Shrimp Tikka Masala Recipe

Updated: May 13, 2024, By Swasthi

This Shrimp Tikka Masala is a delicious way to enjoy your favorite shrimp or prawn. The dish is packed with warm Indian flavors, that’s satisfying & nutritious. Served over steamed rice or with Chapati, Roti, Naan, this Shrimp Masala is sure to delight the entire family. You can make the sauce/gravy ahead and refrigerate. When the mood kicks in for a delicious seafood or a curry, add your shrimp to the reheated gravy & simmer.

Shrimp tikka masala recipe

Recipe Comments

Tikka Masala is one of the most popular Indian curried dishes. An Indian restaurant menu is incomplete without a Tikka masala and Tikka kebabs. Though the first tikka masala dish was made with chicken, today you will find so many variations using seafood, veggies and even paneer/ tofu.

About Shrimp Tikka Masala

Shrimp Tikka Masala as the name says is simply shrimp or prawn briefly cooked in a tikka masala (gravy/sauce). In this post, I share the absolute best way to cook shrimp in a gravy. This tikka masala gravy has bursting flavors of shrimp infused and it tastes so different from the chicken tikka masala or the vegetarian versions.

The texture of the shrimp is also great without being overcooked or turning hard & rubbery. You can use shrimp or prawns whatever is available to you and that won’t affect the taste or flavor of the dish. Make the tikka masala smooth & silky or a semi-smooth or a coarse gravy to suit your taste & preferences.

You can make the entire dish ahead or just the gravy, later add shrimp to your convenience while you reheat. To make the dish you need very basic ingredients like onions, tomatoes, ginger garlic, spices, lemon/lime and little cream (dairy or nut) if you want to make it creamy. Though cream is always added to tikka masala, you can leave out to make the dish diary-free.

Alternately you may use nut paste/cream like the way I did. For the nut paste you can use soaked cashews or almond flour, whatever you have. I use almond flour for convenience. Shrimp Tikka Masala tastes delicious even without cream or nut paste, the only difference is it won’t be creamy.

More similar recipes
Prawn Curry
Prawn Fry
Dum Prawn Biryani
Shrimp Pakora

Indian shrimp tikka masala

Photo Guide

How to Make Shrimp Masala (Stepwise Photos)


1. For this recipe, you will first prepare and make the gravy. Later prepare the shrimp only when required. Chop 1 medium onion to make it 1 cup fine chopped & 2 medium tomatoes to make 1¼ cup fine chopped. You will also need 1 ½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste (or both grated). You can use a onion chopper or a food processer to save time.

onions tomatoes ginger garlic for tikka masala gravy

2. Measure your ground spices for gravy and for the shrimp tikka separately (pics below).

  • 1 to 1¼ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

Optionally you will need ¼ cup whipping cream or If you want to use almond or cashew cream, soak 10 cashews or 3 tablespoons almond flour in ¼ cup hot water. Grind this to a smooth thick paste later (while you cook the tomatoes). If required add 2 to 3 tbsps more water.

ground spices & almond cream

3. For the shrimp tikka, you need

  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Kashmiri Red chilli powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon kasuri methi (optional)
ground spices for shrimp tikka

Make Tikka Masala

4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan and add the onions. Saute on a medium high to medium flame until golden. This step takes about 6 to 7 mins.

sautéing onions for tikka masala

5. Reduce the heat and add ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute.

ginger garlic for gravy

6. Stir in the ground spices for tikka masala gravy.

add ground spices

7. Immediately pour 3 to 4 tablespoons water and cook until the water evaporates.

8. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute until mushy. If you want you may cook covered to speed up the process.

9. Add the nut paste if using. If you choose to use the cream add it later at the last step.

10. Saute for 2 minutes, until you see a little oil releasing on the sides.

11. Pour1 ½ cups water and bring it to a rolling boil on a medium high heat.

12. Turn down the heat. Cook covered until the onions soften completely.

13. Add 1 teaspoon kasuri methi and ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar. Taste test and add more salt if needed. This is the consistency when it is done. Tikka Masala is ready. If you want you may cook the shrimp directly in this sauce or puree for smooth texture.

tikka masala sauce in a kadai

14. Optional step: – If you want you may cool this and blend to a smooth puree adding more water (half cup or a little more). If you like a little texture in your sauce, then blend a part of the masala.

Taste test and adjust salt after blending. If you feel the sauce still has a raw flavor you may cook for a little longer. But I never do it at this stage and all the cooking happens before blending. At this stage your sauce should be delicious and flavorsome (minus the shrimp flavor).

pureed tikka masala sauce

Make Shrimp Tikka

15. Clean, devein & rinse your shrimp under running water. If you want you may remove the tails as well. But cooking shrimp with the tails on impart a flavor to your tikka masala gravy. I am using Tiger Prawns here.

cleaned shrimp

16. Drain any excess water in the bowl. Add all the spice required for the shrimp. Do not add a lot of lemon juice. You only need 2 teaspoons.

marinated shrimp

17. Mix well and rest for 5 to 8 mins. Do not leave them too long.

18. Pour 1 tablespoon oil to a pan & heat it on a medium flame. When it is medium hot (not very hot), layer your shrimp.

19. Let cook only for a minute and then turn them quickly with a tong. (If the flame is high, the spices are likely to burn.)

shrimp tikka in a pan

20. You will see the masala begins to smoke and brown after a minute. Pour the cooled or warm gravy immediately. You will cook the shrimp only for 2 mins in total (1 minute each side).

Note: Pouring hot sauce to the pan will cook the shrimp instantly. So they won’t absorb the flavors well. Cool down the sauce before adding, this helps them to soak up the flavors well. Also make sure it is not very cold. Sudden temperature changes is likely going to affect the flavor & texture of shrimp.

21. Mix well and cook on a low heat only until your shrimp takes on a “C” Shape. You don’t need to cook for a long time, it only takes a few minutes depending on the size of your shrimp or prawn. If you overcook they will take on a “O” shape meaning they are overcooked & are likely to turn hard. Take the pan off the stove and keep the pan covered.

If you are using cream, add ¼ cup whipping cream and mix well.

cooking shrimp in tikka masala

Add chopped coriander leaves if you prefer and garnish with little cream. I used almond cream here. Serve Shrimp Tikka Masala with Steamed rice, Chapati, Roti or Naan.

shrimp tikka masala

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

shrimp tikka masala

Shrimp Tikka Masala (Shrimp Masala)

5 from 18 votes
This Shrimp Tikka Masala is delicious and easy to make! Serve it over steamed rice or with chapati, roti, naan or parathas.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Diet : Gluten Free

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

For Masala

  • 1 cup onions fine chopped (1 medium)
  • cup tomatoes (deseeded & chopped, 2 medium)
  • teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil (or 2 tbsp oil & 1 tbsp ghee)
  • 1 to 1¼ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder (read notes)
  • teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kasuri methi
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup whipping cream (optional or 3 tablespoons almond flour or 10 cashews, read notes)
  • 1½ to 2 cups water

For the Tikka

  • 325 grams shrimp or tiger prawns (deveined & cleaned (about 0.75 pounds))
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Kashmiri Red chilli powder
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon kasuri methi (optional)


Make Tikka Masala Gravy

  • Heat a pan with oil and add onions. Stir fry until deep golden to light brown.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute.
  • Reduce the heat to lowest. Stir in Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt.
  • Immediately pour 3 to 4 tablespoons water and cook until the water evaporates.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute on a medium high heat for 3 mins. Cover and simmer until the tomatoes break down to a mush.
  • Reduce the heat and stir in the nut paste (optional) and cook until you see traces of oil on the top or sides of the pan. (If using cream wait until the last step)
  • Pour water and bring it to a rolling boil. Cover and simmer until the gravy turns thick and the onions are softened.
  • Add sugar and kasuri methi. Taste test and add more salt if you want. Mix and turn off. Your tikka masala is ready.
  • For this recipe, it is essential to cool down the sauce a bit before cooking your shrimp with the sauce. Else your shrimp will be bland.
  • Optional – If you want a smooth sauce, cool this and blend to a smooth gravy, adding more water if required. If you want some texture in the gravy, blend only a part of it.

Make Shrimp Tikka

  • Mix together shrimp, lemon juice, red chilli powder, salt, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric, garlic powder (optional) and kasuri methi. Rest aside for 5 to 8 mins.
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil or ghee to a wide skillet or pan. Spread the oil and begin to heat on a medium heat.
  • When the pan is medium hot, begin to layer the marinated shrimp and cook just for a minute. Quickly with a tong, turn them to the other side and cook for another minute. Do not burn.
  • Immediately pour the cooled or warm tikka masala to the pan. Stir and cook on a low heat just until the shrimp transform to a “C” shape, which means they are cooked. It takes only about 2 to 3 mins depending on the size of your shrimps. Do not overcook.
  • Take the pan off the stove and stir in cream if using. Keep covered until served,
  • Turn off and garnish shrimp tikka masala with cream and chopped coriander leaves.


  1. Reduce red chilli powder if you don’t intend to use cream or nut paste.
  2. Do not leave the shrimp to marinate for too long. They will begin to cook due to the acidic ingredient – lemon juice. 5 to 10 mins is just okay.
  3. Blending the sauce gives a much superior taste and texture but authentic tikka masala is not blended to a smooth sauce. It is up to you but we personally love the smooth sauce.
  4. It is essential to cool the sauce before adding it to the shrimp. Adding hot sauce will cook them instantly and they won’t be flavorful. Let them cook slowly so absorb the flavors better.
  5. The spices used to marinate the shrimp can burn too fast if the heat is high. These ground spices add a smoky flavor to the sauce.


Watch the Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Shrimp Tikka Masala (Shrimp Masala)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 298 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 0.04g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 197mg66%
Sodium 1150mg50%
Potassium 663mg19%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 1442IU29%
Vitamin C 19mg23%
Calcium 119mg12%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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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. More about me

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5 stars
Half of the shrimp did not make it to the sauce. They were delicious and the sauce was exceptional! Next time going to double the shrimp. Thank you for another fabulous recipe

5 stars
This recipe is amazing! First time my shrimp did not overcook in a curry. Used coconut cream and it turned out perfect.

5 stars
We have made so many of your recipes at home and they have become staples. This shrimp masala is top-notch, better than we have ever eaten in a restaurant. Served it with basmati rice and kachumber.

5 stars
I enjoyed the shrimp and had all the spices. I had made my tikki masala and frozen it so this was very fast and I made my naan too. I did add a dab of yogurt to my dish also.

5 stars
Delicious! My husband loved it. How do I store the leftovers and reheat? Thank you.