Chicken Tika Masala

Recipes of South Africa

A specialty found on the menus of many South African and Indian restaurants, this succulent dish consists of roasted chicken chunks (tikka) in a spicy (masala) sauce. The sauce is usually creamy, spiced and orange-colored.



¼ cup plain yogurt

2 teaspoons garam masala

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch strips

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 green chile peppers, minced

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

½ cup tomato paste

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

½ cup heavy whipping cream

½ teaspoon of salt

½ bunch of cilantro for garnish



Combine yogurt, 2 teaspoons garam masala, paprika, black pepper, ½ teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, and ½ teaspoon coriander in a large bowl. Add chicken strips and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (230 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.

Place chicken strips on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between each piece, and bake in the preheated oven until browned and no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir cumin seeds until lightly toasted and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add onion; cook and stir until onion begins to soften, 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, and green chilis and continue to cook until onion is browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Cook and stir tomatoes, tomato paste, and water into onion mixture, about 10 minutes.

Cook and stir 1 teaspoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon coriander, and turmeric into the tomato mixture. Mix in the cooked chicken, add cream, and stir to coat. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and garnish with cilantro.