new folks are lovely and it really does have that same wonderful feel about it.
This is so tasty, so creamy & comforting!
It gave me a chance to use some picked-green-before-a-frost tomatoes that were slowly struggling to gain color on my counter.
Chicken leg quarters were on sale, so I used them: I skinned them, cut off most of the meat, and threw the bones into the pot, too. (I nibbled the last clinging bits of meat from the bones for my first helping.
I will definitely make this again – it’s SO GOOD!
I made this tonight for dinner and it was seriously good. The instructions were perfect. My wife cannot tolerate spicy food so I dialed back the cayenne, but it still had heat from the garam masala. Thank you!
Deb, your recipes make an appearance every week in my meal plans, and I always say what’s so great about you, is that your recipes ALWAYS WORK! Thank you for adding flavor, variety, and for-sure-to-turn-out-dishes to my family’s meal times. 😊
Would this work with fish instead of chicken?
I’d think so!
That sounds good…
I made this today, following the recipe exactly, except that I used a whole chicken skinned, de-boned and chopped into 2 inch pieces. It was really delicious. Will definitely use fresh tomatoes instead of canned in more recipes going forward. Thank you Deb!
Very happy to report that my 15 yr old son made this for me last evening. At his request I gave him 3 recipes to choose from, he chose this, and we both LOVED it! This will definitely be a regular in our family.
Then chicken tikka masala is now my favorite Scottish dish! Move over clouttie dumpling and scotch broth!
Loved the curried chicken. I made my own spice blend which was easy and delicious.cooked everything as you directed but no chicken. Added a pound of shrimp a threw in some haricots vert and cilantro at end. So good.
I’m going to use same base for all vegetable dish like with cauliflower, potatoes etc.
So yummy, and what a treat to discover Chetna’s YouTube channel! I ended up adding a can of coconut milk plus a couple handfuls of chopped veggies I had in the fridge before the final simmer. I would do it again!
Halved the recipe for tonight’s dinner and used boneless chicken breast marinated in plain regular yogurt instead of Greek (marinated 7 hours). I used dried cumin and made my own garam masala. We do not like things spicy so went without the cayenne. Because I was using regular yogurt, I cut back on the water. It was still a little too thin at the end of the cooking time so I simmered it down a bit while I was making Milk Street’s Cilantro Rice (fabulous recipe!). The two together made a really wonderful meal. Thank you so much for my first try at Chicken Curry. Delish!
Made this last night and I had the same issue several others did – it was very watery at the end. I think the yogurt might have split? Before adding in the chicken, the tomato and onion mixture was almost like a paste, but afterwards it thinned out and bubbled into a messy, clumpy set of spices + very thin water. The flavor was great,and the chicken was good, but the texture of the gravy was pretty off putting.
Hi Deb. Thanks for this curry recipe. Would this dish benefit from a day in the fridge or become more subdued in flavor. I like to cook in the early morning for dinner at night. Do you think it will still taste great after a day in the fridge? Thanks!
I think it would!
Just finished my leftovers for lunch— I think it’s actually better reheated on the second day! This is going in the regular dinner rotation, and I’ll be making it the morning of or night before I want to eat it.
I made this for lunch today. I used coconut milk as that’s what I had to hand, and omitted the water. I used half fresh tomatoes and half canned as again, that’s what I had. It was really delicious and the chicken was cooked to perfection. Topped with raita, served with rice. What a lunch!
I started this by dicing up the tomatoes from my CSA box, discovering that I had enough to scale the recipe 3 times. At this point, I became apprehensive about matching the volume of tomatoes with diced onions, because it seems like a lot of onions – I mean, really, a lot. But I trust Deb, an no one had yet commented that there were too many.
I made a vat of the curry sauce – really lovely to see the layers build up, siphoning off some to simmer with chick peas for a potluck, some for the freezer, and the rest to finish as directed. Such a warm and fragrant dish for a fall weekend. Many compliments on the chana version at the potluck
Until this post, I would never have spent a fresh tomato on a long-simmered sauce, but indeed it works well.
This is delicious! It received rave reviews at dinner last night and I will definitely be making it again!
Based on other comments about this turning out watery at the end, I didn’t add the water at all and it turned out perfectly — the chicken releases some liquid as it cooks and there’s no evaporation or further thickening since the lid is on while simmering.
Thank you Deb, this is the first time I’ve made an Indian dish, you made it seem easy enough and it was incredibly delicious! I will be making this again for sure.
Very delicious chicken cooked by method.
Unfortunately this turned out so watery – almost the consistency of soup. It sounds like many others had this same problem. Any suggestions?
Not entirely sure — I suppose it’s that some chicken is pumped with more water than others? In this case, you can hold back the 1/2 cup water until you’re sure you need it. All three times I made mine, it was delightfully creamy. I believe I usually use Murray’s chicken thighs, fwiw.
I initially thought mine was thin as well but it thickened up and eaten the next day it was PERFECT! I am making this again and hopefully will remember the 2nd onion (lol!) and can’t wait – love love love this recipe!
Deb. Where did you get your counter top burner? I have an electric stove and I would love to have a gas stand alone burner. Also good for power outages when I am desperate for coffee, huddled under quilts! Thank you
It’s, like, the cheapest camping stove on Amazon. Nothing fancy at all.
Would love to use this recipe and tell friends but apparently you have to add a Chrome book extension for the privilege. Next website….
I’m guessing that “large” onions here are much larger, because I ended up with almost 4 cups diced. About how much do you use, on average, Deb?
I cooked the onions extra long and slow so that they wouldn’t overpower the dish. The water was _absolutely necessary_ in this case, giving enough liquidity to the sauce that it worked with rice.
That sounds about right! It’s a lot of onion (and Chetna uses more!) but it cooks down wonderfully.
I made this in my instant pot! It took about 20 minutes altogether. I might reduce or leave out the added water since it came out pretty soupy though. Definitely enjoying it for dinner this week!
Delicious! I used chicken breast pieces. I was distracted and did leave it on the stove an extra 10-15 minutes and unfortunately a lot of the sauce boiled off, so I ended up with more of a very thick chicken slurry, but a really tasty one. I shredded the chicken and added back to the pot and liked it that way. Next time I’ll make sure not to over-boil so I get more sauce.
Delicious! I made several substitutions, so thought I’d share. 1)I increased the onions by about 50% 2)I used drumsticks and skinless bone-in thighs 3) Subbed ground cumin for cumin seeds, dried grated ginger for fresh (I was in a hurry), did a homemade garam masala attempt that really was just black pepper and a pinch of cardamom and more cumin 4)Only lower fat and relatively thin yogurt is available where Iive. I strained it to imitate Greek yogurt, but wouldn’t do that again and would just reduced the water I add. 5) ***I learned a new trick: If you don’t feel like chopping/dicing tomatoes, properly, cut off the top, halve or quarter depending on size, and toss in the blender!! I will be doing this again! Much cheaper than canned where I live, and easy.*****
I made this last night as written except for using a whole cut up chicken with skin removed instead of thighs only. DELICIOUS!!!!!
Regarding GBBO–I was skeptical at first too but after watching that last few seasons with the newbies I think it’s just as good. You come to like them and the show is still my favorite baking show to tune into. So, give it go!
Recipe looks amazing btw.
Came here to say the same! Sandi and Noel are delightful, and Prue makes a great judge.
I made this yesterday and it was SO. EFFING. GOOD.
A couple of notes…
• I ended up cooking this with bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks as my local butcher only had whole chicken legs. This meant I ended up cooking the chicken an extra 10-15 minutes.
• After the chicken was done, I found the sauce to be a little watery (maybe because of the cut of chicken that I used?). No problem though – I just removed the chicken and cooked it down awhile.
• I used fresh chilis (two whole cayennes) because I had them on hand and while I liked the flavor they added, I would add a little more heat next time.
• I served this with Meer Sodha’s homemade naan (https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017747-meera-sodhas-naan) and I HIGHLY recommend it.
As-written; absolutely delicious! Was at an Indian wedding the weekend prior, and was craving something with that spice profile–your recipe was perfectly-timed. Made a thoran to accompany it (I am diabetic and don’t eat rice/bread). Craving satisfied! Thank you!
I recently made a recipe very similar to this that I found on NYT Cooking. It actually was called Tikka Masala, and had you broil the yogurt marinaded chicken on both sides before chopping it and adding to the curry. It tasted good–however this recipe of Deb’s honestly tasted better and was about 1/2 the work. I added a 1/2 tsp of smoked sweet paprika to get some of that smokey char flavour and it worked great. This may not be *actual* tikka masala, but it was an excellent curry and I am dreaming about leftovers for dinner tonight :)
I made this tonight for dinner and it was very tasty. Mine ended up a bit soupier than I was expecting, weird because when I added the water I thought it was needed. But then more liquid emerged from somewhere! Maybe my tomatoes needed to break down a little longer? Either way, an easy and delicious one pot meal that I can see myself making again.
Flavor was good but unfortunately my yogurt appeared to curdle. I used full fat yogurt and marinated the chicken overnight. Would bringing the yogurt chicken mixture to room temperature before adding to the pot have helped? Not sure why the curdling happened…thoughts?
Long time reader but first time commenter!
This recipe is very good and it makes me so happy to see Chetna from GBBO getting more attention since I think her Youtube channel is criminally underwatched! Thanks for posting this! To be honest I don’t keep track of most of my favorite Bake Off contestants, but I remember Mary and Paul kept saying her flavors were so delicious I knew she had something good going on :). When Mel and Sue and Mary left I was dead set to stop watching, but (I’m sure you’ve heard this before, and looking through the comments you obviously have ad nauseum!) I broke down soon enough. I actually think the show still has a lot of its old magic, despite the lovely personalities that we lost. I have to say I love Noel just as much as Mel and Sue — he’s a real treat.
For those who have problems with the sauce coming out watery, this could be a problem of cooking time. In Chetna’s video she actually simmers the chicken for “at least 40-45 min”, and depending on the size of the chicken pieces, shape/size of your pan and how tight the lid is you might get rather different amounts of steam escaping. Also Chetna rests the dish uncovered for 5 min before serving, which will give it a chance to evaporate more. Another possibility is the basic meat-to-liquid ratio — I suspect Chetna used more than 2 1/4 pounds of meat, since a whole chicken is often quite a bit heavier (depending on how scary it’d be to meet in a dark alley), and her amounts for the liquids are basically the same as those here. Like most recipes, visual and temperature cues are probably more reliable than cooking times here. But in any case her sauce does get super thick like some people might be expecting.
(By the way, Chetna’s recipe for chana masala is also very good, though in that video she doesn’t give all the ground spice measurements for the masala so I had to do some strategic pausing to guess them lol; but the flavor is very nice — I was surprised by how much I liked the tartness from the generous amount of amchoor powder).
Another thought on the cooking times and wetness — Chetna caramelizes the onions, which usually takes me 15 min or so, and after that she cooks the tomatoes for 15-20 minutes until quite broken down, both steps that might help if you’re having trouble with the liquid.
Could you change this recipe to make it a fish curry?
I feel like it could work but I haven’t tried it. It might just need an adjustment for a shorter cooking time.
I made this as written the other night (well I didn’t have coriander so I omitted it) and my husband and I both loved it. I heated up some frozen Trader Joe’s naan to have with it and we had salad as well. I think it’s even better leftover for lunches as the flavor gets more intense. In my notes for next time: I plan to add some cumin and garam masala to the yogurt mixture, and I’ll be sure to have coriander on hand. I used a mixture of canned and fresh tomatoes and it worked well.
We swapped the chicken for 2 cans of chickpeas and it was great! Would love to hear other vegetarian takes.
I’m excited to try this. I have traditionally used crushed tomatoes when making curries, but given what Deb said in the preamble I think I should give it a go with fresh tomatoes. Should the tomatoes be peeled before dicing? Just wondering if the bits of tomato skin detract from the texture. Alternatively, I could puree the sauce before adding chicken. I would appreciate any thoughts on this.
I loved the flavor and aroma when I made this on Saturday (though I needed to punch up the cayenne/chili powder, which is my fault), but I found the sauce really grainy. Its possible I could have had my stove setting wrong, but I think the grainy texture came from adding a lot of dry spices to the mix with only a limited amount of yogurt, chicken, and water to balance it out. I used organic full-fat plain yogurt from Costco. I’d totally try it again if I could find a way to get a smoother texture in the sauce.
Matt C: re problems with grainy texture and yoghurt splitting: I added a level teaspoon of cornstarch (cornflour) to the yoghurt mix and stirred it in well before adding the chicken I can’t recall where I heard of this trick, but it works. I didn’t have issues with it being watery, either, although I didn’t add the full 1/2 cup of water. You could try draining/straining the yoghurt for 15 minutes too – not enough to turn it into labne but just enough to thicken it up a bit.
Whatever you call this, it was delicious. I sautéed the onions til they were golden- way more than 5 min. My kids like a smoother sauce, so I puréed using an immersion blender before i added the chicken. We will definitely make this again!
We made this and it was delish. Bonus is learning about Food with Chetna. Thanks for an easy weeknight dish that doesn’t disappoint.
I made this last night and it was SO good. I am thinking of making this for a dinner with friends. Do you think I can make it the night before and then warm it gently? Thinking so. Thanks for the delicious recipe.
I made ahead and warmed on the stove, turned out great!
Delicious! We are trying to cut down on meat a bit so I halved the amount of chicken and added 1 head of cauliflower florets with a little extra water and tomato paste. Don’t think the extra water ended up being necessary. I added the cauliflower with about 15 min cook time remaining and the texture was perfect. Thanks Deb!
I made this last night and used 0% FAGE greek yogurt cuz thats what I had and it totally worked. So delicious and easy. Cant wait for “2nd day” flavor magic!
I’m allergic to ginger is there something I can supplement it with?
Yum! Easy peasy. Added a dice serrano pepper when sauteing the garlic and ginger. Also added some black mustard seeds since they were handy. Made this alongside rice, of course, and kale chips. Threw together a quick raita to go along with some jarred mint chutney. Nice weeknight meal with leftovers to boot.
I cook vegetarian at home so instead of chicken I dumped two cans of chickpeas into this sauce. I skipped the marinating and just added the yogourt and chickpeas all together when the recipe says to add the chicken. I also added all of the ginger and garlic at the beginning, as I was skipping the marinading. So yummy, thank you Deb!
Love this idea!
Is garam masala absolutely necessary? It’s not a seasoning I use frequently so I don’t know if it’ll be worth it to buy.
You can make it yourself with what you have at home. I used this recipe and made the chicken curry and thought it was just right. I’m sure there are many recipes for this spice blend.
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
3/4 teaspoon each coriander and cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each cloves and nutmeg
Do you have any advice on how I could freeze and then finish cooking when ready to eat? I’m getting ready to have my second baby, and my family loves this meal for a comfort food meal. Would love to surprise my husband with this in between being sleep deprived together. Thanks in advance!!
I’m not a big fan of freezing uncooked chicken in dishes so I’d just freeze it maybe halfway into the 25 minutes final cooking, when it shouldn’t be raw but maybe not as tender as we like. Then, it can finish as you warm it up.
GBBO – you know, I was willing to give the new version a try…and the first season was fine. I actually have no problem with the new hosts and judge, they’re fun. My issue is with the production. The second ‘new’ season…everyone is white and everyone is young (this is, after all, the company that brought ‘love island’ to the masses). I mean, i think there is one older guy but he gets the boot in the first or second episode. On top of that they include swearing – nothing major but I liked watching that show with my kids. It was sweet and funny and creative and had all sorts of interesting people and no real drama, people helping each other. Now it’s just starting to look like every other reality TV show. And as a final straw, baking quality is WAY down.
This is AMAZING. My bf doesn’t like to eat Indian (or Indian-inspired) meals often and I crave it constantly, so when he wasn’t hungry last night and I realized I had all the ingredients on hand, I was thrilled!
I used 1.5 lbs chicken and added about half a large head of cauliflower florets in after the onions (also a few mushrooms I had floating around), but otherwise followed the recipe exactly (including the amount of marinade/sauce, despite reducing the chicken).
Just finished some leftovers for lunch and I am truly blissed out. Thanks!
This was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and my whole family loved it. I’ll be making this again.
Great recipe! I prepped the ingredients the night before and cooked it up in the morning to have to reheat in the evening. Great with brown rice. Perfect amount of spice and not too heavy.
My, oh my. This was ah-mazing. Definitely going to be in my regular dinner rotation. 👍🏻👍🏻 I’ve been following Bon Appetit’s “Perfect Pot of Rice Recipe” these days and used it for the jasmine rice to go with this recipe:
Thank you Lauren for the tip about “Perfect Pot Of Rice Recipe”. I’ve been making rice for (this is scary) 50 yrs and only recently did I catch on to the rinsing business. I love Deb’s recipes, now I read every Comment, there’s always something I learn :) As in GBBO
I only have ground cumin. Can I substitute it for the cumin seeds here?
Yes, use half.
I’ve made this twice this week and good gracious it’s delicious! I used the leftover plain yogurt to make mango lassis which elevated the whole dinner to one where my sons (11 & 6) would not stop talking about how good it was and ate twice as much as they usually do at dinner with me prodding them to eat. This recipe is a keeper.
Thanks for this! I made it exactly as you wrote it and it turned out to be wonderful, no matter what you call it. The chicken was so succulent and the sauce is delicious.
This is the BEST curry recipe. Period.
I’ve made it twice, and the second time it seems the yogurt separated. It’s fresh, Greek 2% and I marinated it overnight (last time I didn’t). Any idea why? THANK You, OBSESSED WITH YOUR SITE :)
Flavour: Great! I took direction from both your recipe and Chetna’s (used a whole chicken and cooked the spices after tomatoes). I had a couple of similar issues as mentioned here. Used Greek full fat yogurt and it split right away. I used beef steak tomatoes which were more watery than romas. I didn’t add the full amount of water, but it was still watery. Sauce looked curdled and thin, but when eating, we didn’t notice any graininess and the flavour was so good. Super filling. Definitely will do again.
Just made this tonight and it was so so good! I did not have enough full fat yogurt so I used about 1/3 cup and made up the rest with coconut milk and the curry looked to be the same consistency shown in your photo. I love that the recipe used fresh tomatoes! There were only 3 of us eating tonight, so I am using my food saver to keep leftovers for another small meal.
I absolutely adore Chetna and have been a YouTube subscriber of hers for a couple of years now. I’ve definitely done the whole jot-down-ingredients-as-I-listen thing too, ha!
I made this and it was excellent. I actually doubled the batch for dinner with my kids and partners and there was enough for dinner later that week and lunch at work. Fantastic! Make a nice raita, some rice and you’re set.
I had rather wet tomatoes from my garden so didn’t need the water.
The cumin seeds were the perfect touch to really bring out an authentic taste.
I cooked it exactly as long as you suggested and as a result my chicken was tender and perfectly cooked without it getting to that tough stringy stage. Nicely done on the timing. Thanks!
This recipe is so good that I had to stop eating my lunch leftovers from last night to write this comment. Read prior comments and went liberal with the spices, substituted non fat plain yogurt (not Greek), omitted water completely and cooked everything at medium/medium-low heat for as much time as I could spare on a weeknight. Marvelous! This is going into the dinner rotation (along with the piri piri chicken recipe). I think this would be great vegetarian (carrots, cauliflower & sweet potatoes with some greens thrown in at the end) or with tofu.
I made this last Sunday for my husband and young adult sons (who, blessedly, show up for dinner occasionally). It was wonderful! I did watch the linked video and decided to use chicken on the bone. I’m not experienced enough to know how much of a difference this made.
I’m not sure where I went wrong but this recipe failed for me. The texture was not smooth and creamy but instead watery and gritty. I followed all directions as typically, that is all I have to do to get a fantastic smittenkitchen dish. I guess there is a first time for everything!
This was an amazingly delicious dish. I usually have near perfect success with Deb’s recipients, unfortunately, like others, despite the fact that we followed the recipe as written, our sauce was basically pure liquid. I think our chicken was the culprit (free-range organic thighs) because the sauce seemed like a good consistency when we started, (which is why I went ahead and added the water as indicated), but as the chicken cooked it just got looser and turned into soup. We ended up simmering it for well over an hour to get the sauce to reduce down and thicken to the right consistency. Waiting to add the water until you determine if you need it would definitely help, but even then I think we still might have needed a little more simmer time than the recipe calls for. Totally worth it for how tasty this was, but lessons learned for next time.
I just made this recipe and not sure what to think about it. I wished I had watched her video first as I obviously did not cook the onions long enough before putting the chicken in and so I lost the benefit of the onions being caramelized. I was expecting more of a traditional curry taste but did not get any of that. I would admit the cayenne as it was a little too spicy for me and I even cut your amount by half. May need to try making it again. Undecided on this one!
Flavor of this is delicious (especially with the garam masala I got on my first trip to India in the spring!). I made this with tofu and as soon as I added it to the onion/tomato mixture, the yogurt separated and got all curdled. I hoped cooking it would smooth it out but it stayed very grainy. I know my stovetop runs hot, so although it was on the lowest setting, I guess the heat was too high? I can’t lower it any further so I’m not sure what I could do about that next time. I also thought maybe it was the yogurt I used (Trader Joes Greek 2%) but it doesn’t have any weird stabilizers or ingredients other than milk and cultures. So I picked out all the tofu and then whizzed the sauce in the blender with a little heavy cream and cornstarch, and then it looked lovely and creamy. So maybe next time I won’t marinate the tofu and I’ll add it in after I cook and blend the sauce.
I made this dish within 24 hours of your publishing this post and man, was it good! I did watch Chetna’s video to have a visual on the doneness of the onions and to be able to ballpark the sauce consistency. The important point is that this sauce is not meant to be thick and gloopy; rather it is light and nourishing. Deb, as you suggested in a comment reply, I withheld water until the last minute and then decided I didn’t need it at all. Readers, if you use Walmart-bought chicken breasts as I did, you won’t need the water either. I am already planning to make this one again soon!
Excellent recipe! I’ve actually made this before (straight from Chetna’s video, just like Deb), but was thrilled to have it written and slightly tweaked here.
I used about a pound of chicken thighs and “supplemented” with cauliflower, carrots, and frozen spinach to make this a vegetable-rich one-dish meal, served over jeera rice. Apart from that, I followed the recipe faithfully and am already looking forward to leftovers. When eating, I thought it benefited from a big squeeze of lemon juice—might also be great with some amchoor powder, which adds a sour note.
P.S. Chetna’s other recipes, including her “best vegetable curry,” are really excellent. Highly recommend!
I cooked this last night & it was so easy and entirely delicious
I left out chilli for kids (🙄)
And still was yum
i highly recommend
Hi Deb! Because I know you are a food nerd (and I say that in the most complimentary sense possible), for more on the use of the word curry you might enjoy the episode of the Sporkful where Madhur Jaffrey and Priya Krishna discussed this (amongst many other delicious and interesting things). This one: http://www.sporkful.com/live-when-will-indian-food-be-american/
Made this dish over the weekend with bone in chicken thighs and legs and it was absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe. It will be one of my go to recipes from now on!
This was so so delicious! Thanks for another easy and yummy recipe!
This is a very rare smitten kitchen recipe that really didn’t work out for me. Bland. So meh that I read back over the recipe twice to be sure I didn’t do something wrong. I think there needs to be more spice, more coming down of the “base”, maybe browning the tomato paste, maybe browning the chicken?
It’s nowhere near as good as using a jarred Tikka Masala sauce from a fancy grocery store, but this is way more work. There are so many great recipe on this site (so incredibly many!).
Deb, I have probably made over 100 of your recipes throughout the years. You are my go to resource!
When I made this I used 2% Fage yogurt and my sauce wasn’t very smooth. It came out a little grainy, almost like a broken sauce. Was this because the yogurt wasn’t full fat? Any advice on how to fix this with the 2%?
Thank you for everything you do!!
I used 2% Fage the time I took these photos — as you can see, totally smooth. Not sure what caused it to be broken. Did you use fresh or canned tomatoes?
I have made this recipe for the last 3 weeks – I love it! I love it leftover so I just keep making it.
I have used 2% and whole yogurt and have yet to have it separate – it may look grainy at first but it was fine.
I added the 1/2 c of water each time and while I thought it was runny at first, it gained more body as it cooked and then cooled off.
Served over rice – it’s perfect, over and over.
Thank you Deb
I made this tonight and it was absolutely wonderful. It wasn’t spicy but the depth of flavor was such that I didn’t need heat. My three year old thought it was fantastic!
For what it’s worth to anyone with a sparse pantry, I subbed cumin seeds with ground cumin. I also didn’t have tomato paste so I omitted that. Nor did I have ground coriander. I went the crushed tomatoes route and it was delicious so I don’t think I’m going to give myself the other version to compare it to. : ) I also added one seeded diced jalapeño, and some cilantro during cooking. I will be making this again and again. Oh, and I found the flavor to be much more nuanced and complex than my previous curries which mainly used curry powder.
This was DELICIOUS. I watched the video several times, and I ended up sauteeing my onions for 8 minutes to start, and they were perfectly caramelized.
This recipe feels like the movie Rashomon – everyone has a different take – it was perfectly seasoned to me (I used 1/4 t cayenne and it was plenty hot) and very flavorful. I used 150g of yogurt (mostly whole milk Fage greek) per the video, so less than Deb suggests and marinated for 5 hours. My sauce didn’t separate at all.
Can I just say I AM SO FREAKING GLAD YOU ARE FEATURING CHETNA MAKAN!! My husband is Indian and I’ve searched far and wide for guidance in cooking Indian dishes. Her recipes turn out stunningly delicious every time without fail! Chetna is the absolute best… xoxo
I made this for dinner tonight and my family raved. It was easy and so delicious and comforting. It’s going on the rotation. I added the water after the tomatoes as I thought the spices were getting scorched and I used it to deglaze the pan. Also I added a bay leaf and just a tiny pinch of sugar to balance it all out. Thank you for this recipe. I have been a fan since I peeled chick peas for your hummus.
I made this last week and it was amazing. My husband said it was even better than restaurant Indian food – and we live in Chicago, so it’s not like there aren’t options around. The only thing I did differently was to truly caramelize the onion, like a lot of other reviewers have mentioned. Other than that, the recipe came together quickly and easily. I’m currently making a huge batch of caramelized onions to freeze so that we can make this all the time.
So, so good. Thank you for this recipe! My husband and I loved it! It made 5 servings for us. I used sour cream instead of yogurt, and didn’t end up having any tomato paste, so just added a little bit more fresh tomato. Other than that, I followed the recipe, and it was fantastic. I will definitely make it again!
This does look tasty.
I’ve read thru this post twice and please forgive me if I’ve missed it – but – has anyone asked and been answered if this can be made a day in advance without losing flavor or the chicken drying out too much?
Honestly, on a cold day like this this is all I want to eat. Looks so delish!
This looks like a lovely recipe. I’m in England at the moment as my Mum is gravely ill and we’re all very sad, so a nice warm curry for the family tonight to cheer us up is just the ticket. I’ll also take this recipe back with me to Australia as my hubby loves a good curry too. Thanks for the lovely inspiration today.
This looks absolutely delicious. Will be trying it for winter. Thank you!
Love love love this recipe! I just made it for the third time – I let the onions and cumin seed cook for a long time : ) I used plain yogurt (this time I used whole vs 2%) and I always add the 1/2 c of water. It is starts out a bit runny but as it sits and cools, it thickens up.
It is delicious! I love reheating the leftover so I’m not eating it until tomorrow lol
Thank you Deb
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you should pile the leftovers onto a tray of chips or fried pita or whatever, scatter some chickpeas, throw some cilantro on top with more yogurt and lime and now you’re having Indian nachos for dinner.
This makes A-plus lunch leftovers. I had it with couscous instead of rice. Will make again.
Whatever this is called, it was delicious. I have made it twice and it is much better with thighs than breasts. I eliminated the cayenne because I can’t eat spicy food. I used whole peeled tomatoes and crushed them by hand.
This was excellent. Followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out great. The combination of spices was so good. We did the cayenne on the high end of the suggested range and it was a great level of heat for us (but we like spicy food). Would definitely make this again!
Made this today and it was SO good! The flavours are incredible. Based on comments, I used fresh tomatoes even though they are out of season and I simmered the chicken afterwards for an extra 15 minutes with the lid off to reduce the liquid. Overall it is amazing!
I made this tonight and it was amazing! I did use dried garlic (2 tsp) because I was out of fresh, but it worked just fine for me. The sauce was a little too soupy, so next time I may only add 1/3 c water instead of a half cup. But overall it was a fantastic recipe, definitely will be adding it to our rotation.
I followed this recipe to a tee and ended up with curry soup. I did brown the onions for 20 mins as most people suggested. Not sure where I went wrong. Smells delicious when I opened the lid at 30 minutes. It’s been almost an hour simmering without the lid to try and get rid of the excess liquid :(
Can you suggest a non dairy sub for yogurt. Would a plant based yogurt have the same effect, cook the same?
I haven’t experimented with them, but I’d confidently recommend full-fat coconut milk here.
I made this tonight and we were disappointed. I used chicken breasts, and as another comment noted, they must release a lot of moisture, because the sauce ended up being kind of bland. If I do this again, I would reduce the amount of water added, and increase the spice.
For anyone looking for a vegetarian sub – I’ve made this with tempeh and tofu and it was great! I marinated the tempeh according to the directions for chicken and it turned out really well! If you’re going to use tofu, though, I would recommend draining the block of tofu fully, then freezing it over night, and then letting it thaw before using. This gives it a more “spongy” texture and will help absorb the flavors.
Finally got around to making this today, and I’m so glad I did! Yum, yum, yum! Leftovers to get me through the work week now include this curry, and the sheet pan chicken tikka. Plus my 2 cup container of full-fat greek yogurt is now almost used up, which is good since I almost exclusively eat the fat free stuff for breakfast!
I made this and both my picky eaters (15 months and 4 years) devoured it!
It is now a family favourite. I doubled the recipe and froze half for a quick weeknight meal and it was just as fantastic.
WOW! This was fantastic. I used chicken tenderloins (white meat) cut into 2″ pieces because that’s what I had thawed. It cooked in about 20 minutes without tasting dry. I’ll use thighs next time because I like the flavor a bit better.
I accidentally doubled the ginger – didn’t see the “divided” part of the instructions – and I’m glad I did since I really like ginger.
I made this for my mom’s birthday dinner last night. Oh my gosh. SO GOOD. Even my picky 4 year old declared it delicious. To speed it up for a weeknight meal, I did all the sauteeing the night before, up to adding the chicken, and then threw that mix in the fridge. I marinated the chicken overnight and then put it, plus the onion/tomato mixture all in the pot when we got home from work/school. By the time our instant pot cooked the rice and I put together a bagged salad, it all timed out perfectly. I put out some shredded coconut, raisins, and yogurt–the kids loved adding toppings to their curry. Thank you (and Chetna!). Will be making this again.
Yes! We also love the toppings idea and it makes it a lot more kid-friendly (mine are age 4 and 6). We do yogurt, raisins, and peanuts. I grew up eating raisins and peanuts on top of curry and didn’t realize that wasn’t a thing people did until I got to college. I think my mom got the idea from a backpacking recipe and it’s surprisingly delicious.
5 stars! This is DELICIOUS. I’ve made it umpteen times, usually doubling the recipe and freezing the extra. Here’s what I’ve figured out… I cook the onions for longer than Deb says, until they’re fairly brown (like Chetna does in the video). I’ve always used canned, crushed tomatoes for convenience and been happy with the outcome. I can only buy crushed tomatoes with basil at my grocery store, but the spices are so dominant I found it wasn’t a big deal to have basil in there. I prefer it without the water added. I think Deb’s salt amounts are for Diamond brand and since I use Morton’s kosher salt I usually cut back by ~half and then add to taste. My cayenne must be way spicier because the amount listed would be insane (or I’m a wimp; probably both) and I’ve found that just omitting the cayenne is fine and it’s nicely spiced. It freezes quite well, even with the dairy in it. Overall, a huge hit for our family!
Hello! This looks delicious! Do you think you could do it in a slow cooker on low for day 7 to 8 hours?
Yes, although I haven’t tested the time range. If it’s worked for other bone-in chicken recipes, however, you should be just fine.
We love this recipe. My husband and daughter can’t have milk so we used a can of full fat coconut milk to marinate the chicken and everything turns out delicious.
This curry is SO GOOD. Made it twice already and can’t wait to make it again
Help! My yogurt separated into lumpy, nasty curds! How do I prevent this?
What kind of yogurt did you use?
Mine was grainy too. I used Organic Valley whole milk plain yogurt. Any suggestions??
Mine was 2 percent Greek yogurt, non organic. Grainy is a lovely way to describe curdled! :)
Made this last night in self-isolation for two adults and teenage boy. It was delicious, and the yoghourt didn’t separate at all – I used full fat Greek yoghourt. I didn’t have fresh ginger so used dried, but I imagine that it would be even better with fresh. We used fresh tomatoes so as to preserve our tinned tomatoes and it was really good. It makes a huge amount so we’ve got enough for a second meal tonight.
I have made this multiple times and it is just so darn good!
I follow the recipe exactly except I always double it so I can freeze a bunch of lunch size containers for later.
I reheats great and has become a favorite!
How do you cook your rice? Any spices? Stock?
I cook it plain, but I sometimes finish it with a spoonful of ghee or butter for a dish like this.
Just a comment from a Brit (and a curry bore) on chicken tikka masala… there are many variants of the dish with that name and your version (or Chetna’s!) fits within the parameters though I can see why she calls hers just chicken curry, as it doesn’t fit one of the ‘classic’ recipes like rogan josh or balti, which have distinct spices and flavourings. Chicken tikka is the term used for boneless chunks of chicken that have been marinated in spices yogurt – tikka is Hindi for pieces. Masala refers to the curry spices used, though these vary considerably. And there are usually tomatoes of one form or another. So yes, yours is a chicken tikka masala but it would taste very different to mine!
LOVE your blog – keep it coming!
This is very similar to a dish a friend from Afghanistan taught me to make over 20 years ago. The only difference? No ginger or spices, but the same exact process with only chicken, yogurt, garlic, onion & tomatoes. I’m not sure if the lack of spices is regional or their family preference. Still very good and worth a try!
Made this for the first time today as per your recipe, and it was so totally delicious that it will be part of our regular and frequent!! chicken rotation.
Thank you !
Hi we love this recipe, however, we find it very “watery” and wonder if we could scale down to 1/4 C of water so we get a thicker sauce?
You can try for sure.
I consider myself an Indian food generalist (or opportunist, take your pick). DH #1 was a Scots who really introduced me to Indian good and used to cook on the regular—I still have his recipes for Rogan josh, Dahl, shrimp curry, and chicken biriyani. Alas, the general flavor profile of Indian food is one DH#2 simply doesn’t enjoy, much as I have tried. Pity. Usually I console myself by going to the best local Indian place and gorging on their lunch buffet once every couple months, but clearly that’s not going to happen any time soon. So today I made this (while making sure there were plenty of other options for DH) and it came out great—a titch spicier than I planned (I used maybe 1/2 tsp of cayenne) but so flavorful and luscious and lovely. And plenty for me to freeze in portions for nights when I want my Indian fix and can do something else for DH. Was glad I watched Chetna’s video, I would have pulled both the onion and the tomato step way too soon otherwise. Thanks for another winner, Deb (and Chetna)!
Kaci, do you enjoy spicy foods at all?
Sorry, just saw this. Yes, I do like a moderate bit of spice—if it helps give you any context, I have 6 or so different kinds of hot sauce in the kitchen. But I’d rather taste the depths of flavors along with the spice than have the heat just obliterate everything else.
Editing to add—I should have also said that DH #1 was a Scots. You may or may not know that Indian food to Scots is like Chinese food to the US—there’s a curry shop on every corner and a curry take-away is at least a once weekly thing in many/most urban areas. DH#1 also learned to cook a lot of Indian growing up, so I was exposed to a lot during the 10 yrs of our marriage, at a variety of spice levels. I was fine with all but one—-a tomato & green bean dish that was so hot, even the 3 Scots in the group were eating it through tears.
Delicious but what would cause my sauce to curdle?
Deb, I always love your failproof recipes. But I made the chicken curry yesterday & the sauce curdled. I followed your recipe exactly, it didn’t really taste much like curry either. What did I do wrong?
Made this while we are locked down, and got some chicken thighs in a grocery delivery.had no Garam masala , so used madras curry powder. This was amazing, and under the circumstances, even better! Thank you.
Hi, can I use sour cream instead of yogurt?
This was so good! Limited ingredients because of the quarantine, so I had to skip the coriander entirely and only had ground cumin instead of cumin seeds. I also used chicken breasts – but this was amazing! So easy and tasted like it was from a restaurant. Using fresh tomatoes was key – ours weren’t that fresh, but they still tasted really good in the finished dish.
I echo what earlier reviewers said – you’re going to think you need to add more water, but don’t! It creates its own sauce as it simmers with the lid on.
Hi there, I don’t have any yoghurt or coconut cream in the pantry and all the shops are closed! Do you think I could substitute with buttermilk?
Do you think you could replace this with cauliflower?
Actually we just made it tonight (again) and both commented that it would be great with cauliflower — so I say yes.
Delicious!!! Spicy, yes, but just the right amount for us. I will be making this over and over again for sure.
I don’t love onions so I cooked them first, for quite a bit longer, and only used about 1 onion rather than 2. I supplemented with some cut up green beans when I added the chicken and it was perfect. I also used the can of tomatoes (rather than fresh) and it still tasted amazing. I’ve always struggled with making “restaurant good” Indian dishes and this is definitely a winner!
This thread has a lot of interesting debate, but not much from people who have actually made the recipe (my pet peeve). I did, so here’s my take. I made it to a T, down to chopping the out-of-season tomatoes (in the future, I’d use canned). The one thing I changed was using an immersion blender to puree the sauce a bit, because I’m cooking for children. While the sauce had a lovely, mild flavor, it was incredibly watery, so much so that I had to start adding copious amounts of corn starch near the end. This did not affect the flavor much, but it was a hassle. Had I not fiddled with this recipe, it would have looked nothing like Deb’s photo. I usually like SK, but sorry, Deb: I’ll be making a different chicken curry recipe next time.
This is seriously so delicious and so easy! Instead of water, I used vegetable broth (about 1-1.5 c) and added 1 c of red lentils and let it all simmer. Makes it even more hearty. I also used 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes from Trader Joe’s which definitely kicks up the heat!
This was yummy. However, by the time the chicken was done, the sauce was still very thin. So I pulled out the chicken with a slotted spoon and reduced the sauce quite a lot. I also used the immersion blender since my husband does not like chunks (there’s something wrong with him), and that helped to thicken it up also. Then I added the chicken back in. Next time I will use less water and/or simmer with the lid off. Anyone else have this problem?
I made this back in the fall when you first shared the recipe and enjoyed it. I had it in my head as something to make this week to use up some chicken thighs from my freezer, but just noticed that the plain greek yogurt I have on hand is non-fat. Do you think it would still be worth making with non-fat yogurt?
I’m not positive — I’m more worried about it taking on a curdled texture without the fat.
I’ve made this recipe twice, both times using fat free pot set natural yoghurt (Jalna – an Aussie brand). I’ve never had any issues!
Could this be crock-potted, perhaps?
After making this 5 times I thought I should write a review! I follow the recipe exactly and each time it turns out perfectly.
My onions do take around 20 minutes to brown in a Staub, and I take the lid off for the last 10 minutes or so of cooking to thicken a bit.
It is bright, flavorful and very easy. I love this!
Cannot believe how tender the chicken thighs were in this recipe. Incredible!!!
Chiming in with others about the name– I notice you’ve changed it in the beginning of the post, but it’s still in the notes as what you think is the “real” name:
“* About the name: Makan calls the recipe chicken curry, but I took the liberty of calling it by what seems to be its full dish name: chicken tikka masala. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) I read mixed things about the word “curry,” which can be confusing — more here on why, but it’s basically it’s catch-all term that doesn’t mean a whole lot.”
Is ground coriander from dried leaves or coriander seed? We have both here.
I always thought it was seeds but now I trying to find out — great question.
Simple ingredients that made a PERFECT chicken curry. So bright and flavorful. Definitely can’t imagine it getting better than this!
I forgot one of the key ingredients and this still cake out delicious. The fresh tomatoes were a great recommendation. For my first attempt at making curry, I was very impressed with how easy this was to follow and how delicious it came out. I’m hooked to this site.
This was so yummy and I definitely will be making again. My full fat yogurt did separate when cooking. I did put the chicken/yogurt mixture in cold after 24 hrs. in the fridge ( got a last minute dinner invite, so threw it in the fridge). Anyway, do you have any thoughts on preventing that. Room Temperature? Clearly, it didn’t effect the taste, but visually I would like to for it to look better. Thanks!
Can you think of a good way to make this with just veggies instead of chicken?
Many! Tofu, cauliflower, eggplant, squash, even…
I’ve made this a number of times now and it really is SO delicious, so much more than the sum of its parts. I use bone-in chicken thighs, and just take the meat off the bones after it’s cooked through. I think it tastes even better reheated. Thanks so much.
Loved this dish SO much. I only had 0% fat greek yogurt so I splashed in some half and half to compensate. I also almost doubled the garlic & ginger. Finally, I threw in a chicken back and wing tips that I had been saving in the freezer for stock in hopes of enriching the sauce – I think it might have helped? Regardless, this was incredibly delicious and I think it will freeze well so next time I’m making a double batch.
This was amazing! For some reason, every time I’ve tried to make Indian food in the past, I’ve failed miserably. I decided to give it one last go with this recipe, and it was a great success. I changed nothing. Thanks Deb!
I just made this and put it straight into the fridge for tomorrow’s dinner, when I will get home late from work and will definitely appreciate pulling this right out of the fridge. I haven’t tried the chicken yet, but I used a piece of baguette to soak up the remaining sauce in the pot, and it was so, so good. Thanks for always making my autumns warmer and more flavorful.
I used a 1.75 pound package of chicken, so I subbed in chickpeas for the rest (1 cup dry, cooked most but not all of the way done, and then added in with the chicken/yogurt), and it seems to have worked out really well.
This is so delicious! I have been making it all through the pandemic. We can get chicken thighs delivered very easily, and I am convinced that this is the very best thing you can make with a package of chicken thighs. I was subbing in ground Cumin, and regular curry powder at first, and it was still wonderful.Now I have garam Masala and whole cumin seeds and it is even better. .
Thank you for making these strange and scary times just a little tastier.
Oh my goodness. I am I love with this recipe! I made it virtually as written other than a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and one fresh Roma. It was PERFECT! Served it over brown basmati rice. I will eat this for lunch tomorrow, dinner tomorrow and probably lunch or dinner in Wednesday. A keeper for sure!
Hi! Love this so much. Would this work with beef? Was thinking of marinading and then slow low covered in the oven, then toss into curry for a few minutes to finish. The cut I want to use is rather uncommon- Bananinha (the meat here in Israel comes from South America and is butchered there).
I’m so excited to get started.
This is a very good recipe. Deb is the great translator, and as an Indian Canadian woman, this has become my go to chicken curry recipe. It helps that Deb cites Chetna, who created the original method. A few things: use thighs with bones, no skin. You need the juice from the bones to make a good chicken curry. Toast the cumin seeds first, in hot ghee or oil, until they pop. Then add the onions and let them caramelize, which will take much longer than 5 minutes, it might even be 15. Curry in a hurry is not a thing. Don’t be afraid to almost let them burn. Then add the garlic and ginger for another 2-3 minutes. The browning of the onions is a very important part. When the tomatoes are added, after the spices, you will know it is ok to add the tomato paste when the oil separates from the tomato.
I‘ve made this often, always a win! Is there a reason that you suggest a different order of adding the spices? Chetna recommend in her video to brown the cumin seeds along the onions, adding the other spices after the tomstoes came in.
Made this tonight, vegetarian style, and, if I make it again, I’ll try something different. Somehow this did not come out as delicious as literally every other SK recipe and was not thick and creamy. It was good but I’ve made better and I found it to lack depth and richness. HOWEVER – this review isn’t a reflection of the recipe because I made changes: I used standard 14oz extra firm tofu (drained/pressed, cubed) and 1 large head cauliflower (all still marinated in yogurt, garlic, ginger, salt) instead of chicken. The tofu ended up crumbly throughout and rarely held a cube. The cauliflower simmered for about 45 min but still was aldente. In the end, I felt I was eating a big bowl of cauliflower – and not in a good, roasted, bronzed, flavorful. So… this vegetarian substitution didn’t work out for me. I’ll try it again another way.
I just posted about a few vegetarian options I love! My favorite is cauliflower and cashew. Using frozen cauliflower made it come together quick, which is great because this is now one of our go-to weeknight dishes. A bag of frozen cauliflower is also smaller than a whole head, meaning that the dish isn’t overwhelmed by cauliflower but does have noticeably more vegetables than the original recipe. I haven’t tried marinating the cashews because I want them to maintain a bit of their bite, but you could experiment with that if you wanted them to be softer. The leftovers are great, and the cashews aren’t too soft after reheating, so they could be sturdier than I think. I also really like the flavor from the full-fat coconut milk- I can’t believe that the original recipe doesn’t call for that, it is so good, even though we have both yogurt and coconut milk on hand I still use the coconut milk. I upped the flavorings because I used a whole can of coconut milk, and the curry turned out just as good as any vegetarian dish I’ve had in a restaurant. Don’t give up the search for a satisfying vegetarian option!
Love this! I don’t use the tomato paste, and I use a full 15 oz can of (well shaken) full fat coconut milk and a bit more garlic, ginger, and spices than is called for and it’s the most delicious curry ever. In the interest of eating less meat, we came up with a few meat-free options. My partner liked it with mock duck (simmer for a few minutes after adding two cans of drained and rinsed mock duck), and we have a version that uses cashews and cauliflower (add a 9 oz can of cashews, simmer for 10 min, add a bag of frozen cauliflower, simmer for 5-8 min until heated through) that I absolutely love. You can cook the cashews more or less to your liking- if you simmer them according to my instructions they will still have a hint of bite but be noticeably softer than from the can. I’m a huge meat fan, but would eat the cauliflower/cashew version any day of the week!
This recipe didn’t work for me at all. The seasonings were so bland and my finished dish looked nothing like the photo. I’m going to let it sit overnight and see if the flavors improve. I did add curry powder. We shall see.
well, i see my comment hasn’t been posted. this was a decent recipe but needed more seasoning and it should “rest” in the fridge for a day.
I am having difficulty printing this recipe. The “Search and Print Recipes” has hundreds of chicken curry recipes. Is there a way in which we can find your recipes more quickly?
There is a print icon that leads to a print template at the bottom of each recipe, where it says “DO MORE:” You can also click CTRL or ⌘ + P from any recipe post and it will take you to a streamlined print template.
Question: If I were to add additional vegetables (sneaking in for a picky teen) what would you recommend? I was thinking eggplant or peas…Thanks!
This was an excellent, quick and easy dinner. My whole family (kids and all) scarfed it down. Believe it or not! Thanks!
You don’t put any spices into your marinade, which isn’t the same as Chetna’s recipe, which has salt, turmeric and garam masala
HI! I’m eager to make this but I’m confused….. is there no curry in this dish?
What we in the West call curry, or curry powder, doesn’t really exist in India. Curry powder is a catch-all concept that dates from the British occupation of India and these spice blends (masalas) are still in use because of their convenience. Most of what comprises “curry powder” is ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilies, all of which are present in this recipe. The addition of Garam masala adds extra fragrant spices, which are commonly found in various curry masala blends.
Why not start blending your own “curry powders” – you’ll find tons of info on the net. It is addictive!
Curry is the dish — it uses a mix of spices, as you see here. Curry as a spice blend is something separate.
This recipe is brilliant! I make a lot of Indian food and usually create an Indian-spiced chicken off the top of my head. I decided to reach out a bit and see what others are doing and I am so glad I did. This one is lovely. So much is right about it: thighs and not flavourless chicken breast, marinating in yogurt, healthy amounts of onions, garlic, ginger – all very authentic.
I didn’t plan far enough ahead to have tomatoes on hand, so I used a bottle of passata (strained puréed tomatoes) and it worked beautifully. Also, I used Kashmiri chilli powder, which is all flavour and not much heat. Fantastic.
Thanks for the comment on fresh vs. canned toms. I couldn’t agree more.
This was delicious and very easy. I wonder if the watery-ness some people are experiencing is because the bones from the original recipe would add some gelatin (a thickener) to the sauce? I would think that would help with making a silkier sauce, too. For what it’s worth, I used Fage full-fat Greek yogurt and had no issue with the sauce breaking. I added 1/2 tsp of amchoor powder at the end too.
Thank you for this well explained recipe. I added carrots and celery so it isn’t exactly right, but we need our vegetables. I am a bit older so I have my two sons who are in their 30s take turns with me cooking. They go light on the veggies sometimes.
Delicious! Caramelized the onions, then added the cumin seeds. Added a large diced jalapeño and used fresh tomatoes. Served over basmati rice along with chopped cucumber, hot chutney, and pineapple tidbits.
Possible to make this vegetarian.. looks amazing.
Some commenters have made it with tofu and/or chickpeas. I think the curry base will be delicious with almost anything.
I butchered this recipe because I wanted it so badly and found my kitchen woefully low on key ingredients – I cut it in half, used 2 shallots and 2 scallions instead of white onions, dried garlic instead of fresh (cringe), etc. The recipe still turned out bomb, SO good. A testament to Deb’s recipe and my faith in her directions! In Deb we trust!
This looks delicious Deb!
If you are looking to avoid using many of these spices and just go with something simple, I suggest trying the “Tandoori” & “Chicken Masala” combination, should be available in any indian or asian grocery stores. Famous brands that sell it include MDH and SHAN. I personally use both of them and the only other thing needed is salt, and these contain a perfect blend of spices for the indian style gravy chicken.
Made this a couple of times and always use chicken thighs over chicken breast. So tasty!
Wonderful recipe! Made for dinner guests and we all enjoyed it. Good spice, but not too much especially if you serve with rice.
Def time consuming due to lots of chopping.
I had to add more than the 1/2 c of water as it got too thick. Also used 5% Fage yogurt vs full fat which I’m not sure made too much of a difference.
Served 4 with 2 servings left over.
This is also terrific with shrimp.
Made this last night for my family and it was a huge hit! Easy to put together and completely, utterly delicious!
Unfortunately this recipe did not work for me – I suspect a few reasons: the tomatoes weren’t ripe enough, I did not have tomato paste to add, and I had to improvise the garam masala using similar spices. Overall, resulted in some blandish stewed chicken with a lack of depth of flavor, with a gravy of onion mush and tomato chunks. Not bad, but not what I hoped for.
If I make this recipe again, I will fry the yogurt for a little bit with the onions and tomatoes BEFORE adding water, like I’ve done for a couple other curry recipes. As well my sauce broke, but I think if I added the yogurt marinade slower to the pot, it may have emulsified better.
I can verify chicken breasts work fine, just be careful with the cooking time.
Probably a pesky question, but… in other recipes I’ve seen that use a marinade, the recipe calls for preparing double the marinade. Half goes in with the raw meat and is then discarded afterwards; the other half goes in the cooking pot. Is that about bacteria/salmonella/otherscarythings – and if so, is this recipe different, from that perspective?
This is delicious! And easy to make!
Yes, whatever it’s called, fabulously delicious as advertised. I didn’t change a thing and it is perfect. Hubs cannot wait for the leftovers tonight.
Why .. is there no butter in the recipe when it’s called ‘butter chicken’? I thought I was seeing things but no!
This isn’t butter chicken.
I make this dish once every 3-4 weeks. Everyone in our family loves it. If there’s extra sauce, I use it with over salmon or swordfish. Delicious!
What I like about this, is I have almost everything already, and I will just leave the coriander out.
Could you make with chicken breasts? Just not a dark meat person.
Sounds so good, my mouth is watering!!!
I made this, substituting coconut milk for yogurt to make it kosher and white meat instead of dark. It was tasty but I wasn’t crazy about the coconut milk. I thought that it added more richness than I enjoy and muted the flavours a bit. Next time I’ll try soaking/blending some cashews and adding a bit of acid, to see if it better mimics yogurt. We ate it all, though!
Delicious! I made this exactly according to the recipe. I had no problem with the sauce separating as others have mentioned. It looked just like the photo. Will make again for sure.
This was very good! I only used one onion, but other than that, I followed the recipe as written. I was surprised at how much flavor there was with such a short cooking time. Accompanied by jasmine rice and homemade naan. YUM!
Please don’t kill me for asking but could I possibly substitute some tomato sauce or extra tomato paste for the diced/crushed/whatever tomatoes? I cannot stomach tomatoes except in the tomato sauce/pasta variety. Would I ruin the dish entirely?
No, I think the dish is flexible.
Great tip to prevent yogurt in sauces curdling: add 1/2 teaspoon cornflour per 1 cup yougurt. Works like a miracle. Adding a spoonful or two almond meal while cooking low-fat sauces also gives great texture
I made this last night and it was delicious! All thumbs up from the family. I used chicken legs because bones and lower cost and they worked well. I agree on fresh vs canned tomatoes! I would normally use canned but tried fresh and they provided great texture and the sauce didn’t have that “tomato sauce” taste that every pasta or chili gets from canned toms. And tomatoes are super cheap right now!
I have one bone to pick: cayenne vs chili powder. In my world, cayenne is 100% ground cayenne peppers and super hot whereas chili powder is a mixture containing ground chili peppers, cumin, oregano and other spices and is not very hot. One teaspoon of cayenne does not equal one teaspoon of chili powder from a spiciness stand point. My husband went through a cooking phase thinking cayenne = chili powder and we are still a little traumatized so I decided to go ultra conservative on this first try of this recipe and used 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne. There was only just a hint of spicy. Next time I’ll go 3/4 tsp, I think.
I found the coriander a little strong but my coriander is fresher than the other spices so that may account for that. At first, I thought the gravy was too watery but when you scoop up the tomato and onions that have fallen to the bottom there’s a lot going on there.
I made this with your roasted cauliflower with cumin seeds recipe. I didn’t do the yoghurt pomegranate topping to simplify things. It was a good match and the timing worked well. I prepped it before I started assembling the curry and stuck it in the oven when I started simmering the curry.
On that note, I would love if you could tell us what you served WITH your recipes to round it out to a full meal. That is one of my greatest challenges: what to make with this great recipe I want to make but will take up most of my energy so much energy that I can’t even think what to make with it. It’s the second phase of “What’s for dinner?” “Now how do I make this great recipe into a well balanced meal?”
Do you think this could be made vegetarian by using chickpeas, cauliflower, potatoes and carrots? Would any of that need to be parboiled first? Sounds amazing and would love to have 2 options for vegetarian guests to enjoy!
Thank You for this recipe! Absolutely delicious and easy to make. I cut the recipe in half as I only had 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs and there is only the 2 of us here. My husband had seconds and gave it 2 thumbs up. I used greek yogurt and made the recipe as directed. I used cherry tomatoes because that is what I had in the fridge. Will definitely make this again.
My husband says he doesn’t like curry… but he loved this! I will definitely make it again!
Any vegetarians try this with tofu or chickpeas or maybe Cauliflower? Thanks.
dish is amazing ! you could also grate the fresh tomatoes to help with consistency. also if you like a thicker sauce you can take the chicken out and simmer intensely for 5 mins.l and reduce it and then add the chicken back, it also enriches all the flavors.
Scrumptious! I didn’t purchase the correct yogurt and it was still outstanding.
I made this tonight and the whole family loved it, the flavor is very good!. I used crushed tomatoes but would recommend adding less water or maybe no water if going this route. The sauce was a bit to thin. Thank you Deb for another great recipe!
I have made this as written and loved it but alas life demanded some flex today so I made it with cubed pork shoulder in my crockpot, the yogurt broke but it was still delicious. Might try coconut milk next time I need to utilize the crockpot. Served with white rice and sautéed bell pepper for the mild child, jalapeno is on my list once the tastebuds have matured a bit more!
Because I am a big fan of one pot meals, I also threw in a bag of baby spinach leaves just before serving – green veggies are a non-neg in my household – and I served with a mix of brown rice and ancient grains.
Next time will also top with roughly topped coriander (cilantro to our North American friends).
It’s a great recipe Deb. Bravo. We loved it!
would this still be delicious if I prepared it the day before and reheated it?
Delicious! I am so happy to have discovered this recipe. Some family members thought it needed a little more salt (I didn’t), but easy to add at the end.
This is one of my go-to meals. So good. I use 3-4 plum tomatoes, and I also use a pinch of hing which really makes the flavors pop. Thanks for this delicious recipe.
If you wanted to make this ahead of time (a day) at what point would you get to? Make the whole thing ? Just marinate the chicken ? Cook half the time? Thank you!
This was delicious. I used 8 thighs, scored them, but left the bones attached. I also used grape tomatoes (they were on sale). Everyone LOVED it. Served with Saag Paneer and Basmati rice. yummmmm
I am not a bold cook any more but I made this a number of times and it never fails to please. We serve with brown rice. I do cut my chicken thigh meat into smaller chunks, maybe 1″, so they are bite-sized. I even made my own garam Masada from a simple, online recipe. I feel such a sense of accomplishment every time I make this and we lick our bowls, it is that good!
Recommendation to sub something nondairy for the Greek yogurt? Not because I don’t love dairy, it just doesn’t love me back ;)
About how many thighs would this call for?
I am making this with shrimp in place of chicken and using coconut milk. Do you recommend marinating the shrimp with coconut milk, garlic, ginger, and salt ahead of time? Since shrimp takes only a few minutes to cook. Do you precook the shrimp or add to the sauce for a few minutes at the end?