Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

This recipe is always a crowd pleaser on tour and super delicious. With lots of rich flavour from the cloves and star anise, this meal is perfect for a cold winters night! As usual our quantities below are for a hungry horde of walkers so you may need to adjust for your family or you will be enjoying it all week.

Serves 15

  • 2.7 kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-inch piece whole ginger, peeled and grated (or 2 tsp ground ginger)
  • 5 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1.5 tsp cardamom pods, squashed
  • 5 Tbs garam masala
  • 1.5 Tbs smoked paprika
  • 1/2 Tbs turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1 big can (800 ml) and 1 little can (400 ml) diced tomatoes (use discretion – might not need that much liquid)
  • 250 ml cream
  • Fresh coriander, chopped for garnish→ If you have time: Marinate the chicken in 1/2 cup yogurt for up to 6 hours. Shake to remove excess yogurt before transferring to the slow cooker.→ If you have time: Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat in a fry pan until softened, then stir in the ginger, tomato paste, and spices until fragrant. Transfer to the slow cooker with the chicken and diced tomatoes. This will give your tikka masala more depth of flavour.


    1. Put everything except cream and coriander into slow cooker. Toss to coat chicken.
    2. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
    3. 20 minutes before the end of cooking, stir in the cream and leave the lid off so the sauce thickens a bit. Taste and add more garam masala or salt to taste.

    Recipe Notes

    • Chicken breasts can be substituted for the thighs, though I find thighs hold up better over the long cooking and breasts tend to fall into shreds. Still delicious, though!

    • For a little of that smoky, tandoori flavor, try using roasted tomatoes.


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