Tikka Masala *Almost Dairy-Free*

  • Author: Marissa
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 6


Bold and flavorful Tikka Masala. This dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner. It is lightened up by the use of coconut milk instead of the traditional cream.


Chicken Marinade

1 Pound of chicken, cut into pieces

1 C Greek yogurt

2 tbsp water

1 1/2 tbsp grated garlic

1 tbsp grated ginger

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp Kashmiri chili* (really makes a huge difference)

1 tsp salt

*Found at my local Indian Grocery store—great place to pick up spices.

Simmer Sauce

2 tbsp avocado oil

1 tbsp ghee

1 yellow onion, diced

5 cloves of garlic, grated

1 inch piece of ginger, grated

1 ½ tsp garam masala

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander

14 oz (1 can) strained tomatoes or tomato sauce

1 tsp Kashmiri chili

1 tsp red chili powder

1 ½ -2 tsp salt (to taste)

14 oz (1 can) of coconut milk

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/3 cup water, to thin

Juice of ½ lemon (optional)

Riced cauliflower

Basmati rice

cilantro for garnish

naan for serving


  1. Don’t be alarmed by to ingredient list. This recipe comes together in NO time!
  2. Add the Greek yogurt, water, garlic, ginger, and dry seasoning to a large bowl. Stir till well combined. Add the chicken pieces and coat with the marinade. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. If prepping ahead of time, cover and store in fridge for up to 18 hours.
  3. Get out a large heavy-bottomed pot. Heat up 1 tbsp avocado oil and 1 tbsp ghee on medium heat. Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces on both sides. You don’t need to cook them all the way, just brown them!
  4. Add your spices to a small bowl: garam masala, cumin, turmeric, coriander, Kashmiri, chili powder.
  5. Once all the chicken has been browned, remove from the skillet and set aside. Add additional avocado oil and ghee to the skillet. Toss in diced onion. Stir till tender ~3 minutes. Add grated garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minutes or till fragrant. Sprinkle spices over the onion mixtures. Stir continuously till onions are coated and spices are *toasted ~1 minute.
  6. Add in the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the can of coconut milk. Stir in till well combined. bring back up to a simmer. Add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of brown sugar.
  7. Add the chicken pieces + any juices back to the pan. Let simmer for at least 8-10 minutes. It depends on how large your chicken pieces are cut. Use water to thin the sauce, if necessary.
  8. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. I needed to add ½ tsp of additional salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  9. Serve with basmati rice or riced cauliflower, and naan. Garnish with fresh cilantro.