Indian food is total comfort for me. There’s just something about the spicy heat, the simple side of white basmati rice and the chewy garlic naan that soaks it all up perfectly. And as much as I love hitting up my local Indian restaurant for take-out, I also really love making my own Indian food at home. So when I stumbled upon Rebecca’s recipe for Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala, I knew it was an immediate must-make.
I adore my cheap slow cooker from Target and had a feeling this recipe would be the perfect meal for a weekend full of cold rainy weather here in Northern California. Turns out, I was right! This recipe was, hands down, the best thing to ever come out of my trusty little slow cooker and I loved it so much that I re-made it two days later for a friend’s birthday dinner. I think you’re gonna love it!
You’ll need boneless, skinless chicken thighs (use thighs for the most flavor!), butter, yogurt, garam masala, coriander, salt, cumin, garlic, a jalapeno pepper, crushed tomatoes, cream, cornstarch, onion, fresh ginger and a pinch of sugar.
Now let’s get started!
First, chop the chicken thighs into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
Sprinkle the chicken with coriander, salt and cumin.
Then add the yogurt and toss everything together. Let this chicken mixture sit for ten minutes so that the yogurt can soak into the chicken a little bit.
Now, throw a little butter in a skillet and raise the heat to medium high. It’s go-time!
Add the chicken and cook quickly, working with half at a time as to not overcrowd the pan. Once the chicken has browned, remove and place in the slow cooker.
Take your jalapeno pepper and pierce it several times with a sharp knife. Place the pierced pepper on top of the chicken.
Then start making the delicious sauce! Melt a little more butter in the same skillet you were working with before and add your onion, garlic and salt.
Once the onion has softened a little, add the garam masala and fresh ginger. It will smell heavenly!
Add the crushed tomatoes to the sauce, then pour over the chicken in the slow cooker. Set heat to low and cook for five hours.
After five hours, the chicken should be fall-apart tender. Finally, whisk together the cornstarch and cream then pour into the slow cooker. Cook for ten more minutes until thick and bubbly.
Serve tikka masala with basmati rice and cilantro and experience comfort food at its best! You’re gonna love it. A big thanks to Rebecca for supplying us with yet another wonderfully delicious recipe. Have you checked out her blog Foodie with Family yet? You should. You really should.
Get the handy dandy printable version of the recipe below!
This classic Indian dish is sure to win over even the pickiest eaters with its creamy, rich, complex comfort food bona fides. This dinner is the perfect fall or winter warm-me-up and it reheats like a dream.
- FOR THE CHICKEN:
- 9 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 cup Yogurt
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 whole Jalapeno Pepper, Stem Removed, Pepper Pierced Several Times With A Sharp Knife
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 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
- TO SERVE:
- Hot Buttered Rice And Peas
- Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighs 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours, or until the chicken is very tender.
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.
Serve over hot rice and peas, topped with a generous amount of chopped cilantro.
Jenna is a food writer who has worked as a pastry chef and bread baker. Her blog Eat, Live, Run has great recipes, travel stories, and the perfect slogan: “Celebrating life, one crumb at a time.”