Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the UK’s favourite curries. The dish starts with an Indian recipe for kebabs. Chicken cubes are marinated in spices and yoghurt and threaded onto skewers to be cooked in a tandoor oven. The cooked kebabs are then served in a red, creamy sauce. So, its Indian roots are plain, but with a British twist? Perhaps.
No one doubts the popularity of Chicken Tikka Masala in the UK, but there are many claims for its creation. One story is set in an Indian restaurant in Glasgow. A customer wanted his Tandoori Chicken with a sauce, because it was too dry. Eager to please, the chef provided a creamy sauce. He used a tin of tomato soup and some cream and spices. But this tale is heavily disputed in India, where sauces of this style have been prepared for centuries. And one claim is for a Mughlai dish, another is Punjabi.
Whatever its true origin, Chicken Tikka Masala is usually a brilliant red colour. Red food colouring is often used, although it doesn’t add to the flavour. A natural food colouring from the roots of the cockscomb flower (rattan jot), can be used. This plant grows in Kashmir where it often provides the same red colour in rogan josh, another curry now popular in the UK.
Our Go Spice Tikka blend has the flavours needed for a delicious homemade Chicken Tikka Masala. We use smoked paprika to provide the essential tandoori flavour. Sweet paprika and Kashmiri chilli also add a natural redness to the dish. No artificial additives here! Click here to go to our Chicken Tikka Masala recipe.