Chicken Tikka Masala

I enjoy Indian food.  The aromas and the unique powerful flavors.  The textures of the meats and the creamy sauces.  All the spices and herbs just make this cuisine unique and fabulous.  The (very few) nights where Vaughan and I don’t feel like cooking or going out, we will usually end up ordering Indian food.  I have to admit though, this is one style of food that is difficult to paleoize and our favorite meal is Chicken Tikka Masala.  Traditionally speaking, Tikka Masala is made with cream and yogurt. It’s one of the last dishes that I still go to as an indulgent dish.  I finally broke down and decided to figure out a paleo version of this dish.  I have to admit, I was worried at first about sacrificing the wonderful flavors that I love.  To my surprise, this recipe rivals the real deal.  It still maintains the creamy consistency and wonderful aromas.  I hope you like it as much as we do.

This recipe serves four.  I can’t ever make just enough food for one meal. I’m always making leftovers for lunch the next day and this is a dish that is great warmed up the second day.


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided (2 tsp & 2 tsp)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, fresh minced
  • 4 teaspoons salt, divided (2 tsp & 2 tsp)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cans of coconut milk (do not get the lite)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Small head of cauliflower, grated


  • You can grate your cauliflower or finely dice it up. You could also use a food processor, just make sure it doesn’t turn to mush.
  • Diced up your chicken into bite size chunks.
  • In a bowl, combine lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin,cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger and 2 teaspoons salt. Mix in with chicken.
  • Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat and saute garlic and onions for one to two minutes.
  • Combine 2 teaspoons of cumin, paprika, and 2 teaspoons salt and stir into sauteed garlic and onion mixture. Stir in tomato sauce and coconut milk.
  • Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
  • While sauce is thickening, saute the seasoned chicken in a frying pan. (You can also skewer your chicken and cook it on the grill.)
  • After cooked through, add chicken to sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Use the pan that you cooked the chicken in and saute your cauliflower until tender.  Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Place your cooked cauliflower on your plate. Pour the chicken and sauce over the top then sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

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2 Responses to Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. Nicole April 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Amazing! Thank you!


  1. The second step | whole30bride - June 2, 2013

    […] cheese and dressing), zucchini noodle spaghetti, sweet potato fries and coconut chicken fingers, chicken masala and cauliflower rice. […]

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