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Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala

Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a classic Indian dish of marinated chicken in a spiced tomato curry. Except of course it’s not that simple, as it roots are as much here in the UK as they are in India. And whilst there’s no doubting that it’s a classic, you’re unlikely to ever see quite the same recipe twice. Still, we completely understand why it was voted the nations second most favourite meal just a short few years ago, we love it.

As with all the dishes in our January series, this version has been tweaked to be the healthiest it can be. Whole chicken, skin removed, is marinated in the classic yoghurt spice blend. The chicken is then slowly baked without oil to keep a low fat content, retain moisture and to reduce shrinkage, ensuring everyone is satisfied. And then the Masala sauce is kept as simple as possible, swapping the cream for fat free yoghurt and almonds. Depending on the amount of rice, the whole dish comes in at between 600-700 calories, which is no mean feat for such a rich and filling dish.

Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala

Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala

A lighter take on one of our favourite takeaway dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Print Recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chicken Marinade and pre-cook 1 day 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine British, Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 700 kcal


  • 1 large Whole Chicken
  • 1 small lemon juice and finely grated zest
  • 80 g ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • .5 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 100 g fat free greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 80 g ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small chilli finely chopped (to preference but this dish should have a mild kick)
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 400 g tinned chopped tomatos
  • 3 sweet pointed red peppers seeds and pith removed, roughly chopped
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 150 g fat free greek yoghurt
  • 4 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
  • 1 small onion, red or white peeled and finely chopped
  • 100 g cucumber finely chopped
  • 6 small tomatoes finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
  • 1 small lemon juice only
  • salt and pepper


  • Joint the chicken into legs and crown, or ask us to do it for you. Peel off the skin and bin, then slash the legs and breasts with a sharp knife. Mix all of the other ingredients in a glass bowl, or other non reactive container, and then add the chicken, ensuring that the marinade gets over all of the surface area. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 140C, 120C fan, gas mark 1. Transfer the chicken to a pan and cook in the oven for 2 and half hours. Cooking in this way at a low temperature helps reduce shrinkage (meaning maximum bulk in your tummy), retains moisture and ensures full flavour development. Once the time is up, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Break the chicken and the marinade crust off the bones, cut into chunks and retain. Whilst the breast and crown meat should come off with your hands, you may need to use a knife on the legs, so watch out for any sinew or similar.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, and then start to cook the onions over a low heat until golden brown. This could take 10 minutes, or it could take 20, but it's vitally important with a curry to get that colour. If it starts to stick or burn, add a splash of water. Once brown, add in the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook through for a further few minutes. Add the spices with a good turn of salt and pepper, and then cook for one minute. Add in the tomato puree, stir well and cook for another minute or two. Add in the tinned tomatoes, then fill the tin with water to rinse and add that to the pot. Add the peppers, and then once heated through, simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and the marinade crust to the sauce, and then simmer for another 5-10 minutes more so that the chicken is fully cooked and piping hot. Stir through the yoghurt and the ground almonds. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Mix the finely chopped onion, cucumber and tomato together in a small bowl. Season well, add the lemon juice and the coriander and stir through.
  • Serve with a small portion of brown basmati rice, the katchumber (onion, tomatoes, cucumber and lime juice), mango chutney and torn coriander leaves.


Nutrition Facts
Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword chicken, Comfort food, Curry
Tried this recipe?Mention @ColyfordB or tag #colyfordbutchers!
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