chicken masala

Chicken Masala Recipe

By Swasthi on August 22, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Chicken masala recipe with video & step by step photos – One of the most simple, home style Indian chicken recipe for beginners. This chicken masala goes great with rice, roti, naan or paratha. There are many many ways a masala chicken recipe is made across India. Each region has their own way of making it with locally available taste enhancers like coconut, cashews, sesame seeds, poppy seeds etc.

chicken masala

There are also different chicken masala recipes that are served in restaurants like Butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, chicken butter masala, malai chicken etc.

All the restaurant style dishes do take some time to prepare and cream or yogurt is mostly used.

But the recipe I am sharing today is a very simple one, needs no blending, no overnight marination, no yogurt or cream etc. Yet this tastes delicious, moderately spicy and flavorful.

If you have a good garam masala along with some basic ingredients like chili powder, onions etc then you are good to go with this recipe.

Chicken masala can be made to a dry, semi dry or a gravy dish. I have made it to a semi dry dish, if you prefer a dry dish then just evaporate all the moisture until the masala clings on to the chicken well.

If you prefer a gravy version, just add some hot water or coconut milk to the chicken after sauteing it. Also increase red chili powder and garam masala by ½ tsp. You can also add some cashew paste or coconut paste to get a rich gravy.

Do remember the 2 main steps to make a yummy and delicious chicken masala. One – slow cooking and two- add hot water if using. Slow cooking yields chicken that is flavourful, juicy and tender.

You may like to check these Chicken recipes

Chicken masala recipe


1. Add chicken, ginger & garlic paste, turmeric, salt. chicken or garam masala and red chili powder to a mixing bowl.

Add chicken, ginger & garlic paste

2. Marinate chicken well and set aside for about 45 mins to 1 hour. You can also refrigerate overnight.

Marinate chicken

How to make chicken masala

3. Heat a pot with oil and saute the spices.

saute the spices

4. Add green chilies and onions.

Add green chilies

5. Saute till onions turn completely golden. Add garlic ginger paste and fry until raw smell goes off.

Saute onions

6. Pour tomato puree. Then add red chili powder, garam masala and salt too.

Pour tomato puree

7. Saute till the mixture begins to leave oil.

Saute chicken masala

8. Fry the chicken with this masala for 3 to 5 mins on a medium flame.

Fry the chicken

9. Cover and cook for about 5 mins on the lowest possible flame.

Cover and cook chicken masala

10. You will see moisture from chicken begins to ooze out. Add coriander, mint leaves and mix.

Add coriander, mint leaves and mix

11. Cover and cook again until chicken is soft and tender. Adjust salt and spice if needed at this stage. Add some more coriander leaves to finish off.

Cover and cook

Serve with rice, roti or paratha along with lemon wedges and onion slices.

chicken masala recipe

Related Recipes

Recipe card

Chicken Masala

Chicken masala is a simple Indian dish made with chicken, spices, herbs, onions and tomatoes. Serve this with rice or any flatbreads like naan, roti or paratha.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ½ kg chicken (bone-in or boneless)


  • ½ tsp red chili powder (mild variety like kashmiri or byadgi)
  • ¾ tsp garam masala (or chicken masala)
  • ½ tsp turmeric (or haldi)
  • ¾ tsp Ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ tsp Salt or as needed
  • 2 tbsps curd or yogurt (optional)

other ingredients

  • 2 tbsps Oil
  • 1 bay leaf or tej patta (small)
  • 2 green cardamoms or elaichi
  • 1 cinnamon stick or dalchini (small)
  • 2 to 4 cloves or laung
  • 1 cup onions finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 to 2 green chilies (milder variety) chopped
  • ½ cup tomato puree or finely chopped
  • ¾ to ½ tsp red chili powder (mild variety like kashmiri or byadgi) (or as needed)
  • ½ tsp Salt or as needed
  • ¾ to ½ tsp garam masala or chicken masala powder
  • 1 Handful mint or pudina leaves (finely chopped or curry leaves or both)
  • 1 Handful coriander leaves (finely chopped)



  • Clean and wash chicken well. Drain completely so no water remains.
  • Marinate with ginger garlic paste, turmeric, red chilli powder, salt, yogurt, chicken masala or garam masala.
  • Cover & set aside for about 45 mins to 1 hour. It can also be left overnight in the refrigerator.

How to make chicken masala

  • Heat oil in a pan or pot. Saute cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms and bay leaf in hot oil for a min. You can also add curry leaves if you have.
  • Next add in green chilies and onions. Saute them until the onions turn completely golden.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes off.
  • Pour the tomato puree. Then add salt, red chili powder and garam masala as well.
  • Saute this very well until the mixture begins to leave the pan.
  • At this stage you can also see oil getting separated from the mixture.
  • Add marinated chicken and saute for 4 to 5 mins on a medium flame.
  • Turn the flame to completely low and cook covered for 5 mins.
  • Turn the chicken pieces and mix everything well. Add coriander leaves or mint leaves and give a stir.
  • Cover the pan again and continue to cook on a low heat until chicken is completely cooked to soft and tender. Chicken gets cooked in its own moisture, so don’t need to add water.
  • Add half tsp more garam masala and chilli powder while cooking the tomato puree.
  • Add little hot water or coconut milk to make a gravy. Cook until the gravy turns thick.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice, roti, sliced onion wedges and lemon.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.


NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Masala
Amount Per Serving
Calories 486 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 126mg42%
Sodium 729mg32%
Potassium 446mg13%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 635IU13%
Vitamin C 6.9mg8%
Calcium 64mg6%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Chicken Masala Recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.

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5 stars
This is my go-to recipe for chicken masala. So easy, and absolutely delicious. I’ve made it with and without the coconut milk, with diced chicken and with chicken on the bone, and it never fails. I’ve added spinach to it at the end as well and it’s always delicious. Perfect blend of spices. So good. I keep thinking I ought to try some of your other recipes but this one is just so tasty and easy that I come back time after time. Thank you for sharing it!

5 stars
I made this with boneless breast and coconut milk for the gravy. I had curry leaves so they definitely went in. This is a delicious dish.

5 stars
This was a fantastic recipe! I omitted the mint and it still turned out delicious. I added an entire can of coconut milk at the end to achieve my desired level of thickness. Thank you!

The recipe calls for cubed, bone-in chicken. How does one cube bone-in chicken?

First time try was a success. Everyone loved it. I didn’t have coconut milk so I used yoghurt to make the sauce. Highly recommend this for any novice. Just follow instructions to a Tee and you’ll have a prize dish. Thank you from Zambia

5 stars
I need your masala chicken curry recepie

5 stars
First attempt today, it just turned out fantastic. I cannot wait to try your other recipes. Many many thanks!

5 stars
One of the best recipes thank you for sharing

5 stars
Excellent is the word for you!!!

5 stars
Tried this recipe and it turned out to be the best ☺️

5 stars
It’s the best

Fantastic chicken masala recipe, simple and tasty, just what I have been missing in my life. Cant wait to try more.

5 stars
Turned out amazing and super tasty!!!
Awesome recipe👍

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,

Delicious chicken and very easy to make. I would like to crank up the spice a bit. What would you recommend?

5 stars
Cooked this tonight and my family approved. Thank you for sharing the recipe. So simple and delicious!!

5 stars
The recipe is absolutely fantastic. This has saved me in lockdown. As someone who knew zero cooking, your recipes have helped me so much during this lockdown

5 stars
Loved it! I did fry separately to ‘charcoal’ the chicken first before adding to the masala sauce, but otherwise followed your recipe. I also blended the sauce as my partner has trouble digesting onions in full form. I took out the cinnamon sticks first though of course!. And I added cream to the blended sauce. I particularly love the addition of mint as well as coriander and curry leaves, makes for a very refreshing sauce.

Hi Swasthi,

Thank you so much for providing awesome recipes with simple steps.

I would like to know how to make more gravy out of this dish. I added 180ml of readymade coconut milk and still, it comes out dry.

5 stars
Very tasty, precise measurements including for salt. Thank you for a delicious meal ❤

Hi Swasthi
Cooked this and it’s great would go well with the mutton keema I cooked the other week.
When it was cooked I took 1/4 of it out of the pan then added the coconut milk to the rest. As I cooked 1kg I thought it would be a good way to try both ways.
Well done on your great recipes so easy to follow. Reading them on my laptop music on enjoying cooking and the food tastes great. Can’t wait to try more.

The recipe was easy to cook and the outcome was excellent taste. Thanks from Saudi