There’s nothing better than throwing everything into a slow cooker and then leaving it for hours – and with this chicken tikka masala slow cooker recipe, you can have an aromatic, delicious curry without any effort. So ditch the expensive takeaway, and have a healthy, filling meal at home. Seriously, this easy chicken tikka masala recipe will impress.
Where did chicken tikka masala originate?
If you’re a fan of curries, then no doubt you’ve already tried a chicken tikka masala. Believe it or not, the recipe was actually created by an Indian chef called Ali Ahmed Aslam in Glasgow in the 1960s. While chicken tikka originates from India, the sauce or gravy was created to appeal more to Western tastes. And it is perhaps one of the most favourite of British dishes – having even been voted in above fish and chips. I think that’s why I love it so much – the story behind it truly illustrates the fusing of different cultures.
How to make chicken tikka masala
To get the best flavour for chicken tikka, chicken needs to be marinated in lots of different spices and aromatics, and left for as long as possible – preferably overnight. Then the marinated chicken tikka is grilled and cooked on skewers, before being added to a masala sauce, which has a tomato base with cream [although I prefer to use yoghurt]. However, for this slow cooker chicken tikka masala, I want to make this recipe as simple as possible – which means no pre-cooking the chicken, or the onions. This is a throw-all-the-ingredients into the slow cooker and turn it on – and it still yields amazingly delicious results. I promise.
What ingredients are needed
To make this chicken tikka masala slow cooker recipe you’ll need the following:
boneless chicken thighs or breast
chilli flakes or cayenne pepper
chicken stock pot
How to make this chicken tikka masala
Slow cooking has to be EASY. And this easy chicken tikka masala recipe requires the minimum effort – and the result? A really tasty chicken curry that is full of flavour, healthy and comforting. All you have to do is put all the ingredients in the slow cooker pot, aside from the yoghurt, coriander and lemon juice. Give all the ingredients a good stir, then cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Once the chicken tikka masala is cooked, I prefer to have a smooth sauce, so I remove the chicken and put it to one side, then I used a stick blender to blitz the sauce, before returning the chicken and adding the yoghurt and lemon juice. I like to stress, that you don’t have to do this if you don’t have time, or want to serve the curry straight away – it will still taste amazing.
Can you make it spicier?
Yes, absolutely. The recipe below is a family-friendly version, so my young kids really love it. However, I do like a spicy curry, so if you want more of a kick, I would add more chilli flakes or cayenne, and/or throw in some fresh chillies while you’re cooking it.
What to serve with this easy chicken tikka masala
We love to serve it with plain boiled rice, naan [here’s a recipe to make your own] and poppadoms, with extra coriander and yoghurt on top. Who needs a takeaway, right?
Can you freeze leftovers?
I always find that curries taste even better the day after. Perhaps it’s because the flavours have longer to infuse. You can store any leftover curry in a suitable container in the fridge for up to three days. Or in the freezer for up to three months. Make sure to defrost thoroughly before reheating.
Here are some other curry recipes you might like to try
Halloumi curry recipe
Slow cooker beef massaman curry
Easy chicken curry recipe
Chinese chicken curry recipe
Chinese beef curry recipe
Best chicken tikka masala slow cooker recipe
- 650 g boneless chicken thighs/or breast cut into large chunks
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes or cayenne pepper extra if you want it spicy
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 chicken stock pot
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 3-4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
- 1/2 lemon juice only
- Fresh coriander chopped
- Add all the ingredients into the slow cooker, except the yoghurt, lemon juice and fresh coriander.
- Give it a good stir and then cook on low for 4-5 hours. Or on high for 2-3 hours.
- I like my masala sauce to be really smooth, so around an hour before serving I spoon out the chicken with a slotted spoon, then using a stick blender, I blitz the sauce and then add the chicken back in before cooking a little longer and adding the yoghurt and garnishing with chopped coriander. See notes 1 and 2