Chicken · Entree

Dairy-Free Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

This is one of my favorite Indian dishes. Since I am trying to avoid dairy, I decided to create a dairy-free chicken tikka masala.  I replaced the heavy cream with coconut milk, and kept all the authentic spices. I had also promised to start posting more turmeric recipes. Here it is!

It was a quiet labor day afternoon. As I made this, a former neighbor and friend decided to come visit and finally meet Lucia. It was shocking to see her walk through the door, she had lost so much weight and baggage, both literally and figuratively! At first I stared at her, not recognizing her until she spoke and her voice registered! She had this glow I had never seen before, she had had a few life changing experiences and I hadn’t heard anything about them. We realized that we hadn’t seen each other in almost 2 years. The truly sad part of this: she lives less than a mile away. Facebook has really changed the dynamic of friendships.  We think we stay in touch with our friends because we see a few pictures and status updates, so we don’t pick up the phone, visit them in person to have a meaningful conversation, or ask to find out what is “really” going on in their lives. Birthday greetings have lost some of their meaning as well, since Facebook prompts everyone about everyone’s birthday. A couple of words are posted on someone’s wall, and voila’, done deal.  More often than not the word birthday isn’t even fully spelled. I am guilty of the “Happy Bday” empty line myself.

Has technology changed the way you interact with others?  Anyways, enough about midday epiphanies, and back to the recipe. It was a success!

Ingredients for the chicken marinade:

1.5 lbs of boneless chicken
2 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of cumin
½ tbsp on lemon zest
1 tbsp of lemon juice
½ tsp of black pepper
1 tbsp of fresh ground or finely grated ginger
1 tbsp of oil of preference

Ingredients for the sauce:

2 tbsp of oil
1 medium onion diced into small pieces
14 ounces of full fat canned or homemade coconut milk
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of garam masala
1 tsp of fresh ground ginger
1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced or cayenne pepper to taste
2 tbsp of fresh chopped cilantro


  • Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and let sit in the refrigerator overnight or for at least an hour.
  • Grill or broil the chicken on high heat until is slightly charred, the inside of the chicken does not need to be cooked as you will cook it with the sauce later.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions and oil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until they are translucent and starting to brown.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce (except the cilantro)and continue to cook for about 5 minutes
  • Cut the chicken in large slices and add to the sauce, continue to cook until the chicken is done
  • Remove from heat, mix in the cilantro, and let stand covered for about 5 minutes
  • Serve and garnish with more cilantro


Serves 4




8 thoughts on “Dairy-Free Chicken Tikka Masala

  1. This sounds so good I am drooling at 6:45AM!!! The picture is luscious, and as a dairy-allergy sufferer I have never had this dish. Now I am checking my pantry to make sure I have everything I need! 😉


  2. Cannot wait to try the recipe. Want to thank you for your profound comments concerning Facebook. FB does have great value but we must not use it to maintain contact with our friends and family.


  3. I am making this today for the second time in the past few months. This is so delicious! I used sesame oil this time and wondering how that will turn out… I am watching my carb intake so I’ll eat this with cauliflower instead of rice. Thank you for the delicious and easy recipe! The hardest part for me is zesting the lemon; it’s a super easy recipe. Oh yeah, and I use cod fish instead of chicken, making it a dairy free fish tikka masala.


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