Masala Chicken

This is an Indian classic, perfect for a Friday night when sitting on the couch or when serving guests in the home. The chicken is cooked in a basic Indian tomato and onion masala and then specialist spices are added for final touches. This recipe is one which has been on ‘Brilliant’s’ menu ever since it opened and is a much loved traditional favourite of regular guests. This recipe can somewhat be compared to the popular chicken tikka masala, although this one cooks the chicken directly in the sauce as opposed to marinating and cooking in the clay oven first. This recipe is one which belonged to my grandfather and was then passed on to my father and now me. Masala chicken is quick and easy to cook and can be enjoyed with both rice or Indian breads, such as roti or naan bread.


  •   400g chicken (boneless tikka sized pieces-the pieces have been cut for you)
  •  250g plum peeled tomatoes (blended to a paste-this has been blended for you)
  •  1 medium sized onion (100g) (finely chopped)
  •   6 tablespoons oil
  •   3⁄4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  •   1 tablespoon heaped (20g) ginger/garlic paste (this has been made into a paste for you)
  •   2 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander (chopped for you)
  •   1 level teaspoon garam masala
  •   25g butter
  •   1 teaspoon fresh green birds eye chilli (made into a paste for you)
  •   3⁄4 teaspoon red chilli powder (Deghi mirch brand)
  •   1 level teaspoon turmeric
  •   1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
  •   3⁄4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  •   1 tablespoon kasturi methi (dried fenugreek)Method:
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the cumin seeds and cook for about a minute
  2. Then add the chopped onions to the saucepan and cook until the onions are golden brown, this should take about 10-12 minutes
  3. When the onions are golden brown, then add the ginger/garlic paste and green chilli paste to the onions and cook for about two minutes
  4. Add the blended plum peeled tomatoes to the saucepan and cook for about 2-3 minutes
  5. Remove from the heat and blend using a hand blender
  6. Add the turmeric, red chilli powder, black pepper and salt to the tomato masala and cook the masala for a good 10 minutes (add a little water if to the saucepan if the masala starts to stick to the bottom of the saucepan), also add the butter at this time
  7. Once the masala is thick, fluffy and has become a darker orange colour, add the chicken pieces to the sauce and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally ensuring the chicken does not break and mixing the chicken and sauce from the edges of the saucepan as opposed to the middle (again if the sauce begins to dry out, keep adding a little water when needed)
  8. When the chicken is cooked, add the final touch of garam masala to the dish, along with kasturi methi which you need to crush using the palm of your hands, and lastly add the fresh coriander, cook for a final 30 seconds
  9. Serve

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