Air Fryer Chicken Tikka Masala: A Healthy Twist on a Classic Dish

air fryer chicken tikka masala

I’m excited to share one of my favorite dishes: air fryer chicken tikka masala. This dish, known for its rich flavors and creamy sauce, is a staple in Indian cuisine and loved worldwide.

By using an air fryer, we can make this classic dish quicker and healthier without sacrificing taste. The air fryer cuts down on oil usage, making it a perfect choice for those looking for healthy air fryer recipes. Plus, it’s a quick chicken recipe that doesn’t require hours in the kitchen.

Chicken tikka masala served with naan and rice, garnished with cilantro.
Chicken tikka masala served with naan and rice, garnished with cilantro.

See more like this recipe at Chicken Tikka Skewers

Ingredients Needed

To make chicken tikka masala, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for extra heat)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek (for extra flavor)

These air fryer recipe ingredients are easy to find and essential for getting that authentic flavor.

Necessary Cooking Equipment

Here’s what you’ll need to make this dish:

  1. Air fryer
  2. Mixing bowls
  3. Measuring spoons and cups
  4. Cutting board and knife
  5. Spatula
  6. Large skillet
  7. Blender or immersion blender (optional, for a smoother sauce)

Now that we’ve gathered our ingredients and equipment, we’re ready to start cooking this delicious dish.

Preparation Steps

To make a delicious air fryer chicken tikka masala, start with the marination process. Marinate chicken properly to ensure the flavors penetrate deeply, giving the dish its signature taste. This tikka masala preparation involves a blend of spices and yogurt for the marinade.

Ingredients for making chicken tikka masala, including spices, yogurt, and chicken.
Ingredients for making chicken tikka masala, including spices, yogurt, and chicken.

Marinating the Chicken

1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste.

2. Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional), and salt to taste.

3. Mix well to form a smooth paste.

Mixing yogurt, lemon juice, and spices to make the marinade for chicken tikka masala.
Mixing yogurt, lemon juice, and spices to make the marinade for chicken tikka masala.

4. Add the chicken cubes to the marinade, ensuring each piece is well-coated.

Adding chicken cubes to the marinade for chicken tikka masala.
Adding chicken cubes to the marinade for chicken tikka masala.

5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. For best results, marinate overnight.

Marinated chicken in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, ready for refrigeration.
Marinated chicken in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, ready for refrigeration.

This chicken tikka masala marinade infuses the chicken with robust flavors, making it juicy and flavorful.

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Tikka Masala

Now, let’s move on to the cooking part. Follow these air fryer cooking instructions to achieve perfectly cooked chicken tikka.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 360°F (180°C).
  2. Lightly grease the air fryer basket with vegetable oil.
  3. Place the marinated chicken pieces in the basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded.
  4. Cook for 15-18 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through for even cooking.
Shaking the chicken pieces in the air fryer basket halfway through cooking.
Shaking the chicken pieces in the air fryer basket halfway through cooking.

Ensuring Even Cooking

For the best results:

  • Cut chicken into uniform pieces.
  • Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket; cook in batches if necessary.
  • Shake the basket midway through cooking to ensure all pieces are evenly cooked.

Essential Note: Always check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

What to Serve with Chicken Tikka Masala

When it comes to serving suggestions for your delicious air fryer chicken tikka masala, there are a few classic accompaniments that pair perfectly:

  • Naan: This traditional Indian bread is perfect for scooping up the rich, creamy sauce.
  • Basmati rice: Fluffy and fragrant, basmati rice complements the bold flavors of tikka masala.
  • Cucumber raita: A cooling yogurt-based dip that balances the spiciness of the dish.
  • Mixed greens salad: Fresh greens with a light vinaigrette add a refreshing contrast.
  • Roasted vegetables: Try serving with roasted cauliflower, bell peppers, or green beans for a complete meal.

These accompaniments for tikka masala enhance the meal, making it satisfying and well-rounded.

Tips and Variations

There are many ways to customize your chicken tikka masala to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Here are some recipe variations:

  • Spice levels: Adjust the heat by modifying the amount of cayenne pepper. For a milder dish, omit the cayenne. For extra heat, add more.
  • Alternative proteins: Substitute chicken with lamb, shrimp, or paneer for a different take on the dish.
  • Vegetarian option: Replace chicken with cauliflower florets or tofu to make a vegetarian version.
  • Different marinades: Experiment with additional spices like fenugreek or fennel seeds for a unique flavor.

These spice levels and alternative proteins can help you tailor the dish to your preference.

Chicken Tikka Masala Nutritional Information

Here’s the approximate nutritional information for a serving of chicken tikka masala. This breakdown is based on four servings per recipe:

Nutrition Facts
Per 1 serving (approx. 200g) (4 servings)

Amount % Daily Value*
Calories 350
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 120mg 40%
Sodium 500mg 21%
Potassium 700mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 6g
Protein 35g 70%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

These figures provide a helpful guide for those following healthy chicken recipes and wanting to keep track of their nutritional intake.

FAQs on Air Fryer Chicken Tikka Masala

Final Words

Making Chicken Tikka Masala in an air fryer offers many benefits. It’s quicker, healthier, and still delivers the delicious flavors we love from Indian cuisine.

Using less oil, the air fryer method makes this dish lighter while maintaining its rich taste. Plus, it’s perfect for busy nights when you need a tasty meal without the long cooking time.

Try this chicken tikka masala recipe and enjoy a healthier, flavorful version of a classic favorite. Happy cooking and enjoy your meal!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
air fryer chicken tikka masala

Air Fryer Chicken Tikka Masala

I’m excited to share one of my favorite dishes: air fryer chicken tikka masala. This dish, known for its rich flavors and creamy sauce, is a staple in Indian cuisine and loved worldwide.

  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for extra heat)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek (for extra flavor)

Instructions

1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste.

Mixing yogurt, lemon juice, and spices to make the marinade for chicken tikka masala.

2. Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional), and salt to taste.

3. Mix well to form a smooth paste.

4. Add the chicken cubes to the marinade, ensuring each piece is well-coated.

Adding chicken cubes to the marinade for chicken tikka masala.

5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. For best results, marinate overnight.

Marinated chicken in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, ready for refrigeration.

6. Preheat the air fryer to 360°F (180°C).

7. Lightly grease the air fryer basket with vegetable oil.

8. Place the marinated chicken pieces in the basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded.

9. Cook for 15-18 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through for even cooking.

Shaking the chicken pieces in the air fryer basket halfway through cooking.

Notes

Always check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

  • Author: Suborna Tanchangya
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Air Frying
  • Cuisine: Indian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving (approx. 200g)
  • Calories: 350
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 35g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg

Keywords: Air Fryer Chicken Tikka Masala

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post features affiliate links that assist in maintaining my site, with no extra charge to you. Your support is greatly appreciated. Learn more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.