Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala


One of the cuisines that I love, but haven’t ever really tried to cook is Indian. I love the flavors in the dishes and even though my neighbors swear it’s really easy, there’s still a lot of spices that I’m unfamiliar with. This dish is a great starter dish. It doesn’t have all the exotic flavors, but I think it’s a good entry level dish. I really liked the flavor of it, even though I had to add a little spice to it.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
(Adapted from Meal Planning 101)

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Chicken Tikka:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1/4-1 tsp cayenne (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
6-8 chicken thighs (skin on, bone-in)

Stir all ingredients except chicken into the bottom of a large plastic container.


Add the chicken and coat the chicken completely with the marinade, cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.


1 can 28 oz. diced tomatoes
1 can 5.5 oz tomato paste
2 inches fresh ginger, grated (store your ginger in the freezer and it will be super easy to grate)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp tikka paste (could use mild curry paste instead, but then also add about a tbsp of lemon juice)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 cup cream
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Turn your oven to broil. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack over top. Take the chicken out of the marinade (discard the marinade) and place on the baking rack.


Place under the broiler about 6-10 inches from the heating element and broil on each side about 10 minutes. You could also do this on the BBQ. You don't have to worry about cooking the meat all the way through, you are just looking for a nice browned color.

While the chicken is broiling, in a pan over medium high heat, add about a teaspoon or two of oil.


Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes to soften.


Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a few more minutes until the mixture is nice and fragrant.


Place the mixture into your crockpot.


To that, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garam masala, tikka paste, cumin, chili powder and coriander. Stir together.


When the chicken is done broiling, add them straight to the slow cooker and stir into the masala (sauce). I have cooked and experimented with this dish quite a few times, and it by far tastes the best when the chicken is first broiled and then slow cooks in the masala sauce. It gives the sauce a real richness of flavor.


Slow cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low 6-8 hours.

Before serving stir in 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala and salt if it needs it. I find this just brightens up the spice flavors a bit.


Then stir in the cream and fresh cilantro.


Serve a chicken thigh with lots of sauce over basmati rice or Yellow Basmati Rice: 2 cups basmati, 4 cups water, salt, and 1/2 tbsp of turmeric. Stir together and prepare as you normally would. When the rice is done, stir in 1/2 cup frozen peas.




  1. I can't say that I've ever eaten Indian food. Looks good.

  2. I love Chicken Tikka Masala!!! I can see we're going to be trying this dish soon :)