Recipe: Indian chicken masala

Photo of the Indian chicken masala curry
This dish is quick to make and can be paired with naan and basmati rice for an authentic eating experience. Photo credit: Asian Food Network

Recipe courtesy of Asian Food Network

Ah, who can resist the aromatic scent of simmering curry wafting out of the kitchen? The rich and creamy Indian chicken masala is a crowd-pleaser you can have day after day.

We love pouring the curry over steamed basmati rice, or pairing it with garlic naan. It’s one of those dishes that taste even better when kept overnight as the flavours get more concentrated over time - we doubt you would have any leftovers though!


Serves 4

For the marinade:

  • 1.5 kg chicken thighs (cut into cubes)
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 5 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tbsp ginger (freshly grated)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried coriander
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 0.5 tbsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon.

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 tbsp butter 
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp ginger (freshly chopped) 
  • 5 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 0.5 cup water 
  • 1 litre tomato juice or tomato puree 
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 2 cups cream  
  • 2 tbsp ginger (freshly grated)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika 
  • 1 tbsp dried coriander 
  • 1 tbsp garam masala  
  • Fresh coriander (for garnish)
  • Fresh red chillies (for garnish).


1. Marinate and grill chicken

  • Add all the ingredients for the marinade into a mixing bowl. Add to it the cut chicken and mix well. You can prepare this mixture up to 24 hours ahead of cooking and keep it covered in the fridge. 
  • Line the marinated chicken on a grilling oven rack lined with a baking tray and bake for 25 to 30 minutes in a 220C preheated oven. 
  • Next, place the chicken under the broiler to get the grill marks, which will add a tandoori oven effect.

2. Make sauce

  • In a large pot over medium to high heat, add the oil and sauté the garlic, onion and ginger for 3 to 4 minutes before adding the tomato paste. Fry for a minute before adding the water, tomato juice, salt and pepper. 
  • When it reaches a boil, add the grilled chicken and the cooking cream. Bring it to a boil and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove from the heat and add the butter. Let it melt completely before serving the dish and garnish with fresh coriander and slices of red chilli.

3. Plate and serve!

  • Serve next to naan bread and basmati rice.

Asian Food Network