Chicken Tikka Masala

My family LOVES Indian food. I've tried making various dishes over the years, and this is the only one that consistently comes out well. It's super flavorful and it's made in a crock pot. So once the initial prep is done, you can just let it do it's thing. The flavors in this will only improve over time so it can definitely be made a day or 2 in advance. Also, I hope I'm not offending any Indians with this recipe. This dish tastes similar to what we get at Indian restaurants, but I think Tikka Masala usually contains some cream, which this recipe does not. I'm calling it Tikka Masala but I'm apologizing in advance to any purists who feel that  it's not a "real" Tikka Masala.


  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped finely or pressed through a garlic press - 14 grams
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 3” nub of ginger chopped finely 2 oz
  • 2 medium onions chopped - 20 oz
  • 1 pounds chicken thighs cubed
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (spice mixture)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 14 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk (you can use what’s left in the can in the rice to make it coconutty - (just substitute coconut milk for some of the water.)
  • Zest and juice of 1 ½ limes (cut the other ½ lime into wedges and serve on the side) 
  • 1 cup Water - add more or less depending on how soupy you want it to be
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt - 6 grams
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Basmati rice cooked according to the package instructions or naan for serving


  1. In medium skillet, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add onions to skillet, and cook until softened, about 7-10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and ginger, and cook another 2 minutes. Add garam masala, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and salt; cook and stir 2 minutes.
  2. Pour into a crockpot and add cubed chicken, lime zest, lime juice and coconut milk. Stir to combine and set to high and cook or 4-5 hours..
  3. Serve with chopped cilantro on top, lime wedges on the side (optional) and rice or naan.
  4. I usually make it on the thinner/soupy-er and I ladle it into bowls and add some rice and chopped cilantro on top.
  5. One last note: I'm now wondering if the ingredients even needs to be sautéed in advance or whether you can just throw everything into the crock pot and call it a day. I'll try it and let you know how it goes!