An Attempt at Chicken Tikka Masala and Homemade Naan

I was intrigued by a recipe for naan cooked in a cast iron covered pan from Cook’s Illustrated and I decided to give it a try. I had a recipe of Chicken Tikka Masala from an Indian cooking class I took a while back so I picked that as my main dish to go with the naan. The naan, while delicious, didn’t taste as I expected it. Maybe I overworked it, or it was still using 1 egg yolk even though I halved the recipe, regardless, I’ll have to try it again before posting the recipe. This was from the June issue, so if anyone else has attempted it, I would appreciate some feedback 😉

Indian is one of my favorite cuisines, and I’ve attempted quite a few curries over the past several years. This is my best attempt at tikka masala, but it wasn’t as creamy as some of the restaurant versions. I think I’ll try to blend the veggies next time to give it a smoother texture.

Ingredients (2 big servings):


  • 1/2 cup plain whole yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tb grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp coriander, ground
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast


  • 1 Tb grape seed oil (or ghee if you have any)
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 Tb garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder (I used hot)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 14 oz can of whole tomatoes, crushed
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • cilantro for garnish

For the marinade, just mix everything together. Make some small cuts in the chicken breast and cover it in the marinade. I used a ziploc bag and stored the chicken in the fridge overnight.

Heat up the broiler and cook the chicken until cooked through (~15 min in my convection oven). Let chicken rest and then cut it in bite size pieces.

While the chicken is broiling, start the sauce. Heat oil or ghee in a large skillet (that comes with a lid) over medium heat. Cook onion until translucent and starting to caramelize (a few minutes). Add garlic and ginger and cook for ~30 sec or until fragrant. Add the remaining spices and cook for 30sec-1min or until fragrant. Your house will start smelling like an Indian restaurant 🙂

Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Add cream and simmer for a few minutes.

Add the cut up chicken and simmer for 10-20 minutes or if in a hurry just until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with rice and/or naan and top with chopped cilantro (or mint).

I would say this has a medium spice level, so feel free to add more cayenne pepper! I won’t lie, this requires some planning ahead and is a bit of work, but it is totally worth it. Well, if you like Indian curries of course 😉

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18 Responses to An Attempt at Chicken Tikka Masala and Homemade Naan

  1. cht7 says:

    This looks really good! Better than a restaurant!

  2. This looks fantastic! I am also a Cook’s Illiustrated fan….

  3. I’m getting so hungry for dinner! this looks great! i think i have everything on hand…?? that naan LOOKS perfect, i’m sorry it didnt live up to your expectations.. looks nicely done 🙂

  4. Jessica says:

    Naan bread recipe please 🙂

  5. chewoutloud says:

    We looooove Indian food, and miss how affordable our fave restaurants were in CA! I’ve tried naan recipes, and just as you said… something not quite exactly like they make at restaurants. Hubby says it’s the clay oven. Your photo looks really good!

    • I miss the Indian restaurants in CA as well 😦 I do live close to the Indian neighborhood in Chicago, but the dishes we had delivered this winter were hit or miss even from the same restaurant. I do agree the oven is the key to good naan so I may try other Indian breads such as parathas since they don’t require the clay oven.

  6. Shari says:

    Looks good! Nothing beats a wonderful curry!

  7. ekwee says:

    Even if it didn’t taste the best, the naan looks amazing!

  8. Looks like your attempt was a success!

  9. kdebra says:

    Looks delicious and healthy. I will definitely try this recipe.

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