Dan and Gemma's Chicken Tikka Masala

Prep time: 20 mins (+2 hours proving)
Cook: 35 mins
Serves: 6


6 large skinless chicken thighs 

Steamed basmati rice, to serve

Roughly chopped coriander, to garnish

Naan Bread

150ml milk, warmed

2 tsp caster sugar

2 tsp dried active dry yeast

450g (3 cups) plain flour, plus extra, to dust

1½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

150ml natural yoghurt

1 egg

2 tbs vegetable oil


250ml (1 cup) plain yoghurt

4 garlic cloves, crushed

3cm-piece ginger, finely grated

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp garam masala


2 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 bay leaves

2 black cardamom pods, bruised

2 green cardamom pods, bruised

1 cinnamon quill

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 green chillies, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4cm-piece ginger, finely chopped

1 bunch coriander stalks, finely chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground turmeric

5 large tomatoes, finely chopped

1 green capsicum, coarsely chopped

50g cashew nuts, soaked in 50ml milk


1. To make naan bread, place warm milk in a bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon each of sugar and yeast and set aside for 10 minutes or until frothy.

2. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in remaining sugar and yeast.

3. Add combined yoghurt, egg and oil. Mix on low speed to combine and until a dough forms. Knead for a further 10 minutes or until very smooth. 

4. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 2 hours or until dough doubles in size.

5. Meanwhile, to make marinade, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight to marinate.

6. To make sauce, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, cardamom pods and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add onion, chilli, garlic, ginger and coriander stalks. Cook, stirring, until softened. Add ground coriander, cumin and turmeric. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes and capsicum. 

7. Process cashews and milk until a smooth paste forms. Add to sauce and bring to the boil. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for a further 10 minutes. 

8. Preheat oven to 180C.

9. Transfer chicken mixture to a baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until almost cooked through. Add chicken to sauce and stir to combine. Simmer for 8 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through.

10. Preheat oven to 220C and add a large oven tray. Preheat grill. 

11. Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a 1cm thick oval. 

12. Place two naan breads onto the hot oven tray and bake for 3 minutes. Transfer to the grill and cook until browned. Remove from tray and cover with a tea towel to keep warm. Repeat with remaining naan breads. 

13. Divide chicken tikka masala among serving bowls and garnish with coriander. Serve with naan bread to the side.