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Enjoy authentic Indian flavors in this healthy restaurant-style Chicken Tikka Masala. Simple and easy tikka masala recipe for a weeknight meal or to serve at a party. And the tomato-based sauce or gravy is dairy-free that you will want to make again and again. | #watchwhatueat #chickentikka #chickentikkamasala #indiancurry #tikkamasala
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5 from 1 vote

Healthy Restaurant-style Chicken Tikka Masala

Pan-roasted chicken dunked in tomato-based creamy and authentic tikka sauce to make this healthy restaurant-style chicken tikka masala. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Lunch / Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 350kcal


Prepping Chicken

Prepping Sauce

  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves peeled
  • ½" ginger peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium onion cut into larger pieces
  • 4 medium tomatoes cut into larger pieces
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon oil or ghee
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • fresh cilantro optional for garnishing


Making Chicken Tikka:

  • Heat oil in a large frying pan or skillet on medium to high heat.
  • Add chicken, chili powder, garam masala, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; mix well.
  • Saute the chicken on medium to high heat for 10-12 mins or until they start developing a light brown roasted crust. Once done, take them out and keep aside.

Preparing Tikka Masala Sauce:

  • In the same pan add garlic cloves, ginger, and onion; cook them on medium heat until translucent for 2-3 min.
  • Add tomato, raw cashews and cook them for 5-6 min or until it gets a sauce-like consistency.
  • Transfer this tomato mixture to a blender jar, add 1 cup of water and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Then heat oil (or ghee) in a frying pan on low heat. Add chili powder, turmeric powder and cook until fragrant for just a few seconds.
  • Immediately add the blended creamy tomato mixture, remaining water and bring to a boil.
  • Then add coriander powder, chili powder, garam masala, and salt to taste. Mix well and simmer the mixture (cover with lid) on low heat for 5 mins.
  • Finally, add pan-roasted chicken, optionally, garnish with cilantro and serve warm.


  1. Add more water if necessary to adjust the consistency of the sauce as per your likings.
  2. Try to use freshly ground cumin and coriander powder whenever possible. Homemade ground spices make the dish more aromatic and flavorful. For quick use in this recipe, I always roast 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 2 tsp coriander seeds together in the same frying pan before cooking the chicken. And using a spice grinder or stone molcajete I ground the roasted seeds into fine powder.
  3. If you don't want to use raw cashews, you can use raw almonds instead. Read helpful tips section above for details and some more interesting tips.
  4. This dish is dairy-free. Traditionally, people use yogurt to marinate and flavor the chicken and use full-fat cream to thicken the tikka sauce. However, I always try to avoid combining dairy and meat together. (According to Indian Ayurveda they advise to not combine milk products with meat. The only exception is ghee and it is okay to use.) 


Calories: 350kcal