Making true tikka masala is definitely a labor of love. So here is a take on the original recipe, made to create a dish that was much more approachable and affordable, while still tasting amazing at the same time.

Tikka Masala
10-12 servings 45 minutes


Tikka sauce

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 yellow onions, small dice
  • 2-3 serrano peppers deseeded and chopped – reserve 1 pepper sliced for garnish for extra spice
  • 2 inches grated ginger
  • ½ cup garlic confit
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp garam masala seasoning
  • 2, 28 oz. jars of tomato sauce
  • 2, 15 oz. cans of coconut milk

Other ingredients

  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken shredded
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • Cilantro & serrano peppers garnish
  • In a large pot, turn to medium heat and melt the butter. Then add the yellow onion, diced serrano chili, ginger, and sauté. Mix often to ensure it is cooking evenly.
  • Once beginning to caramelize, add the garlic confit and sauté.
  • Once incorporated, add garam masala and the jar of tomato paste. Cook until the tomato paste has gone from red to brownish color, about 15 minutes. Stir often, making sure not to burn anything on the bottom of the pan. This allows the flavor to build.
  • Once the mixture is browned, add the 2 jars of tomato sauce and coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
  • Then add your rotisserie chicken and stir until well combined in the sauce.
  • Once the tikka is hot, turn off the heat and get ready to serve. Place rice in a bowl, then scoop tikka on top and garnish with cilantro and serrano chilis if desired.



  • This simplified version of tikka masala is a great way to save time and money because you can make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the freezer for another use in the future.
  • Stock your pantry with items that are accessible to you and match your lifestyle rather than spending money on more obscure things.
  • This recipe is also easy to switch around depending on your dietary restrictions. If you’re vegan or vegetarian (or just want to save extra money), I always suggest using cauliflower as an alternative for the chicken.
  • If making or using garlic confit, make sure to keep it refrigerated after preparing and use within 7 days. (See this USDA article for more.)

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