HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


chicken tikka masala

Have been searching for a recipe for this that doesn't have cream.
Had a great preparation in So of England couple of years ago. All
versions I've found in cookbooks and in NYC restaurants have cream
in sauce.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: leeds

      Thanks..I had gotten that far, the version I am trying to recreate
      came in tomato based sauce but haven't found one that hasn't cream
      as final addition. Don't know if simply leaving out the cream
      happily resolves this.

      1. re: serious

        If you don't want any dairy, just leave it out and you should get the flavor/texture you desire. If you just don't want cream itself, sub with some Indian yogurt. You'll get a better flavor (more tang, less sweet).

        1. re: Pei

          I always use yoghurt instead of cream in Indian sauces. Just remember not to boil the sauce after adding the yoghurt or you'll get curds.

    2. Don't know, but my friend makes a tandori-style chicken dish that is phenomenal and it IS marinated in yogurt and spices. Not served with any kind of cream(or creamy) sauce. It looks red but is not wet. What kind of recipe do you need? One without dairy of any kind? (I have a tikka & tandori cookbook at home that I can check.)

      1. I believe that the version I search - chicken tikka masala - is an invention of the Britsh Raj. It has a definite sauce, is not dry. All the versions I've discovered in NYC add cream to the sacue..the one I hope to duplicate, while saucey, wasn't creamy.

        1. Will get back to you once I check my book at home (I'm in Canada & we do get a lot of British books here so this may be one.)

          1. never made it from scratch; a friend brings me Sharwood's Tikka Masala from the U.K. Their recipe uses yogurt, not cream. Maybe you could sub yogurt?

            1. Is chicken tikka from the colonial period? I thought it was developed in London pretty recently when some smart restaurant chef had the bright idea of making a sauce for chicken tikka.

              Anybody have any more info?

              1 Reply
              1. re: oakjoan

                The invention of chicken tikka masala has been innacurately attributed to the British. Northwestern India has had creamy sauces for hundreds of years and tandoori baked 'tikka' chicken for even longer than that.

                With the British love for gravy and a history of prejudice towards the subcontinent, it only only makes sense that they would attempt to co-opt the dish and call it their own. If you look closely at the methods/ingredients, though, the claim is ludicrous.

                Chicken tikka masala is classic Muslim influenced Punjabi cuisine.

              2. Tore my apt. upside down last night looking for the book - Curry Club Tandoori and Tikka Dishes by Pat Chapman. My copy is printed in England in 93. I found a copy on amazon for $113 just now.
                Chicken Tikka Masala - serves 2-3
                Author's note: ..chicken tikka masala is a pure restaurant invention (and a brilliant one), and is by far the most popular restaurant dish.

                20-24 chicken tikka pieces, cooked (grilled chicken pieces marinated in red tandoori marinade*)
                2 T veg. oil, 3 garlic cloves, minced, 8 oz onion, finely chpd
                1.5 T mild curry paste*
                1.5 T red tandoori paste*
                1 T green masala paste*
                6 canned plum tomatoes, 1 T vinegar, 1 T tomato ketchup
                6 oz. canned tomato soup
                1/2 green capsicum pepper, chopped
                0-4 green chillies (optional), 4 oz single cream
                1 T garam masala, 1 T chopped fresh coriander, salt to taste

                Heat the oil on a large karahi or wok. Stir-fry the garlic 30 seconds, add the onion & stir-fry 8-10 mins. until golden brown. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, ketchup, soup, capsicum and chillies and when simmering add the chicken. Stri-fry to 5 mins. or so, then add the remaining ingredients and simmer for a further 5 mins., adding a little water if it needs it. Salt to taste and serve.
                *Recipes for these marinades/pastes are in the book, as well as for others, of course.
                serious, this does have cream as you can see. Maybe on next trip to England, ask the restaurant for their recipe? cheers!

                1 Reply
                1. re: leeds

                  Leeds, Extrememly kind of you to search this out. I notice that
                  the cream is 'single' which I believe, yes?, is half and half, but
                  at any rate is far smaller quantity than I've seen in other
                  recipes. And since I don't know what was actually in the preparation
                  I wish to duplicate - I don't know that there was NO cream.
                  Thanks again, I'm trying it.

                2. serious - no problem, glad to be of help. If you want any of the spices blends for marinate or pastes let me know.
                  I imagine single cream is light cream (here the cream is packaged according to fat content; we have 10% cream, 15% cream, 35%..- I'd use the 15% cream if I were trying the recipe), don't know what fat% half&half is.
                  Good luck to you, I'm sure it'll turn out great!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: leeds

                    I think cream goes....

                    Pouring Cream ; Single Cream ; Double Cream ; Whipping Cream

                    But I don't know what the percentages are.

                    By the way - Semi-skimmed milk is 2% fat, Full-cream milk is 4%, and higher percentages are available but less common (usually called jersey milk or gold-top milk).

                  2. I haven't tried to do it yet with masala, but I frequently substitute evaporated skim milk for cream in recipes (get the flavor and the texture without the fat).