Easy Indian Tikka Masala Sauce Recipe | ChefDeHome.com (2024)

This Velvety Restaurant Style Indian Tikka Masala Sauce needs just 6 staple pantry ingredients. You will be surprised to learn that secret of your all-time favorite Indian Chicken Tikka Masala sauce was in these simple and easy to find ingredients and a 15 minutes recipe.

So ditch the delivery and serve an easy homemade Indian Authentic Tikka Masala Dinner even on weekdays!!

Sounds delicious? Isn't it?

Oh, and not just Chicken Tikka Masala dinner... I use this sauce a lot more ways! Tikka Masala Pasta, Tofu Tikka Masala and Rice, and even Tikka Masala Casserole to name a few! yumm!

Growing up, Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala had always been big part of our Sunday family dinner. My mom makes world's best tasting Chicken Tikka Masala. And it's been always in-demand among our family and friends. After marriage, I always have tried to bring her cooking magic to every plate of food I cook and serve. But, to suit my busy lifestyle and needs........ I have updated many of her classic traditional recipes. This 6 ingredients Tikka Masala is perfect example of that!

Overtime, this Tikka Masala sauce has become our family and friends favorite in most Indian-style Dinners! A evolution of classic, this recipe came into being on a very busy day and under a very short notice!!

I had few guests coming over and all they wanted to eat is Indian Curries. All food was ready when Vishal came to know... one of our guest is vegetarian. I just had some salad and rice as veggie options.

So quest was to make Indian Vegetarian Curry and time in hand was just 15 minutes.

Thing is, a good quality traditional marinara like Ragu Traditional Pasta Sauce, or Rao's Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce have lots of flavor of slow simmered Tikka Masala sauce. So I simmered Ragu Traditional Pasta Sauce with Indian garam masala, butter, and some seasonings!

Viola! A velvety, buttery, fragrant Tikka Masala Sauce was ready with that signature deep orange color and amazingly Restaurant Quality flavor....... and I was ready to host a prefect dinner party!

My guests kept asking for recipe and I promised them to share on blog. Soon after I publish this post, I'm going to send'em this link. :) This sauce has become like my new modern family tradition. Everyone who tastes it wants to get the recipe.

Secret to making this easy version of Tikka Masala sauce is all in a good quality Marinara Pasta Sauce.

Remember, your Pasta Sauce is main flavor-base for the Tikka Masala sauce. So choose a good quality and smooth marinara sauce such as Ragu Traditional and then serve a delicious Indian Dinner under 20 minutes!

Today, my age-old family recipe is updated and calls for an Italian Pasta Sauce! I hope you will enjoy a taste of my heritage with this "updated classic".

Easy Indian Tikka Masala Sauce

Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time:

Cuisine: Indian Category: Difficulty: Easy

Yields: 3-4 Cups Serves: 4

Notes: No. of servings depends on serving size. SEE PRINTABLE RECIPE


  • Tikka Masala Sauce
  • 3 Cup Marinara Sauce (Smooth Pasta Sauce such as Ragu Tradtional)
  • 1.5 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1.5 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (or Paprika, add more if like heat)
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 Garlic (clove, grated, optional if using garlic marinara sauce)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt (adjust per taste)


  • 1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy bottom deep pan. Add garam masala and cook until fragrant. (about 30 secs)
  • 2. Add cayenne (or Indian Red Chili Pepper), grated garlic, honey, and marinara sauce with 1/2 cup of water. Bring to boil and simmer for 6-7 minute on medium-low heat.
  • 3. Add heavy cream and remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter. Heat the sauce for 1 minute while mixing the ingredients. I usually start with 1/4 cup of cream and then taste and adjust with few tablespoons more. Taste and adjust salt. Remove from heat.
  • 4. Tikka Masala Sauce is ready!! Serve plain with rice. Or mix with your favorite protein and serve with traditional Indian Naan. Enjoy!

Savita's Recipe Notes:

  1. Marinara Sauce will already have salt. So add salt only at the end after tasting. You can add more honey at that point if like more sweet.
  2. Tip: For more flavor, slice half of a medium white onion into half moon slices and sauté with butter and garam masala until onions are soft, then proceed to Step -2 as described in the Recipe Card.
  3. Homemade Garam Masala: Fresh ground (preferably homemade) garam masala will give even more distinct spice flavor to Tikka Masala Sauce. Try my Garam Masala recipe to make masala at home.
  4. Toasted spices bloom in sauce. So flavors keep improving as sauce sits. For the record, the leftovers of all curries are more flavorful the next day. This makes recipe perfect to make ahead.


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Easy Indian Tikka Masala Sauce Recipe | ChefDeHome.com (2024)


What is tikka masala sauce made of? ›

Ingredients you need to gather to prepare Tikka Masala sauce !!
Ground almond1 tbsp
Ground coconut1 tbsp
Tomato puree4 tbsp
Mixed powder1 tbsp
15 more rows
Apr 5, 2022

Can I use yogurt instead of heavy cream in tikka masala? ›

So, instead of cream, I use yogurt and butter (cream's close cousin) to get that rich and velvety tomato gravy for my Chicken Tikka Masala. If you are one of those people who love cream in their Chicken Tikka, then swap out the yogurt and add it. It's all good.

Can you use coconut milk in tikka masala instead of cream? ›

Normally heavy cream is used in tikka masala, but coconut milk is the perfect substitute and I actually like it here better than cream. Yum. For you do-aheaders, you can make the masala sauce the night before and then cook the chicken right before dinner, heat up the sauce and you're done!

What makes tikka masala taste good? ›

The tikka masala sauce is typically a well-spiced blend of tomato and cream. For this recipe, we use onions, peppers, garlic, ginger, tomato sauce, and heavy cream (or coconut cream, or cashew cream), along with paprika, garam masala, and fenugreek leaves.

What's the difference between garam masala and tikka masala? ›

Tikka masala is pieces of meat or chicken marinated with spices, whereas garam masala is the term used for 'hot spices' that are not spicy but can keep the body warm. Garam masala powders may contain chilli and peppers, although they can be aromatic but are not spicy.

Is tikka masala and tikka curry the same? ›

Many people get confused between tikka and tikka masala. Think of it this way, 'masala' just means 'curry'– and the curry is where the calories lie. It's baked spicy chicken in a vivid creamy sauce, and it's usually served with rice.

Can I use Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream? ›

When you really need to thicken a dish, Greek yogurt gets the job done — in fact, it's much thicker than heavy cream. Combine equal parts Greek yogurt and milk for a substitute closer to heavy cream's thickness. Be sure to add it while your dish is off the heat to avoid curdling, and don't use it for whipping.

Is butter chicken or tikka masala creamier? ›

Taste. Butter Chicken has a milder and creamier taste, while Tikka Masala has a spicier, earthy, and tangier taste. Butter Chicken is a buttery and creamy tomato-based sauce. At the same time, Tikka Masala has a slightly sour and tangy tomato-based sauce.

How to make Indian curry more creamy? ›

I use coconut milk or cream - some of them are sweet, some just "coconutty". If I have the latter I mix one or two spoons of brown sugar in it before adding everything to the dish.

What to add to a jar of tikka masala? ›

Add Patak's Tikka Masala Spice Paste, 100ml of water, and the ginger & garlic (if using). Stir occasionally, until your sauce is reduced and thickened. Add the chicken, cook until sealed. Add 100ml water and the tomatoes.

Is curry better with coconut milk or cream? ›

Coconut cream is used in both desserts and curries, especially in Thai cuisine, where it serves as a base for cooking curry paste until the oil separates, enhancing the dish with a richer, more fragrant flavor and coconut milk is added in later for more body to the curries,” Suansilphong says.

Does coconut cream thicken curry? ›

Coconut milk or cream:

For a rich and creamy curry, coconut milk or cream can be a fantastic thickening agent. They not only add creaminess but also a delightful tropical flavour. Simply pour in some coconut milk or cream and let it simmer until your sauce reaches the desired consistency.

What are the disadvantages of chicken tikka masala? ›

It's one of the most-ordered entrees at Indian joints. But like many Indian dishes that were originally low fat, the modern recipe for chicken tikka masala is anything but. An average portion has whopping 1,249 calories and 90.8 grams of fat. A lot of that comes from the ghee and heavy cream.

What does tikka masala mean in English? ›

/ˌtɪkə məˈsɑːlə/ [uncountable, countable] ​(in British cooking) a mild Indian-style dish made with pieces of meat, usually chicken, cooked in a sauce with cream and spices.

Why is my chicken tikka masala bitter? ›

Your curry can taste bitter if the spices and garlic are burnt or if you've added too much fenugreek to the dish.

What's the difference between butter sauce and tikka masala? ›

Taste. Butter Chicken has a milder and creamier taste, while Tikka Masala has a spicier, earthy, and tangier taste. Butter Chicken is a buttery and creamy tomato-based sauce. At the same time, Tikka Masala has a slightly sour and tangy tomato-based sauce.

Why is tikka masala healthy? ›

Cumin, like many other herbs and spices in this dish, reduces blood sugar levels, which can help prevent diabetes. Vitamin E is also found in cumin, which helps reduce inflammation and fight aging.

Is chicken tikka made from breast? ›

Chicken breast vs Chicken thighs for tikka: If you don't have much time to rest the chicken, use chicken thighs. Chicken breasts are best marinated longer and used so they remain juicy even after grilling at high temperature. Bell Peppers & Onions: You can skip the bell peppers and onions.

Is masala healthy? ›

Masala chai is a rich source of antioxidants that can help boost your immune system. The spices in masala chai, including ginger, cardamom, and cloves, have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help fight off infections and viruses.


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