Chicken Tikka Masala


“The day the music died…”

I was all excited to write more of my upcoming percussion quartet one afternoon, and then Sibelius 7 suddenly didn’t allow any note-input from my keyboard other than the pitches C and B – yeah, this actually happened. It’s not the first time that Sib7 has given me shit before, and I’ve found lengthy roundabout routes to work around most of it’s other bugs, but this time WAS IT.

I was so mad-pissed that I tweeted about it (I hardly tweet) and promptly decided to delete the stupid program and reinstall Sibelius 6, which had always worked well for me. While doing that, I decided that it might be nice to have some Chicken Tikka Masala, since I haven’t had that in forever, and I almost never order it at restaurants because I don’t want to look like the person who only eats Chicken Tikka Masala (yeah, I know a fair number of such people, but I’m not judging. I just don’t want to be judged.)

So, with the Chicken Tikka Masala inspiration, which Davy says is in 7/8 (didn’t realize it till the next morning after his very obvious tweet), I made garlic butter naan. And that was it for the evening. After dinner, Sibelius 6 worked perfectly and I got some work done. I want to credit it to Chicken Tikka Masala.

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka Masala

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (adjust to your own level of spicyness)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 4 chicken thighs (or 2 chicken 1/2-breasts, if you’re a breast-eater)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce (canned)
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • [optional for garnish] 2 sprigs cilantro
  • [optional] 1 small red chili (very spicy)


Debone the chicken thighs, and cut it into bite-size pieces.

In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients of the marinade and chicken, and let marinate for an hour (at least 30 minutes.)


After an hour, skewer up the chicken pieces and grill it till cooked, or place them in a baking pan and broil it under the broiler set at the highest temperature. This will take between 7 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven. (Yes, let it char a little.)


In a heated saucepan, add butter, garlic and ground cumin. Fry until the garlic and cumin are fragrant.

Add the tomato sauce, sour cream, paprika, salt, tomato and chili (optional). Stir to combine.

Add chicken pieces into the sauce. Stir to combine.

Serve with butter garlic naan or basmati rice and enjoy!



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