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Pakistani: Chicken Tikka Masala April 23, 2012

Filed under: Dinner,Pakistani,Recipes — multiculturalfamilyrecipes @ 6:18 am



  • Marinating the Chicken:3-4 boneless chicken breasts, skins removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
    250g thick natural yogurt
    1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 teaspoon chili powder
    2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

    Skewers, If using wooden skewers completely submerge them in water for approx. 30 minutes. This will hinder them from catching fire while grilling.

  • Tomato Gravy:250g canned cocktail tomatoes
    250g heavy cream
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2 red chilies, finely chopped
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 teaspoons paprika powder
    1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
    Handful of coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
    Salt and pepper


  1. Mix all of the ingredients for the marination in a large bowl. Thoroughly mix until the chicken is nicely coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. On the next day, either prepare your charcoal grill or heat up the grill function of your oven to high.
  3. Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers, discarding the marinade. Grill the chicken evenly on all sides, until juices run clear – approx. 5-6 minutes.
  4. To prepare the gravy, heat a large skillet to medium and melt the ghee/clarified butter. Sauté the garlic and chopped chilies until fragrant. Sprinkle the ground cumin, paprika powder and a pinch of salt. Sauté for a further minute or two until the mixture turns into a paste-like texture.
  5. Pour in the canned tomatoes, scraping the bottom of the skillet to deglaze it and to release any bits stuck to the pan. Simmer uncovered for approx. 10-15 minutes on low heat until the sauces begins to thicken, then add the grilled chicken pieces and cream. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, thickening the sauce further and to heat the chicken and cream through.
  6. Serve sprinkled with fresh chopped coriander leaves and with steamed Basmati rice, fresh naans and pickles.


Pakistani food is total comfort for me. There’s just something about the spicy heat, the simple side of white basmati rice and the chewy garlic naan that soaks it all up perfectly. And as much as I love hitting up my local Pakistani restaurant for take-out, I also really love my Mom making Pakistani food at home.


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