Chicken TIkka Masala
Chef Aarti Sequeira is sharing her recipe for this traditional Indian dish that serves four.

Ingredients for Marinade

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large bite-size (1 ½ inch) chunks
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 roma tomatoes, diced, about 3 cups (seeded)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving


1) Prick chicken thighs with a fork. Stir together the rest of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, then fold in the chicken. Marinate at least 30 minutes on the counter, or at most overnight in the fridge.

2) When you’re ready to make the curry, place a large skillet over medium heat, and add olive oil and butter. When butter has melted, add garlic, ginger and serrano pepper. Sauté until lightly browned around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes.

3) Add tomato paste and cook until the tomato has darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Add garam masala and paprika; sauté for about a minute.

4) Stir in the tomatoes and water. Cover, bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly while you cook the chicken.

5) Fire up your broiler, and cover a sheet pan with foil. Pull the chicken thigh chunks out of the marinade, allowing excess marinade to drip off, and place on the prepared sheet pan. Place 4-5 inches under the broiler, and cook about 7 minutes on each side, until charred and cooked through. (Don’t worry if the chicken is still a little uncooked, but very charred on the outside; you can finish cooking the chicken in the sauce).

6) Puree the tomato curry in two batches in a blender, holding the lid with a kitchen towel until smooth. Pour back into the skillet, over medium-high heat and bring back up to a boil. Add chicken and optional fenugreek leaves, take heat down to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes. Stir cream through and garnish with cilantro. Serve!

Active time: about an hour
Inactive time: 30 minutes to overnight

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