Chicken Tikka Masala

Time: 30-40 mins

Difficulty: easy/medium

Portions: 4

A simple and delicious meal that can easily be frozen or left in the fridge for a few days to be reheated, saving you time and money. Served with rice, this will be the perfect lunch or evening meal on a student budget.


  • 4  small/medium sized chicken breasts
  • 2 brown onions
  • 1 chilli
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 tins of chopped tomato
  • 1 tbsp of tomato puree
  • A large knob of ginger (or use 2 tsp of ground ginger)
  • 2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 tbsp of  brown sugar (granulated if you don’t have any)

Price estimates for these ingredients will be shown at the end: don’t worry this is a cheap dish to make.


  1. First of all wash your hands! Now, do your prep. Dice your onions and ginger (a knob or finger is enough) into small pieces. Slice and dice your chilli nice and small, you don’t want a big mouthful of chilli. If you don’t use a garlic press, then chop your garlic… Get everything out and ready to use.
  2. Now we are ready to cook, turn on the stove and drizzle some olive oil (vegetable or sunflower will do also, but olive tastes the best) into your large frying pan or wok and let it warm up on a medium heat.
  3. Once the oil is warm, throw in your chopped onion, chilli and ginger and mix it together with salt and pepper.
  4. Let that cook for a few minutes before adding garlic, turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala and your sugar. Mix it all together and let it cook for a few minutes allowing that tikka masala scent fill your kitchen.
  5. Once the onions are soft, add your tomato paste and stir before putting in your two tins of chopped tomato. Stir again and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Now your sauce is finished, it just needs to cook. Traditionally, the sauce will be put into a blender and blitzed to form a thick paste-like sauce, however I prefer the bite in the chucks of the sauce, so I skip this.
  7. Leave your sauce on a low heat so that its just bubbling ever so slightly. Whilst its cooking, dice your chicken into chunks of your preferred size and throw into a pan with olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper on a high heat.
  8. Once you have sealed your chicken (cooked the outside), then turn the heat down to a medium heat until your thickest piece is cooked through, it should feel firm (slice it and check its not pink).
  9. Now your chicken is cooked, chuck it in with the sauce and hay presto, it’s ready to serve with rice. Just make sure you season it lightly when you serve and it should taste better than any take away you’ve ever eaten.

Price List:

This meal shouldn’t be expensive, even if you don’t already have any of the ingredients. An estimated price list is shown below

  • Pack of 4 chicken breasts – £5
  • 3 pack of brown onions – £0.80
  • Mixed pack of chillies – £1
  • Garlic bulb – £0.50
  • Two tins of chopped tomato – £1
  • Tube of tomato puree – £0.50
  • Root of ginger – £2
  • Bottle of chilli powder – £1
  • Bottle of garam masala – £1
  • Bottle of turmeric – £1
  • Pack of brown sugar – £1.50

Total estimated cost – £15.30

The estimated cost is 15 quid and thats assuming you don’t already have any of the ingredients, so if you cook it again, you will have the left overs from this, so it should be even cheaper. This should work out at about £3.80 per portion, making it cheaper than a take away, healthier than a takeaway and definitely more delicious.

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