Easy Indian Tikka Masala Sauce

Restaurant-Style Indian Tikka Masala Sauce with just 6 simple ingredients!!

Easy Indian Tikka Masala Sauce
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

This Velvety Restaurant Style Indian Tikka Masala Sauce needs just 6 staple pantry ingredients. You will be surprised to learn that secret of your all-time favorite Indian Chicken Tikka Masala sauce was in these simple and easy to find ingredients and a 15 minutes recipe.

So ditch the delivery and serve an easy homemade Indian Authentic Tikka Masala Dinner even on weekdays!!

Sounds delicious? Isn't it?

Oh, and not just Chicken Tikka Masala dinner... I use this sauce a lot more ways! Tikka Masala Pasta, Tofu Tikka Masala and Rice, and even Tikka Masala Casserole to name a few! yumm!

Just 6 Staple Pantry Ingredients to make Authentic and Easy Indian Tikka Masala Sauce | chefdehome.com

Growing up, Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala had always been big part of our Sunday family dinner. My mom makes world's best tasting Chicken Tikka Masala. And it's been always in-demand among our family and friends. After marriage, I always have tried to bring her cooking magic to every plate of food I cook and serve. But, to suit my busy lifestyle and needs........ I have updated many of her classic traditional recipes. This 6 ingredients Tikka Masala is perfect example of that!

Overtime, this Tikka Masala sauce has become our family and friends favorite in most Indian-style Dinners! A evolution of classic, this recipe came into being on a very busy day and under a very short notice!!

I had few guests coming over and all they wanted to eat is Indian Curries. All food was ready when Vishal came to know... one of our guest is vegetarian. I just had some salad and rice as veggie options.

So quest was to make Indian Vegetarian Curry and time in hand was just 15 minutes.

Just 6 Staple Pantry Ingredients to make Authentic and Easy Indian Tikka Masala Sauce | chefdehome.com

Thing is, a good quality traditional marinara like Ragu Traditional Pasta Sauce, or Rao's Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce have lots of flavor of slow simmered Tikka Masala sauce. So I simmered Ragu Traditional Pasta Sauce with Indian garam masala, butter, and some seasonings! 

Viola! A velvety, buttery, fragrant Tikka Masala Sauce was ready with that signature deep orange color and amazingly Restaurant Quality flavor....... and I was ready to host a prefect dinner party!

Just 6 Staple Pantry Ingredients to make Authentic and Easy Indian Tikka Masala Sauce | chefdehome.com

My guests kept asking for recipe and I promised them to share on blog. Soon after I publish this post, I'm going to send'em this link. :) This sauce has become like my new modern family tradition. Everyone who tastes it wants to get the recipe. 

Secret to making this easy version of Tikka Masala sauce is all in a good quality Marinara Pasta Sauce.

Remember, your Pasta Sauce is main flavor-base for the Tikka Masala sauce. So choose a good quality and smooth marinara sauce such as Ragu Traditional and then serve a delicious Indian Dinner under 20 minutes!

Today, my age-old family recipe is updated and calls for an Italian Pasta Sauce! I hope you will enjoy a taste of my heritage with this "updated classic".

Chicken Tikka Masala Dinner is incomplete without a homemade Soft Garlic Naan!

Homemade No Yeast Garlic Butter Naan Homemade Indian Butter Naan Homemade Restaurant-Style Indian Garlic Naan

Easy Indian Tikka Masala Sauce

4.9 (12 reviews)
Easy Indian Tikka Masala Sauce
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Indian () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 3-4 Cups - Serves: 4
(No. of servings depends on serving size.)


Tikka Masala Sauce
Smart Swap: Use any protein of your choice. Chicken to Indian Paneer, all taste great.


  • 1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy bottom deep pan. Add garam masala and cook until fragrant. (about 30 secs)
  • 2. Add cayenne (or Indian Red Chili Pepper), grated garlic, honey, and marinara sauce with 1/2 cup of water. Bring to boil and simmer for 6-7 minute on medium-low heat.
  • 3. Add heavy cream and remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter. Heat the sauce for 1 minute while mixing the ingredients. I usually start with 1/4 cup of cream and then taste and adjust with few tablespoons more. Taste and adjust salt. Remove from heat.
  • 4. Tikka Masala Sauce is ready!! Serve plain with rice. Or mix with your favorite protein and serve with traditional Indian Naan. Enjoy!
Savita's Notes:
  1. Marinara Sauce will already have salt. So add salt only at the end after tasting. You can add more honey at that point if like more sweet.
  2. Tip: For more flavor, slice half of a medium white onion into half moon slices and sauté with butter and garam masala until onions are soft, then proceed to Step -2 as described in the Recipe Card.
  3. Homemade Garam Masala: Fresh ground (preferably homemade) garam masala will give even more distinct spice flavor to Tikka Masala Sauce. Try my Garam Masala recipe to make masala at home.
  4. Toasted spices bloom in sauce. So flavors keep improving as sauce sits. For the record, the leftovers of all curries are more flavorful the next day. This makes recipe perfect to make ahead.

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48 Responses

  1. Is heavy cream double cream? Im just about to shop for this recipe, but have never heard of heavy cream....
  2. Delicious! Made twice the recipe and substituted cream with vegan cream. Used Chickpeas and potatoes and it was perfect with rice for a weekday meal.
  3. Thank you, Savita! You saved dinner tonight! I thought I ruined an entire flat of chicken drumsticks. I tried to make slow cooker "tandoori" chicken, and it was so terribly bland. I found this recipe, made it, and dumped all of the chicken into it and my entire family loved it. Thank you for sharing your gifts with the world!
    Thanks, Kris. I'm glad to share the recipe. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
  4. I have been buying Indian sauces and shaming my mother for a while, but Im out of the one I was using and I thought "I have a fully stoked Indian Pantry, can I MAKE a replacement for store-bought? I followed your recipe, with a few tweaks, I spiced it up more with cumin, turmeric, toasted coriander, MSG, and a couple different chili powders. My Garam Masala wasnt too fresh, so I more than doubled it. Always remember that spices lose their flavor, so any recipe is a starting point, your taste buds will tell you where to go from there! I was really shocked at how wonderful it came out. I think your recipe is more traditional and classic, as they do it in the restaurants, but It is a great starting point for experimentation, as well. Many thanks!
  5. You mentioned tofu & “any protein,” but you should definitely make a callout to tikka masala chickpeas; another fantastic option for us vegetarians.
    Thanks for mentioning. Chickpeas are, for sure, a great source vegetarian protein. This sauce will be perfect with chickpeas.
  6. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it and I’m queen of secret short cuts. haha 😂 family friends never know how quick I’ve made something that takes hours. l am going to make this masala sauce tonight and will add some chopped already cooked chicken and serve with heated frozen garlic naan! I do cook the rice. lol
  7. Hey, great post, but why cant i copy the text?
  8. I made this today for my family and they loved it! I served the sauce with breaded and fried soya chunks. Thank you for such an easy recipe. The only thing I did was to cut way back on the cayenne pepper because my husband and I are hot spice wimps, lol.
  9. I loved this recipe. It certainly couldn't have been easier. However, I cooked the sauce as written but it still tasted like marinara. So I ended up adding 3 times as much garam masala as listed in the recipe. And at that point it was awesome! I added some leftover rotisserie chicken and basmati rice. It was fantastic. I will definitely make this again.
  10. How do you incorporate the chicken ? How long do you cook it for? Excited to try this recipe.
    You can use any kind of protein with this sauce. You can use pre-cooked chicken for a quick dinner. Or I would dice chicken into small pieces, marinate with lemon, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Saute in pan until no longer pink and then remove in plate. Cook sauce in same pan, then add back chicken while sauce simmer so that it is fully cooked. Chicken thighs work best with tikka masala. I hope it helps.
  11. This recipe is absolutely great. I made it to spec and added two drained cans of chickpeas during the simmering phase. Exactly what I was looking for: a quick, easy, and cheap vegetarian meal.
  12. Can this Tikka masala sauce be frozen if making a large amount?
  13. Would this recipe work for eggs benedict with naan, poached eggs and sauce?
    This sauce will work perfect with naan. You can use any protein you prefer.
  14. AMAZING! Thank you!!! My husband & I always buy canned simmmer sauces. This one was out of this world! I loved how I knew every ingredient I was eating! We served over cauliflower rice & simmered the sauce more with chicken, onions & bell peppers!! Will not go back to the canned sauces again!!!
    Thanks for letting me know. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Tikka Masala Sauce. Homemade is the best!
  15. HI! I had THE MOST DELICIOUS tikka masala in Ireland. It was smooth, mild and almost sweet. Is that what this recipe is? IF not, could you give me a recommendation I have tried so many masala recipes with no luck of coming close to the one I had in Ireland! Thank you
  16. it was wow loved it being an hospitality student
  17. I don't buy heavy cream in general but I make my own yogurt. Could I substitute that or sour cream for the heavy cream?
    Heavy cream is used to mellow the tang of sauce and make it creamy. Homemade yogurt will not work for this, Sour Cream can. Please mix sour cream at the end. Since sour cream is little sour, it will not tone down tikka masala sauce a lot but still be nicely creamy. I hope it helps.
  18. OMGoodness!!! Loved it! So tasty. Just right. Thanks ever so much. I needed to spice up chicken and serve/prepare something different for dinner. My hubby is Trini and we love different variations of Indian cuisine. Thanks again!
    Ellecia, thanks. We are glad you enjoyed Tikka Masala Sauce.
  19. First time ever tried an Indian style meal. I used my own Italian sauce as base. Smelled wonderful in cooking. Taste? Sensational. Definitely an addition to our meals repertoire. Thank you for recipe.
    Cimmie, I'm glad you enjoyed. Thanks for wonderful feedback.
  20. Hi, Savita... I test your recipe and my kids love it and clean it :D. Do you know a simple way of making butter chicken masala sauce too? Please share :(
    Hi Bromo, I'm glad your family enjoyed tikka masala. I'll most certainly share the butter chicken masala sauce. Please subscribe to CDH newsletter for updates.
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