Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes


Turkey Tikka Masala

6 servings


2 hours

total time


2 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

4 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 teaspoon kosher salt

6 cloves garlic, finely grated or pounded in a mortar and pestle

4 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

1 cup whole-milk yogurt

4 cups cooked turkey (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

4 tablespoons ghee or neutral-tasting oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

6 cardamom pods, crushed

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic, finely grated or pounded in a mortar and pestle

2 serrano peppers, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish

Juice of 1 small lemon

Steamed basmati rice, for serving


Make the marinade: In a medium bowl, stir together garam masala, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, kosher salt, garlic, ginger and yogurt. Fold in the turkey. Cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

Make the masala: On the stove top, heat a Dutch oven or similar pot over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons ghee or neutral oil, then add onion, cardamom, bay leaf, paprika, pepper flakes (if using), garam masala and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are brown and tender, 10 to 15 minutes, adjusting temperature as needed so the onion doesn’t burn.

Make space among onions in center of pot, and add 1 tablespoon ghee or neutral oil. When ghee has melted or oil begins to shimmer, add ginger, garlic and serrano peppers, and sizzle for about 10 seconds. Combine that mixture with the spiced onions. Stir in tomato paste. Add tomatoes and their juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is almost gone, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add cream and chopped cilantro to the pot. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

In the meantime, line a baking sheet with foil, turn on oven broiler, and arrange an oven rack about 6 inches from broiling unit. Lay the marinated turkey on the foil in a single layer. Stir any remaining marinade into the sauce. Broil until turkey begins to blacken in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

Use a hand-held blender (or blender) to purée the sauce, then add turkey and return the sauce to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just warmed through. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice. Taste and adjust salt as needed.

To serve, garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve hot, with steamed basmati rice. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.


Serving Size




Total Fat

44 g

Saturated Fat

21 g

Unsaturated Fat

21 g

Trans Fat

0 g




994 mg

Total Carbohydrate

28 g

Dietary Fiber

5 g

Total Sugars

10 g


29 g

6 servings


2 hours

total time
Start Cooking