Low Carb Chicken Tikka Masala

Before Thanksgiving, I was having a craving for Chicken Tikka Masala.  So, I looked up a recipe that was a  low-carb version, and I found one that was slightly changed to be low-carb, but taken from a great recipe book from the show, America’s Test Kitchen.  My husband LOVES that show and their food and he even bought one of their books.  So, I thought it was a great idea to use their recipe and change it accordingly.

I followed all of the instructions and guess what?  It was F’ING DELICIOUS!  My husband ate it, two days in a row.  I will be cooking this again!

I had to learn more about Indian ingredients than I ever knew about, but now I think I am getting it.  I had to buy the peppers from the local Mexican market, and the Indian spices were sold anywhere, except the Garam Masala.  I had to go to the local Indian Sweets and Spices store to get it.  I am sure that if you can’t find a store near you, you can find it online.  I did see it on Amazon.com.

The picture on the website was just like how mine looked when I was done.

One cup (not a lot) of regular chicken tikka masala could be about 45 carbs and the rice is another 45 carbs.  Then, if you eat naan bread, 24g of carbs for two quarters.  This one meal alone is way over 100g of carbs.  I can’t have any other carbs the rest of the day and that is near impossible.  It is just too much!

The recipe I followed takes out a lot of the carbs.  I didn’t do the pita, although if you use low carb pita, and only eat one half of it, you are looking about about 10g of carbs there.  Then, the cauliflower instead of rice is 5g of carbs.  And the chicken tikka masala revised is about half of the original amount.

So, without the bread, my low-carb chicken tikka masala is about 25g of carbs, 35g of carbs with the bread.  This is more diet worthy!

Here is what it looks like (and I swear that the cauliflower is so good that you don’t miss the rice.).

Chicken Tikka Masala, Low Carb

Serves 4 to 6

For a spicier dish, do not remove the ribs and seeds from the chile.

If you prefer to substitute for the Garam Masala, substitute 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.

The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and gently reheated before adding the hot chicken.

Separate Ingredients


–Serve with cauliflower.  COOK THE CAULIFLOWER for about 10-15 minutes and then grind it up (rice it) in the Cuisinart–serve.  You could cook and use a whole head for 4-6 servings.

~Making a naan substitute by lightly toasting low carb pita** in the oven then coating it with a minced garlic, sea salt and olive oil mix before toasting again to desired crispness.

Ingredients for the meal:


· 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
· 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
· 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
· 1 teaspoon table salt
· 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat
· 1 cup plain low fat Greek Yogurt
· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
· 2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
· 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger. can be the stuff in the jar (got some at the Indian store)


· 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
· 1 medium onion , diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
· 2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons).  I used the crushed garlic in a jar.
· 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger  (used the stuff in the jar)
· 1 fresh serrano chile , ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced .  You keep the outer layer and throw out the insides and seeds.  Wear gloves, be careful, don’t touch your face.  BURNS!
· 1 tablespoon tomato paste
· 1 tablespoon garam masala
· 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
· 1/2 teaspoon table salt
· 2/3 cup heavy cream
· 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves



Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.


Heat oil in large Dutch oven (big pot with lid) over medium heat until shimmering.

Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

· 3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture.

Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.

· 4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.

This was a good meal and it was low carb.  Enjoy!

One thought on “Low Carb Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. Pingback: Rice is NOT Nice! | Skinny-Rules

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