Chicken Masala recipe – How to make Chicken Masala at Home

Chicken Masala is a popular dish in Indian cuisine known for its rich, spicy, and flavorful profile. It combines tender chicken pieces with a variety of spices and a creamy tomato-based sauce. This guide will walk you through the steps to make delicious Chicken Masala at home, perfect for impressing guests or enjoying a cozy meal with family.


For Marination:

  • 500g chicken pieces (boneless or with bone)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste

For the Masala:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
  • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped (for garnish)
  • Salt to taste


Step 1: Marinate the Chicken

  1. Prepare the Marination:

    • In a large bowl, combine yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, and salt.
    • Mix well to form a smooth marinade.

  2. Marinate the Chicken:

    • Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and coat them evenly.
    • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight for best results.

Step 2: Prepare the Masala

  1. Heat the Oil:

    • In a large pan or skillet, heat the vegetable oil or ghee over medium heat.
    • Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds until fragrant.

  2. Cook the Onions:

    • Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
    • This step is crucial for a rich flavor, so be patient and let the onions caramelize slowly.

  3. Add Ginger-Garlic Paste and Green Chilies:

    • Add the ginger-garlic paste and slit green chilies.
    • Sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the raw smell disappears.

  4. Incorporate Spices:

    • Add coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, and red chili powder.
    • Cook for a minute to allow the spices to release their aroma.

  5. Add Tomato Puree:

    • Pour in the tomato puree and cook until the oil begins to separate from the masala.
    • This takes about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 3: Cook the Chicken

  1. Add Marinated Chicken:

    • Add the marinated chicken pieces to the pan.
    • Stir well to coat the chicken with the masala.

  2. Simmer:

    • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
    • Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.

  3. Finish with Cream:

    • Once the chicken is cooked through and tender, add the heavy cream or coconut milk.
    • Stir well and let it simmer for another 5 minutes to combine the flavors.

  4. Season:

    • Check for seasoning and add salt if necessary.
    • Sprinkle garam masala powder and mix well.

Step 4: Garnish and Serve

  1. Garnish:

    • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

  2. Serve:

    • Serve hot with naan, roti, or steamed rice.
    • Enjoy your homemade Chicken Masala!

Tips for Perfect Chicken Masala

  • Marination: Allowing the chicken to marinate for a longer time enhances the flavor and tenderness.
  • Onions and Tomatoes: Properly caramelizing onions and cooking tomatoes until the oil separates is key to a rich and flavorful masala.
  • Spices: Use freshly ground spices for a more aromatic and vibrant dish.
  • Cream or Coconut Milk: Adjust the amount of cream or coconut milk to your preference for a thicker or lighter sauce.


Making Chicken Masala at home is a rewarding experience that brings the authentic flavors of Indian cuisine to your kitchen. With the right ingredients and a bit of patience, you can create a dish that is sure to become a favorite. Enjoy the process and the delicious results!

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