The name “poultry” comes from the French word “poule” that is actually derived from the Latin word “pullus”, meaning small animal.

Poultry is one of the most commonly consumed types of protein not for one but many good reasons; It is lean meat, available in plenty, and has a very neutral flavour that goes very well with any palate. Poultry is the second most widely eaten type of meat after pork, accounting for over 30% of the total world meat production and sixteen billion birds are annually raised for consumption.

There are several kinds of poultry and they include Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Goose and Quail. To learn more about the popular cuts of Poultry, you can go through the introductory lesson - Poultry... Exciting Ways to Cook Chicken!

Poultry Recipe of the Day - The Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

About Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is succulent chunks of chicken marinated in spices & yogurt, skewer-baked in a deep clay oven known as the Tandoor, then served in a special Masala gravy sauce made from a mix of Indian spices.

The origin of this dish is highly disputed, the most common belief being that it was an outcome of improvising the Indian Murgh Makhani or the Butter Chicken. Surveys have found that there are over 48 different popularly used recipes for this United Kingdom’s favorite dish of Indian origin.

The Chicken Tikka Masala does not have any standard recipe; however, the commonly used ingredients in this dish include tomato purée, cream or cashew nut paste blended together with a range of Indian spices and colored deep orange with food color.

The chicken in this dish is also commonly substituted with Lamb, Fish, or Paneer (Indian cottage cheese).

This Dish

Chicken Tikka Masala is a dish of grilled chunks of chicken (Tikka) in a rich creamy, tangy and spicy orange coloured sauce.

Recipe Card (to serve 4 pax)

Ingredients Quantity
Chicken thighs (skinless boneless) 9 pieces
Thick yoghurt / Greek yoghurt ¾ cup
Chickpea flour / gram flour 6 tsp
Garlic 12 cloves
Ginger (peeled) 6 tbsp
Kashmiri chili powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Cumin powder 2 tsp
Cinnamon powder ¼ tsp
Orange-red color (optional) as required
Saffron a pinch
Salt as required
For Gravy
Unsalted butter 4 ½ tbsp
Black cardamom pods (lightly crushed) 5 pieces
Cinnamon stick 2 pieces
Cloves 4 pieces
Onion (finely chopped) 3 small
Ginger (grated) 4 tbsp
Garlic (grated) 1 ½  tsp
Green chili (de-seeded, julienne) 1 piece
Kashmiri chili powder 1 tsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Tomato paste ¼ cup
Double cream or creamy cashew nut paste 500 ml
Honey 5 tsp
Coriander (chopped) 2 tbsp
Fenugreek leaf powder 2 tsp
Orange-red food color (optional) as required
Salt as required
Water to grind cashew nuts as required
To Serve
Lemon Juice 1 lemon
Coriander (chopped) 1 tbsp
Naan bread to accompany


Method of Cooking

1. To Marinate

  • Cut the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces.
  • Add ginger and garlic in a wet grinder and blend to a smooth paste called the ginger- garlic paste.
  • In a bowl, mix the yoghurt with the chickpea/gram flour to get rid of any lumps and add to the ginger-garlic paste from the blender.
  • Add Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, then mix with the ground cinnamon, saffron, and salt.
  • Stir the mix well and then add the chicken pieces, mix well making sure to coat them in the thick marinade. Leave to marinate overnight or at least for a few hours to marinate the chicken well to make it juicy and succulent.

2. To Grill the Chicken

  • Preheat the grill (upper element or flame of the oven) to 250 C. Soak wooden skewers in water.  Shake off the excess marinade and thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers and place them on a wire rack. Metal skewers are better than wooden skewers.
  • Cook under the grill for 8-10 minutes on the top rack. Turn the skewers every 5 minutes, until cooked through and slightly charred around the edges.
  • Heat a heavy bottom saucepan and add the butter. Add black cardamom, cinnamon stick, and cloves.
  • Fry on high heat for 20 seconds, add the onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes on medium heat until light brown.
  • Add the grated ginger, garlic, and julienned chili. Fry for a further minute and add the Kashmiri chili powder, garam masala powder along with the tomato paste. Stir well and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the double cream or cashew nut paste, stirring continuously to mix all the spices with the cream. Simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • If the curry is too thick add a splash of water. Stir in the honey, fenugreek powder and chopped coriander leaves, season to taste.
  • Now add the cooked chicken pieces and simmer the curry on a low heat for 8-10 minutes. Squeeze in the lemon juice and serve with naan bread. (garnish with fresh coriander)

Note: To make cashew nut paste, in a saucepan filled with water on medium heat bring the cashew nuts (150 ml) to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and pass through the cool water. Place cashew nuts in a blender with 100 ml of room temperature water and grind until a smooth paste. For a velvety texture, you can pass the cashew paste through a sieve for a super smooth paste.