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Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

This recipe combines the best techniques and elements of chicken tikka masala recipes for the slow cooker to create what I hope is one of the best versions out there.
Course:  Main Course
Cuisine:  Indian

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 pounds chicken boneless and skinless, cut into 2-inch pieces

For the slow cooker:

  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 T fresh ginger grated
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 T garam masala (see note)
  • 1 T cumin
  • ½ T smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 1-3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 29 ounces fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 3 T Minute tapioca
  • 1 T dark brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream optional
  • chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, and spices.
  2. Add chicken and stir to coat.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
  4. Saute onions in olive oil until translucent and tender.
  5. Add garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and spices (garam masala through cayenne pepper) to onions and stir to combine.
  6. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray.
  7. Add crushed tomatoes, tapioca, sugar, and bay leaves to slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  8. Add onion mixture and chicken to slow cooker. Gently stir to combine.
  9. Cook for 4-6 hours on low.
  10. If you wish, stir in heavy cream at the end.
  11. Garnish and serve over rice or with naan.

Recipe Notes

If you can't find garam masala, you can make your own. There is an easy recipe here. It calls for: 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg.