Tender chicken marinated in aromatic spices is slow cooked in a delicious tomato-based curry for the best Indian meal.
Cut the chicken breasts into 2 to 3 inch cubes. Add 2 teaspoon salt and lemon juice and mix well. Add yogurt, red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, ginger and garlic. Mix well and allow to marinate while you prep remaining ingredients.
Heat oil a medium pan. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring frequently until the onions start to soften and turn translucent. Note: If you are using Instant Pot as a slow cooker, you can saute in the instant pot itself.
Add the cooked onions to the crockpot / slow cooker and spread it evenly. Evenly layer tomato puree over the onions. Line the marinated chicken over the tomato puree. Place the crockpot lid and set the cooking time to Slow Cook (Hi) and adjust the cook time to 4 hours.
After 4 hours, your kicthen will be filled with the beautiful aromas of the curry. Add heavy cream, crush the fenugreel leaves on the palm of your hands and add to the curry. Mix well, taste and add tomato paste. Mix well and more cream if needed. Note: Optionally you can add 1 teaspoon of sugar to balance all the flavors. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with basmati rice and naan.
To make chicken tikka masala without cream or dairy-free, you can either use unsweetened coconut cream (I love Trader Joe's) or homemade cashew cream. To make the cashew cream at home simply blend 1/2 cup of cashews in half cup of warm water and make a smooth paste.
If you do not have a good brand of tomato puree like the Pomi one, you can puree 3 fresh tomatoes in a blender and use that instead.
I like to use chicken breasts in this recipe, but you can also use chicken thighs, simply cut each thigh into 2 pieces.