Chicken Tikka Curry Recipe

Indulge in the flavors of India with our mouthwatering chicken tikka curry recipe! Learn to create this classic dish from scratch.

Chicken Tikka Curry

    Chicken Tikka Curry

  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Category: Main Course
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 300 calories

Chicken tikka curry is a popular and flavorful dish that originates from the Indian subcontinent. It combines two beloved dishes: chicken tikka and curry. The preparation begins with marinating chicken pieces in a mixture of yogurt and various spices, including ginger-garlic paste, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili powder. This marinade infuses the chicken with rich, aromatic flavors. After marinating, the chicken is typically grilled or roasted until it acquires a smoky, charred exterior.

In the curry component, a rich and creamy tomato-based sauce is prepared. Onions are sautéed until translucent, and then tomatoes and tomato puree are added, along with a blend of spices, like garam masala, that provide depth and warmth to the sauce. Heavy cream is introduced to create a luscious, velvety texture.

The marinated and grilled chicken pieces are gently simmered in this luxurious curry sauce, allowing them to absorb the vibrant flavors of the sauce. The result is a delightful amalgamation of tender, smoky chicken and a creamy, spiced curry. Chicken tikka curry is typically garnished with fresh coriander leaves, adding a burst of freshness to the dish.

This dish is known for its balance of flavors, combining the smokiness of the chicken with the richness of the curry, and it's often served with rice or naan, making it a hearty and satisfying meal. Chicken tikka curry is a favorite in Indian cuisine, offering a harmonious blend of spices and textures that appeals to a wide range of palates.


Discover the art of creating delectable Chicken Tikka Curry! Uncover the secrets to a mouthwatering Indian classic in our step-by-step guide.


For the Chicken Tikka:

  • 500g boneless chicken pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (adjust to your spice preference)
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Curry:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Method Instructions

For the Chicken Tikka:

  1. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, chili powder, salt, lemon juice, and oil to make a marinade.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, coating them well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is even better).
  3. Preheat your grill or oven to a high temperature. Thread the marinated chicken onto skewers.
  4. Grill the chicken for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until it's cooked through and has a nice char on the outside.

For the Curry:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Let them splutter.
  2. Add finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the oil starts to separate.
  4. Sprinkle garam masala and mix well.
  5. Pour in the heavy cream and stir. Adjust the consistency with water as needed.
  6. Add the grilled chicken tikka pieces and simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or naan.

Recipe Video

Chicken Tikka Curry

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Recipe Tags: Chicken Tikka Curry, Chicken Tikka Curry Recipe, Recipe


Serving chicken tikka curry is quite straightforward. Here's how to do it:

  1. Choice of Accompaniment: Chicken tikka curry is typically served with some form of bread or rice. Common choices include plain rice, jeera rice (cumin rice), naan, or roti.
  2. Plating: Place a portion of the cooked rice or bread on a plate.
  3. Add the Chicken Tikka Curry: Ladle the chicken tikka curry over the rice or place it in a bowl for dipping bread.
  4. Garnish: Sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves on top of the curry for added freshness and flavor.
  5. Side Condiments (Optional): You can offer side condiments like lemon wedges, sliced onions, and mint chutney for diners to enhance the flavors according to their preferences.
  6. Serve Hot: Chicken tikka curry is best enjoyed when it's hot and freshly prepared. Serve it immediately.


  1. Marinating Time: Longer marinating time (ideally overnight) for the chicken in the yogurt and spice mixture will result in more flavorful and tender chicken pieces.
  2. Cooking the Chicken: You can grill the marinated chicken on skewers or use an oven broiler. For the classic smoky flavor, consider using a charcoal grill. Make sure the chicken is cooked through but not overcooked to maintain its tenderness.
  3. Spice Level: Adjust the amount of chili powder according to your spice preference. You can make it milder or spicier to suit your taste.
  4. Cream and Butter: To make the curry even richer, you can add a bit of butter along with the heavy cream. This is a common variation for a more indulgent taste.
  5. Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh ingredients like tomatoes and coriander leaves for the best flavor.
  6. Garam Masala: You can make your own garam masala or use a high-quality store-bought one. This spice blend is a key component of the curry's flavor.
  7. Accompaniments: Consider serving the chicken tikka curry with traditional Indian accompaniments like raita (yogurt with spices), pickles, or papadums for a complete meal experience.
  8. Leftovers: This curry often tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld, so it's great for leftovers.
  9. Dietary Preferences: You can adapt this recipe to your dietary preferences by using low-fat yogurt, coconut milk instead of heavy cream, or tofu or vegetables instead of chicken for a vegetarian version.

Ingredient Substitutes

You can substitute certain ingredients in the chicken tikka curry recipe to suit your dietary preferences or ingredient availability. Here are some common ingredient substitutions:

  1. Chicken: You can substitute chicken with other proteins like tofu, paneer (Indian cottage cheese), shrimp, or even vegetables to make vegetarian or seafood versions of the curry.
  2. Yogurt: If you're looking for a dairy-free alternative, you can use coconut yogurt, almond yogurt, or even silken tofu blended with a bit of lemon juice as a substitute for regular yogurt.
  3. Heavy Cream: To make the curry lighter, you can use coconut milk or a non-dairy creamer instead of heavy cream. This works well for a dairy-free or vegan version.
  4. Ginger-Garlic Paste: Instead of fresh ginger and garlic, you can use store-bought ginger-garlic paste for convenience.
  5. Spices: You can adjust the types and quantities of spices to suit your taste. For example, if you want a milder curry, reduce the chili powder. If you prefer more heat, add extra chili powder or even fresh green chilies.
  6. Oil: Use any vegetable oil you have on hand, like canola or sunflower oil.
  7. Tomato Puree: If you don't have tomato puree, you can use canned tomato sauce or blended fresh tomatoes.
  8. Garam Masala: You can make your own garam masala by blending spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, and cloves. Alternatively, you can use a store-bought garam masala blend.
  9. Rice or Bread: You can serve the curry with various types of rice or bread, like brown rice, whole wheat naan, or even quinoa for a healthier option.


Now that you've mastered the art of chicken tikka curry, it's time to savor the results. Enjoy your homemade masterpiece and share the joy of Indian cuisine with your loved ones.

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