Lina Gautam's Chicken Tikka Masala: Healthy Appetite


Serves 4

  • 4 chicken breasts cubed 
  • 8 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 cm square ginger peeled 
  • ½ a sweet potato (cut into cubes)

For the marinade: 

  • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt 
  • 1 tsp of salt 
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1 tsp chili powder 
  • 2 tsp lemon juice 
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil 

Ingredients for sauce: 

  • 1 medium white onion finely chopped 
  • 4 fresh tomatoes or 8 tablespoon plum tin tomatoes 
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 tsp fenugreek leaves (or powder)
  • 1 tsp salt or to your taste 
  • 1 tsp sugar (or less, adjust to your taste) 
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 4 tbsp cashew nut (soaked in hot water for 5-10 minutes)
  • 2 tbsp of low fat yoghurt 
  • Pinch of plain flour 
  • Pinch of orange food colouring (optional)
  • Big handful of fresh coriander 

For the Rice: 

  • 120 g basmati rice 
  • 80 g red lentils with skin 
  • 600 ml water 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • Olive oil
  • Bouquet Garni of whole spices (5 cardamom pods, 6 cloves, 8 black peppercorns and 1 3-inch cinnamon stick in a muslin cloth tied with kitchen twine into a small pouch)


  1. First, use a pestle and mortar to pound 8 cloves of garlic into a rough paste. Add a 2cm piece of ginger and pound again.  You will use this for the marinade and the sauce. 
  2. Begin by preparing the marinade for the chicken. Add the natural yoghurt, salt, turmeric powder, chili powder, lemon juice, garam masala, vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of the garlic/ginger mix to a bowl and mix well. Add the chicken breast pieces to the marinade and stir until all the pieces are well coated.
  3. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 1 hour. Once marinated spread the chicken pieces out on a roasting tray along with the sweet potato. Place under the grill until cooked through and until the chicken is slightly charred. 
  4. While the chicken is cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the cumin seeds, fenugreek leaves, salt, onion and sugar. Cook until onions are soft. Next add the tomatoes, garam masala and the remaining garlic & ginger mixture. Simmer on a low heat for a few minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken and sweet potato from the grill. Add the sweet potato to the sauce, stir to combine and simmer for 6-7 minutes. Add approximately 100ml water and stir.
  6. Transfer the sauce to the blender, add the pre-soaked cashew nuts and blend until sauce is smooth, adding more water if needed. Return to the pot. Mix the flour with the yoghurt and add to the sauce. Add a drop of orange food colouring (optional).
  7. Add the chicken to the sauce, stir and leave simmering on a low heat. Add some water if the sauce is too thick.
  8. Meanwhile, add all the ingredients for the rice to a saucepan and boil until cooked. Remove the bouquet garni and strain the rice. 
  9. Serve the curry with the rice and garnish with fresh coriander.

Fat: 37g
Sugar: 5g
Fibre: 7g

Dietitian’s Tip! Add a side of fresh vegetables for a vitamin boost.