Chicken Tikka Masala

This Chicken Tikka Masala is rich, creamy and tangy. You can make it as mild or as spicy as you like. A real crowd pleaser!
Chicken Tikka Masala

Last week I asked on Instagram what recipes people would like to see and a few people asked for Chicken Tikka Masala. I have a few curry recipes on the website which are all very popular and so as requested here is a Chicken Tikka Masala which is well paired and suitable for the GD diet.

This Chicken Tikka Masala is rich, creamy and tangy. You can make it as mild or as spicy as you like. A real crowd pleaser!

Serve with your best tolerated starchy carb, but remember to stick to just one carb alongside the curry.

My curry recipes may seem like they use a lot of ingredients at a glance, but you only need to buy the spices once and they will last a long time and become store cupboard staples. By making your own curries from scratch rather than from jars, you know what is going into them and can avoid lots of extra carbs and sugar that is often added, plus they taste SO much better!

You can make this Chicken Tikka Masala as mild or as spicy as you like. My family prefer it milder, so I use mild chilli powder and do not add the fresh chillies.

The key to having moist succulent pieces of meat is to leave them to marinate for at least 6 hours. If possible, it is even better to leave them to marinate overnight.

You can of course swap the chicken for another meat, fish or a vegetarian or vegan alternative, but bear in mind that the vegetarian or vegan alternative needs to be a source of high protein and not just vegetables or legumes and pulses which can be too carb heavy.


Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

This Chicken Tikka Masala is rich, creamy and tangy. You can make it as mild or as spicy as you like. A real crowd pleaser!
4.12 from 17 votes
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Course: Main Meals
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Diabetic
Keyword: curry, tikka, tikka masala
Free or Subscription Recipe: Free Recipe
Free from: coconut, dairy, eggs, gluten, nuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 455kcal
Author: Jo Paterson


For the Chicken Tikka Marinade

  • 3 large skinless chicken breast fillets (or 600g skinless, boneless thighs) diced
  • 150 grams Greek yoghurt (full fat) (or coconut/soya yogurt)
  • 4 whole garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 cm fresh ginger peeled & finely grated
  • 1 medium lemon the juice of
  • 1 whole red chillies (optional) de-seeded & finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 0.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 0.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp garam masala
  • 0.5 tsp chilli powder (mild or hot depending on your preference)
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 0.25 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil to drizzle over before cooking

For the Masala Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter (omit for dairy free/vegan)
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 cm fresh ginger peeled & finely grated
  • 1-2 whole red chillies (optional) de-seeded & finely chopped
  • 4 whole garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (mild or hot depending on your preference)
  • 0.25 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400 grams tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 150 ml boiling water
  • 180 ml double cream (or full fat tinned coconut milk)
  • 1 good pinch salt & ground black pepper to your taste
  • 1 tbsp xylitol or erythritol sweetener (optional - taste before adding)


For the Chicken Tikka

  • Dice the chicken into bite size chunks and add to a large bowl
  • Add all the ingredients (apart from the olive oil) to the yogurt and stir well
  • Pour the yogurt mixture over the pieces of chicken and mix well to ensure they are fully coated, cover and place in fridge for at least 6 hours to marinate
  • When you're ready to make the Tikka Masala, place the marinated pieces of chicken onto a lined baking tray (or you can place them on skewers if you prefer) and drizzle with the olive oil
  • Place under the grill on a medium heat for around 10-15 minutes, turning once they char on the edges to ensure they char slightly on both sides (check they are cooked by cutting through a larger piece and ensuring they are white and the juice inside runs clear). Once cooked, remove from the baking tray, cover and set aside

For the Masala Sauce

  • Add the oil and butter to a large pan on a medium heat
  • Add the finely diced onion and cook until softened
  • Add the fresh ginger, garlic and chillies if using, stir well and cook through until the garlic and ginger are fragrant (1-2 mins)
  • Sprinkle in all the dried spices, stir well and allow to cook through for a minute until fragrant (add a touch more olive oil if it looks dry to create more of a paste)
  • Pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes, the tomato purée, the boiling water and stir well, crushing the tomatoes if you prefer them more broken down in the curry (you can also use a stick blender to create a completely smooth sauce if you prefer at this point, but I don't bother with this step)
  • Turn up the heat to bring to a boil and then turn down slightly to allow the liquid to rapidly simmer (bubble) for 15 minutes, or until it reduces and thickens slightly
  • Pour in the double cream, stir through and taste. Add salt & pepper to your taste and some sweetener if you feel it needs it
  • Add in the cooked pieces of Chicken Tikka to heat through and serve with a few tablespoons of basmati or wholegrain rice, or a chapati, roti or a wholemeal wrap (choose one starchy carb that you tolerate best). Mine is garnished with some fine slices of red & green chillies and some chopped flat leaf parsley


This recipe is self-paired due to the ingredients used. By swapping dairy products for dairy free or vegan versions it is better to use full fat tinned coconut milk instead of double cream to keep the fat content higher which helps the pairing of the carbs
Please  note: if you are wanting to make this recipe vegetarian or vegan it is important to replace the chicken with a source of high protein. Using vegetables, legumes and/or pulses will mean that the recipe is no longer paired enough and significantly increases the carb amount making it much more difficult to tolerate. 
Peppers, spinach, fine green beans, broccoli, okra and green vegetables are fine to add into this tikka masala. Avoid adding sweeter starchy vegetables such as potatoes, squashes, peas, sweetcorn, legumes, pulses such as chickpeas, lentils etc. as they are too high in carbs.
The brand of xylitol that I use and is most widely available in larger supermarkets is Total Sweet. To find a local stockist, please check this link. It is important to note that xylitol, although a natural sweetener, is highly toxic to dogs, so no sharing your GD treats with your furry friends!
Total Sweet xylitol natural sweetener packaging
Artificial powdered sweeteners such as sucralose (like Splenda) or aspartame (like Canderel) can be used by I am not a fan of these type of  artificial sweeteners. Total Sweet xylitol weighs the same as granulated sugar and can be used like for like, spoon for spoon as sugar. If using Truvia, use this Truvia conversion chart to help you work out the amount required.
For the best outcomes with this recipe it is best to use the ingredients recommended and in the quantities stated.


Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 34g | of which saturates: 14g | Fibre: 4g | of which sugars: 7g