Tikka Masala (Chicken Curry)

Tikka Masala (Chicken Curry)

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  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons high-heat oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala, divided
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce cans) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup water


Combine yogurt, 1 tablespoon oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, 1/2 teaspoon each garam masala and turmeric and chicken in a bowl. Cover and chill for 2 to 4 hours.

Heat ghee in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and ginger; cook until onions are golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in coriander, paprika, cumin, cayenne, cardamom and remaining 1/2 teaspoon garam masala and turmeric. Cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Add crushed tomatoes, half-and-half and water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chicken to the sauce and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.

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