Chicken Tikka Masala


For my Indian food project, I chose to make Chicken Tikka Masala, a popular Indian cuisine whose modern interpretation actually originates from England and is an example of how food from other cultures and regions can be modified or created to appeal more to a different culture. Chicken tikka masala is a simple and easy to make dish that takes about 45 minutes to and hour to prep. Using this recipe from, I gathered my spices and bought any missing items and began preparing by cutting the chicken into 1 inch pieces. Usually the chicken is supposed to be cooked on a grill, which I don’t have, so I heated a skillet on the stove and added olive oil and the chicken to cook. While the chicken cooks, I did about 10 minutes on each side, I cut up and diced 1 full onion, causing my eyes to be sandblasted by onion scent, then through the tears I minced a bit of ginger. Once the chicken was cooked, I took it out of the skillet and added the onions to cook for about 7 minutes, or until caramelized and soft. I then added the ginger, garlic and other spices to the skillet and mixed them with the onions to cook for another 2 minutes. The spices used in this dish are commonly seen in Indian cuisine and include ½ tsp of turmeric, 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp garam masala, and 1 tsp red pepper powder. It was now time to add a full 28oz can of crushed tomatoes to the skillet, however I miss placed my can opener, but, through a process of stabbing the lid multiple times with a knife around the edge, I got the red chunky stuff in the skillet. I let the skillet simmer for about 17 minutes and then added in the chicken and ½ cups plus 2 tbsp of heavy whipping cream, turning the red, salsa like mixture into a creamy orange curry. Then I put the chicken tikka masala into a bowl and enjoyed the food. This dish is usually served with rice and naan bread but can also be enjoyed on its own.


Chicken tikka masala is similar in look to the popular Indian dish, Butter Chicken, however chicken tikka masala has a more complex mixture of spices, contain more of a tomato bass, and is generally much spicier. Traditionally in India, the chicken would have been cooked by using a tandoor clay oven. The chicken would be cooked with the bone in and as a whole piece. The use of “tikka”, or small pieces of meat, arose from the first leader and founder of the Mughal dynasty, Babur. Babur was tired of eating around the bones so he ordered the chefs to remove them before cooking the chicken, resulting in what was named “joleh” which is Persian for “tikka”. The modern incarnation of chicken tikka masala is said to originate from Glasgow, Scotland, supposedly created in 1971 at Shish Mahal, a well known authentic curry house. Ali Ahmed Aslam claims to have created the dish after a customer complained that his chicken was dry by adding tomato soup and various spices used in Indian food. There is, however, many claims to the origins of chicken tikka masala, including a dish named Shahi Chicken Masala, which was published in 1961 in the Indian Cookery magazine by Mrs. Balbir Singh. This dish is similar to chicken tikka masala in terms of the use of similar spices but does not use nearly as much tomato soup or tomato paste. Though not originally from India, chicken tikka masala has become one of the most widely known Indian dishes and is generally a staple at many Indian restaurants.


Editors, D. (2020, January 30). Make The Best Chicken Tikka Masala Right At Home. Retrieved June 29, 2020, from

Is chicken tikka masala actually Indian, not British? (2019, December 11). Retrieved June 29, 2020, from

Chalmers, T. (2017, August 02). A Brief History of Chicken Tikka Masala. Retrieved June 29, 2020, from

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