When I first moved up to Johannesburg in 2011 the one thing I always craved was a good plate of Indian food like my grandmoms. Back then I couldn’t cook to save my life so I opted to live of boxed chicken schnitzels and 2 minute noodles, tragic I know!

I looked forward to every Friday evening because that was the one night a week I’d go to an Indian restaurant and get my fix of delicious, spicy curry with rice, naan bread and a variety of salads… the good old days. Well not really I much rather prefer making these dishes at home and one of my favourite dishes that I’ve mastered is this glorious Chicken Tikka Masala, its marinated in spices and yoghurt which helps tenderize the meat so each bite is a melt in the mouth moment, the creamy sauce is just that and oh so dreamy!!

Here is how you can make one of my favourite dishes.


Chicken marinade

800g boneless and skinless chicken breast fillets cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon of salt

For the sauce

2 tablespoons of vegetable/canola oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste

1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

400g tomatoes, I like throwing them into a blender so my sauce is really smooth

1 teaspoon red chilli flakes

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups of cream

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Sprigs of fresh coriander


1. In a bowl, combine chicken with all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade; let marinate for a minimum of 10 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add chicken pieces in batches making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until browned for only 3 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.

3. Melt the butter in the same pan. Fry the onions until soft and brown.

4. Add garlic and ginger paste and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Fry for about 20 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.

5. Pour in the tomato puree, chilli powder, chilli flakes and salt. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens.

6. Stir the cream and sugar through the sauce. Add the chicken back into the pan and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling.

Garnish with coriander and serve with naan bread and basmati rice.

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