This delicious fakeaway tikka masala recipe can be made three ways with – chicken, paneer or chickpeas and cauliflower. 

Takeaways often come in plastic food containers with disposable utensils. They're a big part of the plastic pollution in our waste system – and in our seas. This tasty tikka masala has all of the flavour and none of the plastic pollution.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tablespoons of oil (vegetable or coconut)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (optional)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chicken tikka masala paste (use shop-bought or make your own - see recipe, below)
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks (jarred red peppers are convenient)
  • 400 gram can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons of mango chutney
  • 150ml natural yogurt (you can use dairy or vegan yoghurt, double cream or oat cream are also good alternatives)
  • chopped coriander leaves, to serve
  • Now for the protein - for a vegetarian alternative use 300 grams of diced paneer, for a vegan alternative use chickpeas and/ or roasted cauliflower, for a meat alternative use 300 grams of diced chicken (thigh has the most flavour)
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Masala paste (if making yourself)

  • 1 onion, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, skins removed
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger, skin removed
  • 1 red chilli, stalk removed (include the seeds for warmth)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds or powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds or powder
  • 1 teaspoon  turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (this is where the colour comes from)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • seeds from 4 cardamom pods (optional)


  1. Prepare all ingredients as described above. If making the paste, blitz all ingredients in a blender or smoothie maker.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil and butter (if using) in a large pan with a lid on the hob over a medium to high heat. Then add the onions and cook until soft and golden.
  3. Add the masala paste and tomato puree and the red peppers and cook for about 3 minutes until the spices smell fragrant and aromatic.
  4. Add the paneer, chicken or chickpeas/ cauliflower and stir well to coat in the paste. Cook for 2 minutes, then tip in the chopped tomatoes and 200 millilitres of water.
  5. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally (if using chicken make sure it is cooked through).
  6. Remove the lid, stir through the mango chutney (this is to replicate the sweetness you taste in a takeaway tikka) and natural yogurt (or alternative), then gently warm through.
  7. Season to taste with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Scatter the with coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice/ naan bread.

Food savvy tip

This sauce will refrigerate and keep well for at least a week. You could also make a big batch and freeze it in portions, defrosting when you are ready to use.

Check out 15 other freezer friendly foods


Hungry for more

Check out our other fakeaway recipes to get that delicious high street flavour in your own home.