Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala

Roger Beasley Mazda Central Austin TX

If you often find yourself heading to your favorite local Indian spot for curry, you need to try this Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala. It's likely healthier, has incredible flavor, and can be made using only a handful of pantry staple ingredients…that you may even have on hand.


Curry Paste

1 medium yellow onion, quartered

1 shallot, halved

6 cloves garlic

2 (1-inch) pieces fresh ginger, peeled

3 tablespoons garam masala

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Zest of 1 lemon


2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed

½ cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 can (14 ounce) full-fat unsweetened coconut milk

1 can (6 ounce) tomato paste

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

3 cups cooked rice, for serving


1. To make the curry paste. In a blender or food processor, combine the onion, shallot, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, salt, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest. Pulse until a smooth paste forms, about 1 minute.

2. To make the chicken. In a gallon-size zip-top bag, combine 2 tablespoons of the curry paste, the chicken, and the yogurt. Seal the bag and massage the mixture into the chicken to cover completely. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate up to overnight.

3. Heat a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ cup to 1/2 cup (use to your taste) of the curry paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken, coconut milk, and tomato paste. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes more.

4. Stir in the cilantro and serve the chicken over rice.