Skinny Chicken Tikki Masala

It is funny the things women think of when we can’t sleep. If I’m awake, I’m making mini to-do lists in my head. I woke up yesterday morning at 2:15 and just couldn’t fall back asleep. Finally at 3:30 I was getting mad at myself for just laying there, so I decided that I was going to get up and be productive. Monday is my long day at school. I have back to back cooking classes and usually go in at 7:30 in the morning and leave around 7 at night. This totally cramps my style for cooking dinner once I am home. So I decided that since I was already awake I would just go ahead and prep dinner. I had never chopped onions or garlic at 3:30 in the morning before yesterday! haha. My prep work only took about 15-20 minutes so I decided to go ahead and make the brown rice while I was at it. I hate insomnia but I love quick dinners when I get home from a long day. 🙂

Chicken tikki masala is usually marinated in yogurt and spices and then cooked in a creamy tomato sauce with spices. It isn’t spicy but the aroma is incredible. So naturally I was pretty excited to see this recipe on skinnytastes blog. I tweaked her recipe below with a buttermilk marinade and added some spices. Speaking of spices, you should be able to find all of the spices in your local grocery store. This dish came in under 500 calories with 1 cup of cooked brown rice and the tweaks I made to the recipe. Wahoo!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes


Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala (adapted from 


16 oz (2 boneless) chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons buttermilk


2 tsp canola oil or you could use butter

1 small onion, minced

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes

4 oz fat free Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)

1/2 cup 1% milk

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric (optional) I didn’t use this, only because I forgot to buy it!

1 tsp cardamom

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp chili powder

salt to taste (tip: I added about 3/4 teaspoon, season to your tastes)

4 tbsp fresh cilantro (or to taste)

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl or ziploc bag (chicken, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, sprinkle of salt and pepper and buttermilk). Allow to marinate as long as you can, as little as 1 hour as long as 12 hours, refrigerated.
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden. Add the crushed ginger, stir for a few minutes then add the garlic and cook another minute. Add cumin, garam masala, turmeric, cardamom, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt; mix well until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, yogurt and milk. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Add chicken (with marinade) and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until cooked through. Add a generous amount of chopped cilantro and serve with Bamati Rice or Naan (or brown rice like us!).
Serves 4



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in 500 Calories or less, Chicken Dishes. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Skinny Chicken Tikki Masala

  1. Abby says:

    What a fantastic recipe! I’m always on the hunt for lighter, healthier recipes that don’t require me to give up flavor. This looks like a winner! Thanks for sharing.