Watch: Khyber's signature recipe - Chicken Tikka Masala

Watch: Khyber's signature recipe - Chicken Tikka Masala

A traditional chicken kabab recipe that can take time but will leave you happy once done

Khyber's signature recipe - Chicken Tikka Masala Video Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

Will Smith, Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt, Madonna and now Tom Cruise. These Hollywood celebrities are popular for their talent, but it's their common love for the Indian Chicken Tikka Masala which sets them apart from the crowd.

A few days ago, this dish rose to higher popularity ever since 59-year-old Hollywood actor Tom Cruise took a break from shooting the next installment to the Mission: Impossible series to order Chicken Tikka Masala at Asha's in the UK. What's more? He ordered it twice!

The restaurant took it to their social media to post about it and even hosted the entire cast and crew of the movie at their restaurant. 

Owned by Indian singer, Asha Bhosle, Asha's is an award-winning restaurant. While Asha Bhosle herself wasn't present at the time in the restaurant, she didn't shy away from conveying her gratitude to the Hollywood star on his visit to Asha's. She wrote: "I was very happy to hear that Mr. Tom Cruise enjoyed his fine dining experience at Asha's (Birmingham) and I look forward to him visiting us again soon."

Several social media users have also conveyed their support to the restaurant via comments, likes and reposts.

What is this so-called Chicken Tikka Masala?

Chicken Tikka Masala has a debatable origin. Some believed it was first introduced in Glasgow, Scotland during the 1970s by a Bangladeshi chef who wanted to impress his customer, whereas some argue that it was adapted from the butter chicken masala.

Made using an array of ingredients, the dish is rich in spices although mildly piquant due to the yoghurt present in it.

Curious about the recipe which celebrities are gorging over? Here's one from Khyber's kitchen in Dubai

Tender, juicy meat slow-cooked and bathed in spices, butter and yoghurt. That's what the Chicken Tikka Masala from India is all about. Served alongside steamed rice or laccha paratha (Indian flatbread), this mouth-watering dish is quite iconic at every Indian restaurant.

But, here's how you can make it at home...

Ingredients for chicken tikka masala
Ingredients clockwise - Cashews, cumin powder, coriander powder, kasoori methi (fenugreek), turmeric powder, salt, red chilly powder, chaat masala powder, garam masala powder. Clarified butter or ghee, oil and lemon Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

For the marinade - stage 1

100 gms chicken breast

150 gms chicken thigh

10 ml lemon juice

15 gms chilli paste

10 gms ginger and garlic paste

5 gms turmeric powder

Stage 2 with yoghurt

80 gms yoghurt

10 gms turmeric powder

15 gms red chilli powder

10 gms khyber garam masala powder

Khyber's garam masala powder
1 tsp shahi jeera
2 tsp green cardamom
1 small stick cinnamom
1 small piece of mace
1/2 tsp clove
2 tsp black pepper
1.5 tsp dry rose petals
1 tsp badi elaichi (3 pieces black cardamom)
Dry roast the whole spices for 5 to 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Once they turn slightly darker in colour and begin releasing a strong aroma, turn off the heat and allow it to cool. Then powder it in a coffee grinder.

1 tsp coriander powder 

For almond, cashewnut and melon seed paste (grind together with very little water):

10 gms chashewnut

5 gms melon seed

10 gms almonds


1. Marinate chicken breast and thigh with salt, turmeric, red chillies, oil and lemon juice. Mix it well so that the spices get properly absorbed. Keep aside.

2. For the yoghurt marination - in a bowl, add yoghurt, almond, cashew and melon paste, salt, chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and oil.

3. Add the yoghurt marinade to the chicken and mix them well. Rest it for atleast three to four hours in a refrigerator. The best is to marinate it overnight, if you have the time.

Marinating chicken tikka masala
Mix the yoghurt paste into a thick consistency Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News
Chicken tikka masala marination
Add the yoghurt mix into the spiced marinated chicken and mix Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

4. Heat a pan and add clarified butter. One by one start adding the marinated chicken to the pan. Slow cook the tikka for three to four minutes.

Marinating chicken tikka masala
Mix the chicken and marinade Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News
Chicken tikka masala
Heat a pan and add ghee or clarified butter Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News
Making chicken tikka masala
Add the marinated chicken tikka into the pan Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Note: Remember to turn over the chicken tikka every few seconds. You don't want it to stick to the pan. If left unchecked, it will stick onto the pan and form a thin black layer, whic will make the chicken tikka bitter.

Making chicken tikka
Using a pair of things, turn over the chicken tikka masala so that it does not stick to the pan Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

5. Once the chicken is tender and cooked, you can add a drop of food grade red colour (optional) to it and mix. Garnish with a few chopped corainder leaves and serve hot.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala served with laccha paratha (a type of Indian flatbread) Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News
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