Chicken tikka masala with chapatis recipe

As seen on Rick Stein’s Food Stories on BBC Two, this is Rick’s chicken tikka masala with chapatis recipe. From Rick’s travels to Leicester and seeing how much the Indian food cuisine has influenced the city, he cook’s one of the nations favourite curries, a chicken tikka masala.

Ingredients for Rick’s chicken tikka masala with chaptis recipe


For the marinade

  • 750g skinless boneless chicken breast
  • Seeds from 12 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 tsp freshly toasted cumin seeds, ground
  • Juice of a large lemon
  • 2 tsp mild paprika
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150ml plain yoghurt
  • 25g peeled ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 25g ghee/clarified butter

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp ghee /clarified butter /vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 25g ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 ½ tsp toasted and freshly ground coriander seeds or ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, freshly toasted and ground
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp mild paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 225g chopped tomatoes, tinned or fresh
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 120ml double cream
  • 3 green chillies, slit open
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • Small handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped

For the chapatis

  • 250g chapati flour, or half wholemeal, half plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee, butter or vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 120–150ml warm water

For the Pilau rice

  • 315g basmati rice
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 3cm piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 green cardamom pod, crushed
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 350ml water

How to make Rick’s chicken tikka masala with chapatis recipe

  1. Start by toasting the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant then grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Repeat with the coriander seeds and set aside.
  2. Cut the chicken into 3-4cm chunks.  Put in a bowl with the ingredients for the  marinade. Set aside to marinate for about half an hour.
  3. Make the sauce by heating the ghee in a pan and fry the onion until soft and golden, add the grated garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes.  Stir in the spices and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and paste, ground almonds and salt and add 300ml water and bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  4. Line your grill pan with foil or and turn your grill to high (or cook on a bbq). Take the chicken pieces out of the marinade and brush with the melted ghee and cook under a grill / on the bbq for 5-6 minutes on each side until lightly charred in places . Add any remaining marinade together with the sugar, double cream and green chillies to the sauce and simmer gently for 10 minutes until thickened a little. Add the cooked chicken pieces to the sauce and cook for a few minutes, stir in the lemon juice and coriander. Serve with pilau rice.
  1. For the chapatis – in a mixing bowl, mix the flour with the salt, then add the melted ghee or oil and 120ml of the water. Mix together, adding a little more water if needed until you have a soft but not sticky dough. Knead in the bowl for a minute or two then cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a ball then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out into a circle about 13cm in diameter.
  3. Heat a heavy-based frying pan or griddle over a medium heat. When hot, place one of the circles of dough in the pan and cook for 1–2 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface and it puffs up. Flip the bread over, press down with a spatula so that it cooks evenly, and cook for a further minute, or until the bread is golden-brown.
  4. Remove from the pan and put on a warm plate covered by a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest. Brush with a little melted ghee, butter or vegetable oil if you like, or leave plain. Serve warm.
  1. For the Pilau rice – Wash the rice, then soak for 30 minutes. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the spices for 30 seconds until they smell aromatic. Drain the rice and add it to the pan with the salt; stir a little. Add the 350ml water and bring to the boil, then cook on a very low heat with the lid on for 10–12 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Turn out on to a tray to cool. Reheat in a low oven when needed.

Happy cooking


Charlie Stein’s drink pairing

I’m never drinking wine with a Chicken Tikka Masala it just doesn’t feel right! For me it’s got to be a lager or even better a Pilsner from Cornish brewery Harbour.

Rick Stein’s Food Stories

Rick’s new book, Rick Stein’s Food Stories, accompanies the BBC Two TV series of the same name which celebrates his favourite recipes from recent travels around the UK – including Cumbria, Belfast, Bristol and Birmingham. Pre-order a signed copy from our online shop.