Chef Ramsay’s Chicken Tikka Masala

I’m not really a follow-a-recipe person. However, I have a lot of difficulty duplicating my favorite Indian dish, Chicken Tikka Masala, and I came across a video of Gordon Ramsay, one of my favorite chefs, making the dish, so I decided to stick directly to his recipe.

Well sort of.

I have lots of pictures of this endeavor, so if you want to follow along, pull up the above recipe and watch my preparation.

I sauteed the aromatics in a pan with some oil.
I added the dry spices (except curry leaves) and sauteed for a few minutes.
I added the tomatoes (I used a can of diced tomatoes) and cooked for a few more minutes.
I carefully blended the mixture. (Sorry for the peek at raw chicken -- I know nobody wants to see that)

While this was happening, I started cooking the cubed chicken breast in the same pan with some more oil.

Finished tikka masala puree

Once the chicken was lightly colored, I added the puree and the curry leaves (I used fresh) to the same pan with the chicken.

I allowed this to simmer for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, I added and swirled in the yogurt. (I used Indian yogurt)
There's the finished chicken tikka masala.

Simultaneously, I cooked up some brown Basmati rice. I rinsed one cup of rice with cold water 4 times and allowed most of the water to drain away. I added this to a pot containing 2 cups of water, 2 pieces of star anise, and 3 cracked cardamom pods (Spiced donated from co-worker Deepu) along with some salt and pepper.

Brown Basmati rice before cooking

I covered this and cooked it on medium-low for about 35 minutes while I did everything else. I let it stand for about 5 minutes off the heat, removed the spice pods, and mixed the rice gently with a fork.

Finished brown Basmati rice

I also reheated some store-bought whole wheat naan bread in the oven. (Hey, I say get the help where you can.)

Store-bought naan bread
This was how I ate that night.

This turned out to be absolutely delicious.

This was the first time I ever got this dish to come out anywhere in the ballpark of appetizing.

It was a little bit of work. My low end blender isn’t perfect for pureeing the sauce, and I definitely stained it with the turmeric, but who cares? If I keep making this, which I will, the whole blender is gonna turn completely yellow one day anyway.

I think if I were to make any adjustments in the future, I would leave out the sugar, add more chile (I love hot and spicy food), and use a better chicken. This time, I used supermarket breasts which don’t have a ton of flavor. I think breast meat from a free range bird would bring much more flavor and depth to this, not that the various spices and yogurt do not already bring enough. It’s always good to think how to go that extra mile.

If you have not cooked Basmati rice with star anise and cardamom, I suggest that you start.



4 thoughts on “Chef Ramsay’s Chicken Tikka Masala

  • ajw93

    Yum! I’m a big believer in a)cans of diced tomatoes, and b)using the blender. In fact I combine the two every time I make sauce.

    Is that really a butcher-block countertop? This baker is jealous.

  • Valerae

    Very nice, this looks so good! I was going to make curried chickpeas for dinner but forgot to soak them before bed. I needed to come up with something else and this may be the ticket.

    In other news, I made roasted potatoes last night and tossed them in sour cream, evoo, chives, s&p and it was very good. Thanks for that tip!

  • C

    Not to nit pick but I would say that isn’t chicken tikka masala, it would be just chicken masala. The tikka part comes from the chicken being marinated in spices and yogurt and then being baked in a tandoor.

    I will say that I find Tandoori on Wold Rd to have the best chicken tikka masala around. The chicken tikka in it so freaking tender, usually I find the chicken chunk pieces in others to be tough, Tandoori seems to use whole boneless/skinless chicken thighs which stay tender and moist. Their customer service is severely lacking though, sometimes we just order from somewhere else just to not have to deal with them, but their chicken tikka masala makes it almost worth their shadiness.

    • derryX

      You know, that’s actually something I struggled with when I found the recipe, but I’m not going to argue with Chef Ramsay.

      I’ve had the chicken tikka at Tandori. It is delicious!


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