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.
The Secret Chicken Tikka Masala Ingredient
In order to approach this as a five ingredient recipe, 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 five 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 five 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.
How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala Happen
- Masala Paste
- Plain Yogurt (for marinating the chicken)
- Tomato Puree
- Coconut Milk
See? that wasn’t even bad at all.
Alright, next up, you need to marinate your chicken in yogurt and masala paste.
Then we’re 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 five-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.
Check out our video for how to make Chicken Tikka Masala:
Chicken Tikka Masala – creamy, perfectly spicy, and ready in 30 minutes! you won’t believe how easy it is to make this at home!
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup masala paste (see notes)
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 1/2 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!
Instant Pot Instructions: Same ingredients and instructions, but throw it all together in the Instant Pot in step 3. Cook for 8 minutes on manual and use the quick release.
You can buy canned tomato puree at a lot of grocery stores. Otherwise just use canned tomatoes and run them through the food processor or blender till smooth. The idea is just plain pureed tomatoes without seasoning.
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.
Masala Paste: Run everything listed below through the food processor as-is until mostly smooth (see picture in post) 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 1 1/2 cups of paste.
- 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 masal
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 1/2 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
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Sauté
- Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: chicken tikka masala, masala paste, Indian restaurant, chicken dinner recipe
Nutrition Facts are for 6 servings, not including rice.
One more thing!
This recipe is part of our collection of best healthy gluten-free recipes. Check it out!