Chicken Tikka Masala – at home – on the couch – with just 5 ingredients – in 30 minutes. THIS IS HAPPENING.
Let me first start by saying I would never want to trick you into wanting to try a recipe. Never ever. Not even the most creamy, luscious, medium-spicy, must-have-it chicken tikka masala.
Sooo when I say five ingredients, what I actually mean is that there are more than five ingredients that go into this, otherwise how would it even taste good? I’m cringing like oh my gosh do you hate me for pulling you in like this? I promise I have good reasons and I promise this can work.
In order to approach this as a five ingredient recipe – which I absolutely do when I make it roughly 300x per week – you need to accept that one of the five ingredients is a MASALA PASTE with lots of fragrant and punchy and deeply flavored ingredients. You will make this masala paste once, it will be done in about 5 minutes, and then it will live in your freezer so that forevermore you will have the ability to make this chicken tikka masala as a quick and easy five ingredient recipe.
Are you following?
So the first order of business here is making the masala paste. Today. Right now. End of story. One 5 minute batch of masala paste = many batches of this five ingredient CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA with hardly any thought or effort. The paste is the very necessary flavor base that brings the other four ingredients together. Have a look.
Chicken Tikka Masala Ingredients
- Masala Paste
- Plain Yogurt (for marinating the chicken)
- Tomato Puree
- Coconut Milk
See? that wasn’t even bad at all.
Guys, I need to confess something. One of the main reasons I need an easy recipe such as this chicken tikka masala in my life is because I went to the Justin Beiber concert last night WHATTTT
I seriously did. I am a 30 year old fan girl. I’ve listened to all the music, I saw the movie – THE MOVIE, you guys, and as of last night I am an official concert attendee. Lines have been crossed. Boundaries have been ignored. There is no going back.
Fortunately (but is this really fortunate?) there are some snaps still on my snapchat story from the concert so if you’re reading this on the day it’s posted, THERE’S STILL TIME to peep our concert shenanigans, or more importantly, sneak a peek at the Beibs to decide for yourself if he is as strangely cool / frustrating as he seems. Not that you guys would ever be into that though, right? No. We’re super mature on this blog.
We were marinating chicken in yogurt and masala paste.
We were creating a magical witches’ brew of a sauce with tomato puree and more masala paste and coconut milk like whoa.
If you can, if you will, if you need good 5-ingredient recipes that taste like your favorite Indian restaurant came into your house, please make that masala paste which will transform into this sauce which will cover this chicken which makes the simplest chicken tikka masala happen in your life, in your very own home, on your very own couch in your very own sweats because HELLO. Masala requires this of us.
I’ve described everything you need including the masala paste in the recipe section of this post, so no need to have two recipe tabs open at once and feel frazzled with all the ingredients. It’s all here because streamlined = efficient = winning.
Chicken Tikka Masala wants to love you.
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ¼ cup masala paste (see notes)
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 1½ cups tomato puree
- 1 14 ounce can regular coconut milk
- rice and cilantro for serving
- PREP: Make the quick masala paste (or maybe - hopefully - you already made this and have it in your freezer?! you're a rock star).
- MARINATE CHICKEN: Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Marinate with 1 tablespoon of masala paste and the yogurt for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
- SIMMER: Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat and add the remaining masala paste. Stir fry for a few minutes to get all the spices going. Add the chicken/yogurt mixture and saute until the chicken is mostly cooked. Add the tomato puree and coconut milk to the pan with the chicken and simmer for 15 or so minutes. Season with salt. Let stand for a while so the sauce will thicken up a bit. Serve over rice with cilantro!
For extra lusciousness, add a little bit of heavy whipping cream or use whipping cream in place of some of the coconut milk. Light coconut milk can be used but does not yield the same thick and creamy results.
2 onions (I used one yellow, one purple, together totaling about 3 cups when chopped)
5 cloves garlic
a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger
3 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin
1½ teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
a small pile of of cilantro stems
a fistful of almonds
juice of one lemon
Run everything through the food processor as-is until mostly smooth (see picture) and you're done. Make this paste once and keep it in the freezer and you've got what you need for 5 ingredient Chicken Tikka Masala FROM SCRATCH for many happy days. Makes about 1½ cups of paste.
Nutrition Facts are for 6 servings, not including rice.
MORE AWESOME CHICKEN RECIPES: