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Chicken Tikka Masala with Almond Rice

This creamy takeout favorite is easily made at home and freezes beautifully. Remember to stir in the cream (or Greek yogurt) at the last minute, just before serving.

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Garam masala is another aromatic spice blend with a DIY history. Though traditional recipes of this Indian seasoning feature cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and pepper, home chefs tend to tailor their combo to their personal tastes, sometimes adding mace, bay leaves, fennel and other spices to round it out.

Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
60 min



  • 1½ lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice 
  • 2 tsp ground cumin 
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14.5-oz BPA-free can unsalted fire-roasted diced tomatoes (TRY: Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes No Salt Added)
  • ¼ cup unsalted tomato paste
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp each ground turmeric and garam masala
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, for garnish


  • ¾ cup brown basmati rice
  • 2 tsp safflower or coconut oil
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish



1. Prepare chicken: In a large bowl, toss chicken with lime juice, cumin and salt. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium-high. Add chicken in batches and cook until browned, flipping once, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; set aside.

2. Using same skillet on medium, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic, cooking until fragrant, 30 seconds. Deglaze pan with broth, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat to low and add tomatoes, tomato paste, honey, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and salt; stir to combine. Add chicken and simmer, stirring once, until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, cover loosely and let cool in refrigerator. Secure container with an airtight lid or transfer to freezer bags; freeze for up to 3 months.

3. Prepare rice: In a small saucepan, bring 1¾ cups water, rice, oil, curry powder, salt and cloves to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Cool completely in refrigerator. Discard cloves and stir in spinach. Transfer to a freezer-safe container or freezer bags; freeze for up to 3 months.


4. Place frozen curry in a large saucepan or pot. Cover and cook on medium-low, stirring frequently and gently breaking up large chunks until heated through, about 30 minutes. Stir in cream; cook, uncovered, until hot, 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.

5. Meanwhile, transfer rice to a small saucepan and sprinkle with a few tablespoons water. Cover and cook over low until warmed through, about 20 minutes; or microwave in 1-minute bursts, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Before serving, stir almonds into rice. Serve alongside chicken.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 595
  • Carbohydrate Content 48 g
  • Cholesterol Content 177 mg
  • Fat Content 26 g
  • Fiber Content 7 g
  • Protein Content 42 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 7 g
  • Sodium Content 706 mg
  • Sugar Content 9 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 12 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 5 g