Maharashtrian Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Murgh Tikka Masala Maharashtrian Style
Roasted Chicken in Spicy Gravy
Submitted By: Taz


2 lbs Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast (Murgh) - washed, patted dry, cut into 1½-2 inch pieces
1 medium White Onion (Pyaz) - cut into 1 ½-2 inch 'square' pieces
2 Large Red Bell Peppers (Simla Mirch) - cored and cut into 1 ½-2 inch 'square' pieces
3 Tbs Ghee - divided

¾ Cup Plain Yogurt (Dahi)
½ inch piece Fresh Ginger (Adrak) - grated into paste
4 cloves Fresh Garlic (Leh-sun) - grated into paste 
1½ tsp Red Chile Powder (Lal Mirchi)
1 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
1 tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)
⅛ tsp Mace Powder (Javitri)
Juice of 1 Lemon (Nimbu Ras)
Kosher Salt (Namak) to taste
1½ Tbs Ghee
½ tsp Powdered Red Food Coloring

Masala (Gravy):
1 Large Onion (Pyaz)
1 Large Red Bell Pepper (Simla Mirch) -cored and rough chopped
4 cloves Fresh Garlic (Leh-sun) - crushed
½ inch piece Fresh Ginger (Adrak) - rough chopped
5 Roma Tomatoes (Tamatar) - seeded and rough chopped
¼ Cup Raw Cashews (Kaju)
2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Red Chile Powder (Lal Mirchi) - or to taste
1 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
½ Cup Heavy Cream (Malai)
Kosher Salt (Namak) to taste

  1. In a large nonreactive bowl, mix all of the marinade ingredients until thoroughly combined - Fold in chicken pieces, white onion pieces, and bell pepper pieces (make sure the chicken is well coated) - Cover and chill in refrigerator for a minimum 30 minutes (over night for better results)
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F
  3. Place cashews in a small bowl and cover with water - Set aside
  4. Remove marinated chicken and vegetables from the marinade (DO NOT DISCARD REMAINING MARINADE) and place on a grill rack set in a baking tray in a single layer with at least ¼ inch between pieces
  5. Place 2 Tbs of the ghee in a small bowl for basting
  6. Bake chicken and vegetables on the top rack of oven for 10-12 minutes - Switch oven to high broil - Baste chicken pieces with ghee and place under broiler for 2-5 minutes or until slightly charred - Flip everything and baste the chicken again with ghee - Place under broiler for another 2-5 minutes or until slightly charred
Time to make the masala:
  1. Heat 2 tsp ghee in a large skillet, kadahi, wok, or pan over medium heat until shimmering - While pan is heating place onion, garlic, and ginger in the work bowl of a food processor or blender and purée until smooth
  2. Once ghee is shimmering, add the onion, garlic, and ginger purée - Sauté until liquid is reduced by about half 
  3. Drain the cashews and place in the food processor or blender along with the tomatoes and bell pepper - Purée until smooth - Add to onion mixture and continue to sauté until the liquid is reduced by at least half
  4. While reducing the liquid from the onion/tomatoes - Place a small skillet over low heat (as low as possible) – Add the remaining tsp of ghee along with the garam masala, red chile powder, and turmeric powder - Let spices cook for apx 5 minutes stirring occasionally -Transfer to the reduced onion/tomato mixture and thoroughly combine
  5. Transfer the charred chicken and vegetables along with the remaining marinade to the pan and thoroughly combine - Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 10 minutes
  6. Add cream and salt to taste - Cover and simmer on low heat for an additional 5-10 minutes stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through and gravy is desired consistency
  7. Serve hot garnished with a little chopped fresh coriander along with basmati rice or naan, raita, and chutney(s) of choice
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