Chicken Tikki Masala

Serves 3



2 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts diced, about 1.5 pounds

1 cup plain full-fat yogurt or compliant plant-based yogurt if dairy-free

1 teaspoons turmeric

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 tablespoon lemon juice (about half a lemon)

2 teaspoons black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried ginger



4 tablespoons ghee or butter (1/4 cup)

1 medium white onion diced

1-2 serrano chiles minced

5 garlic cloves minced

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger grated

3 1/2 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon paprika

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1 green bell pepper deseeded and sliced into strips

1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves

lots of salt to taste

2 cups coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk, or heavy cream, or half and half


For serving:

basmati rice or cauliflower rice

naan if you’re not paleo or on a Whole30

fresh cilantro chopped



Combine all marinade ingredients besides chicken (omitting yogurt if paleo or on a Whole30) in a medium bowl and stir well. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to overnight.


Heat the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add serrano chiles, garlic, ginger, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until a nice toffee color, about 20 minutes, adding a few drops of water here and there if drying out and sticking. Add garam masala and paprika and stir well. Cook until fragrant, a few minutes, adding a couple tablespoons of water if necessary to reduce sticking.


Stir in the tomato sauce then transfer to blender and blend until smooth. Return the sauce to your skillet and add the rest of the can of tomato sauce. Add sliced bell pepper, fenugreek, and salt. Meanwhile, cook the chicken. Preheat broiler and place a wire rack over a baking sheet. Place chicken pieces on top of rack. Broil, turning occasionally, until browned in spots and cooked through, about 8 minutes total.


Simmer for 30 minutes on medium-low heat or until thick and more like a paste than sauce. Add the can of coconut milk and stir until very smooth. Taste and correct seasonings. Add chicken, stir well, and serve over basmati or cauliflower rice and naan, if that fits into your diet. Top with plenty of chopped cilantro.


Original recipe:


Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.

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