Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

It is hard to cook for two.  This meal was yet another reminder of that fact.  After the two of us had one big (for Ben) and two small (for me) servings of this chicken tikka, it didn’t look like we’d even touched the stuff.  We will be eating this for days, and I mean that in a very good way.  I really enjoyed this and have had no problem eating it as leftovers.  Make sure to leave the jalapeno in with whatever you need to refrigerate.  This tastes even better the next day.

This recipe is from Tasty Kitchen.  I used 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts and will use 5 or 6 next time to accommodate for the large amount of yummy sauce.  The original recipe says that it serves 6, but I think it could easily serve 8.

I couldn’t find garam masala, so I made my own.  If you have a grocery store that sells spices in bulk I would recommend buying some of these spices that you don’t use very often in smaller amounts to cut the cost a bit.  I had a jar of ground cardamom already, but a new jar was going to set me back $9.00 so I’m glad I had it.  This is what I used for the garam masala.  It was exactly 3 tablespoons, so it’s perfect for this recipe.

Garam Masala

Mix together the following spices.  Use or store in a sealed container.

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

The only thing I didn’t enjoy about making this meal was all the ginger I had to grate.  I do love fresh ginger, and so there was no way I was going to use less than it called for.  But peeling and grating a 3 inch piece of ginger is not a task I took forward to repeating.  But since I will be making this again, I will be peeling and grating all that ginger yet again.  You can finely chop it, but I think grating it in this recipe is a better choice because then you don’t get little pieces of ginger.  If you don’t have a microplane grater, chop it as finely as you can.  If you do grate it, watch your fingertips!  Those graters are sharp.

Other than using chicken breasts and making my own garam masala, I followed this recipe exactly.  I do think you could use less cream at the end, maybe 3/4 of a cup.  But I wouldn’t eliminate it completely.

I served this with white rice, green peas and these pita bread.  Choose just one starch if you’d like, but make sure you have at least one of them to soak up the sauce.  It is delicious.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

From The Tasty Kitchen



  • 9 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Jalapeno Pepper, Stem Removed, Pepper Pierced Several Times With A Sharp Knife
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Peeled And Diced
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Garam Masala
  • 1 piece Fresh Ginger, About 2-3 Inches, Peeled And Grated
  • 4 cups Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Raw Sugar (can Substitute White Granulated If Necessary)
  • 2 teaspoons Cornstarch Or Cleargel
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Cream
  • Hot Buttered Rice And Peas
  • Chopped Fresh Cilantro


  1. Cut the chicken into 1- 1 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle the coriander, cumin and salt over the chicken, then stir in the yogurt until all the pieces are evenly coated. Cover lightly and let sit for 10 minutes before proceeding.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Raise the heat to medium high and quickly brown about 1/4 to 1/3 of the chicken. Transfer browned chicken to the slow cooker as it is finished, using 1 tablespoon of butter per batch, and repeat until the chicken is all in the slow-cooker. Throw the pierced jalapeno in on top of the chicken.
  3. Prepare the sauce. Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and kosher salt, then stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to lightly brown around the edges.
  4. Stir in the garam masala and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute) before raising the heat to high and adding the crushed tomatoes and raw sugar. Stir well, scraping the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow-cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours, or until the chicken is very tender.
  6. Use a fork or whisk to stir the cornstarch or cleargel into the heavy cream until smooth. Pour into the slow-cooker and stir gently until the colour is even. Replace the lid and let cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.
  7. Serve over hot rice and peas, topped with a generous amount of chopped cilantro.