If you like Indian food, you must try this delicious Chicken Tikka Masala from the April 2013 issue of Bon Appetit. Skinless, boneless chicken breast pieces are marinated in a spiced yogurt that tenderizes and flavours the meat. Marinate the chicken in the early afternoon and it will be ready when you start to cook dinner.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the dried spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. The yogurt should contain all-natural ingredients. Use either vegetable oil or butter that does not contain colour. Unico tomato paste and canned tomatoes do not contain additives or preservatives.

Make the spice paste

Half the spice paste flavours the yogurt used to marinate the chicken

Crushed cardamom pods and onions add flavour

Saute the onions

Add tomatoes, cream and partially cooked chicken

Chicken Tikka Masala


6 garlic cloves, finely grated

4 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger

4 teaspoons ground turmeric

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 ½ cups whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise

3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil

1 small onion, thinly sliced

¼ cup tomato paste

6 cardamom pods, crushed

2 dried chiles de árbol or 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

2 cups heavy cream

¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish

Steamed basmati rice (for serving)


Combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl.

Whisk yogurt, salt, and half of spice mixture in a medium bowl; add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and chill 4-6 hours. Cover and chill remaining spice mixture.

Heat ghee in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, tomato paste, cardamom, and chiles and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining half of spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pot begins to brown, about 4 minutes.

Add tomatoes with juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes.

Add cream and chopped cilantro. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack inside sheet. Arrange chicken on rack in a single layer. Broil until chicken starts to blacken in spots (it will not be cooked through), about 10 minutes.

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, add to sauce, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Serve with rice and cilantro sprigs. Chicken can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Reheat before serving. Serves 6.

From the April 2013 issue of Bon Appetit