Tikka Masala

This is hands down my favorite dish in the whole wide world. I’m an Indian food die hard, particularly when it comes to Tikka Masala.

Here’s my version of tikka masala – two ways.

What kind of curry?

Lamb shank, chicken, paneer, and/or….

Lamb shank: brown in a 2tbs of melted butter; remove from pan and deglaze with a beer. Use this to brown the veggies (see recipe below).    

Chicken: marinate in 1 1/2 cups of greek yogurt, 4 tbs curry powder, 3 tbs. smoked paprika (optional), 2 tbs garam masala; allow to rest in the fridge overnight.

Tikka Masala Ingredients

  • 1 diced onion (yellow or vidalia)
  • 2 tsp diced fresh pepper (jalapeno or serrano)
  • 4 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 10 ounces of beer
  • 3 tbs garam masala
  • 1 tbs smoked hot paprika (or less for less spicy)
  • A heavy handed squeeze of honey
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (can use additional yogurt or heavy cream instead)
  • salt and pepper


  • Sauté onions until lightly golden in color
  • If cooking chicken, take the chicken out of the fridge and remove most of the marinade. I typically cook over medium to medium low heat in a pan until almost all the way cooked and then finish cooking by chopping and placing in the tikka masala for the final 10 minutes of simmering.
  • Add garlic, tomato paste, chile, ginger, paprika, and garam masala. Stir frequently for about 3 minutes until mixture is very fragrant
  • Add tomato sauce, honey, and beer and bring to a boil
  • Lower the heat and allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes. If using lamb shanks – add an additional 1/4 cup of liquid (beer, tomato sauce, water, chicken stock) and place the lamb shanks in the pot. Cover and cook over low heat until the lamb is fall off the bone tender (~1 hour, but varies based on the size of the shanks).
  • After the 15 minutes have elapsed, add the tahini, sour cream, yogurt, and juice of 2 lemons to the sauce. Stir to combine and simmer an additional 15 minutes. A
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. I like a lot of fresh cracked pepper, but you may not.
  • Here is where you’ll need to judge the acidity and spice level; my tikka masala is different every time when it comes to this stage. Sometimes I’ll add more lemon, a splash of rice vinegar, additional honey, more garam masala, more hot paprika, sometimes a little cayenne, and once in awhile I’ll add frozen peas (continue simmering until peas are cooked through) – it really depends on mood and taste.
  • I serve with basmati rice and homemade paneer (make your own! super easy) and pair with.. well, what you cooked with! I also enjoy with a double IPA or the Dogfish Head Theobrama (great beer for curry dishes).

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking with Beer, Poultry, Recipes, Red Meat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s