There’s been more written about chicken tikka masala, and the right recipe for it, than I suspect any other curry in the UK and perhaps even the world.

Everyone has their own opinion and many purists hate the very idea that this dish exists. For many restaurant and takeaway customers it is the go to meal when ordering a curry and I have several friends who eat nothing else in a curry house.

I’ve never tried making it at home as it’s generally a bit sweet for me but having said that I know a few chefs so thought I would ask one of them for their restaurant’s chicken tikka masala recipe.

So here it is, all the way from the Indian Ocean in Ashton, Nahim’s suggested recipe for how to cook the “nation’s favourite” at home.


First, the marinade. In a large bowl, combine a generous helping of fresh garlic and ginger paste with yoghurt, a squeeze of lemon juice, fresh mint leaves, red food colouring and garam masala (we created a guide to making that at home here). You might also want to add a pinch of salt to taste. 

Add some chicken breast pieces and leave to marinate for 24 hours in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook, skewer the chicken and then grill it unless you happen to have a tandoor oven handy,

To create the signature tikka masala sauce, combine a selection of mixed fresh fruits, including pineapples, cherries, peaches, lychees, mangos and pears, with yoghurt, a squeeze of fresh lemon, fresh mint paste, olive oil and red food colouring with a spice mix of cumincorianderblack pepper, black and green cardamomcloves, cinnamon, bay leaves and curry leaves.

Next, prepare the curry gravy by mixing onions with olive oil, the same 9 spice mix, turmeric, fresh tomatoes, garlic and ginger. Cook in a pot with water until the onions are soft and starting to dissolve. Then grind the mixture until it has a smooth texture. 

Finally, add coconut cream, almond powder and sugar to a pan, along with the tikka masala sauce, curry gravy and the chicken tikka you prepared earlier. Cook on a low heat for 5-7 minutes, add some fresh cream, then serve piping hot with a scattering of almond flakes and a garnish of coriander.


A quick Google search will give you many other recipes along the same lines and from many worthy sources such as the BBC and Jamie Oliver. They will all taste different I can almost guarantee as this is one of the most variable recipe choices in the land.

A word of advice though – avoid the bright red ones as this is probably not a sign of quality just excess food colouring and watch out for the really sweet ones as this is pure sugar.