Madhur Jaffrey’s Chicken Curry!

The best recipe ever!

Madhur Jaffrey exposed Indian cuisine to the world and showed us how authentic Indian flavours are meant to be. Her first book, An Invitation to Indian Cookery, was published in 1973 and her series for BBC television ‘Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery’ made her a household name. She has appeared in over 20 films, including Merchant Ivory’s Heat and Dust and Wolf and Prime, and has penned over 15 cookery books. This culinary legend returned to television for the first time in 17 years with a new and exclusive series that saw her explore the British love affair with Indian cuisine. This is her exclusive recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala:

Madhur’s chicken tikka masala

Serves 4–6

For the chicken tikka

675g (1lb 7oz) boneless, skinless chicken

Thighs or breasts, cut into 2 ½ centimeters (1 inch) chunks

1 ¼ tsp salt

3 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp peeled, finely grated root ginger

2 garlic cloves, finely grated or crushed

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

½ – ¾ tsp chilli powder

6 tbsp whipping cream

½ tsp garam masala

3 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil


For the masala

4 tbsp olive or sunflower oil

140g (5oz) onions, halved and finely sliced

1 tbsp peeled, finely grated root ginger

5–6 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp ground coriander

½ tsp turmeric

¾ teaspoon chilli powder

2 tsp paprika

4 tbsp yogurt

2 medium tomatoes, peeled and very finely chopped

350ml (12fl oz) chicken stock

¼ tsp salt, or to taste

¼ tsp garam masala

4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves



  • Start by marinating the chicken tikka. Put the chicken in a non-reactive bowl and rub in the salt and lemon juice. Prod the chicken pieces lightly with the tip of a knife and rub the seasonings in again, then set aside for 20 minutes.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, paprika, chilli powder, cream and garam masala. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for six to eight hours (longer will not hurt).
  • When you’re ready to cook, make the masala: pour 4 tablespoons of oil into a large, preferably non-stick, lidded pan and set it over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the onions. Stir and fry until they brown, six or seven minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and continue to fry, stirring, for a minute.
  • Add the ground coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, and paprika. Stir for 10 seconds, then add a tablespoon of yogurt. Stir and fry until it is absorbed. Add the remaining yogurt in this way, a tablespoon at a time.
  • Now put in the tomatoes. Fry them for three or four minutes, or until they turn pulpy. Add the stock and salt, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to lo and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes.
  • Thesauce should turn thick. Stir in the garam masala and coriander leaves, taste for balance of seasonings and add more salt if you need it.
  • Shortly before you eat, preheat the grill to its highest setting. Threadthe chicken on to two to four skewers (the flat, sword-like ones arebest). Brush with the 3 tablespoons of oil and balance the skewers onthe rim of a shallow baking tray, so that the meat is suspended anddoes not touch the tray. Place about 5 inches fromthe source of heat and grill for six minutes on each side, or until lightlybrowned, cooked through and charred in places. (Cut a large piece ofchicken to the centre to check there is no trace of pink.)
  • When the tikkas are cooked, reheat the sauce and fold in the chicken.Serve immediately.

back to top icon
More in Recipes
Must Try Mango Recipes this Summer!


5 must try Christmas Recipes this season!