Jasmine-Infused Chicken Tikka Masala


This spiced tomato masala, infused with fragrant jasmine pearl tea, is combined with tender charred chicken and served with warmed naan.

Jasmine Chicken Tikka Masala

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Audrey Taylor

Active Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Marinate Time:
15 hrs
Total Time:
16 hrs 25 mins
4 servings

Floral jasmine permeates the tender charred chicken and spiced tomato masala in this riff on the beloved chicken tikka masala. “The spices lace the tangy tomato sauce that holds succulent pieces of seared chicken, but where the recipe really leaps off the page is the infusion with jasmine," says Neeta Mittal, co-owner of LXV Winery. Look for red chile powder and fenugreek leaves at most Indian grocery stores.



  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided

  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger (from 1 [2-inch] piece)

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile powder (such as Deep)

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, grated (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 cup chicken broth


  • 3/4 cup chicken broth

  • 1 tablespoons jasmine pearls loose tea (such as Rishi) (about 3/4 ounce)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small (7-ounce)  yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 2 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed

  • 2 black cardamom pods, lightly crushed (optional)

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile powder

Additional ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)

  • Fine sea salt, to taste

  • Pomegranate arils (optional)

  • Naan or basmati rice


Make the chicken

  1. Toss together chicken, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Cover and chill 12 hours.

  2. Stir together yogurt, ginger, coriander, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, red chile powder, garlic, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add yogurt mixture to chicken mixture, and stir well. Cover and chill 3 to 4 hours.

  3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high until smoking. Toss together chicken mixture and oil in large bowl. Working in 3 batches, add chicken to hot skillet, and cook, stirring once, until well charred in spots and almost cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl; set aside. Add chicken broth to skillet, and scrape browned bits from bottom of skillet; add to chicken mixture in bowl. Set aside.

Make the masala

  1. Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high. Stir in tea, and remove from heat. Let steep 10 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a small bowl; discard solids. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add onion, green cardamom pods, and black cardamom pods (if using); cook, stirring often, until onion softens, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a jam-like consistency and mixture starts to stick to bottom of pan, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in jasmine-infused chicken broth, sugar, garam masala, and red chile powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld and mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add chicken to masala; cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in heavy cream. Remove from heat, and stir in fenugreek leaves. Season with salt to taste; garnish with pomegranate arils, if desired. Serve with naan or rice.

Suggested pairing

To pour with her chicken tikka masala recipe, Mittal recommends her winery’s  LXV Blanc de Sangiovese. “Our LXV Blanc de Sangiovese dances with the acidity of the sauce and the aromatics of jasmine and spices. More importantly, it matches the tempo of the dish — a characteristic at the heart and center of food and wine pairings,” she says.

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