Easy homemade Lamb Tikka Masala recipe made with grilled tender lamb cooked in aromatic creamy curry sauce. One of the most popular Indian restaurants lamb curry dishes and you will love how easy it is to make it at home. Serve with naan bread or fluffy basmati rice to complement the dish.
The Tikka Masala recipe is originated in India but modified and recreated in Scotland by a Bangladeshi chef in the 1970s. One of the most popular Indian restaurant dishes is loved by everyone across the UK. In restaurants and takeaways, tikka masala is made with pre-cooked lamb and combined with a pre-cooked base curry gravy right before the dish is served.
Traditionally diced lamb is marinated in spices, yoghurt marinade, and cooked in a tandoor oven. For a home cook like us, you can either grill it over the grill pan or in an oven until charred. Then cook them in the homemade curry sauce. All ingredients used in this recipe are easy to get from local grocery stores or supermarkets.
If you are finding a good creamy lamb curry, this is the right recipe for you. Hearty, delicious, aromatic lamb tikka masala made from scratch will soon be your favourite curry.
What do we need
- Lamb - You can use boneless lamb leg, lamb shoulder, sirloin, or any cut of your choice with a bit of fat but trim out excess fat. A bit of fat in the meat keeps the meat moist and tender when you grill it. Juicy tender meat and a bit of melted fat add more rich buttery flavour to the curry.
- Shallot onions - If you have tried our previous curry recipes you might already know that we love to use shallots in our curries. Shallot onions are less moist and are easy to melt in the gravy. You don't really need any food processor or blender. Finely chop the onions and cook until onions are slightly crisp up and brown before you add the other ingredients.
- Ginger & Garlic Paste - Freshly grated garlic and ginger are one of the secrets to cooking a flavourful curry sauce.
- Yoghurt - Use plain or natural yoghurt to marinate the lamb pieces. Yoghurt helps tenderize the meat and keep the meat tender.
- Ground Spices - I am not adding any whole spices in this recipe as tikka masala sauce should be smooth and creamy. Chilli powder, garam masala, cumin powder, turmeric, and ground coriander are everyday cupboard-friendly ingredients that you can easily find in your local grocery stores.
- Why do you add cream to the curry? Classic British restaurant-style Indian lamb masala is rich and creamy with cream milk in the curry. You can use double cream ( heavy cream in the US ), or full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream for this recipe.
How to make lamb tikka masala
- Prepare the lamb: Cut the lamb into medium bite-size pieces. Combine the lamb pieces with turmeric, chilli powder, yoghurt, salt, garam masala, garlic paste, and ginger. Mix everything well, cover with cling flim and let it marinade for at least 1 hour. If you have more time you can leave more hours or leave it in the fridge overnight.
- Grill the marinated lamb over the gill, grill pan, skillet, or in the oven over medium high heat for 4-5 mintues or until charred on both sides. Set them aside.
- Cook the curry sauce: Heat the heavy bottom pot or pan to medium heat. Add ghee and oil. Sautee the onions for 1-2 minutes until soft and translucent. Then add the ginger paste and garlic paste. Stir well until the onions turns light brown. Add the tomato passata and reduce it to half.
- Once the tomato colour change and oil seperates, add the turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, cumin powder, and corinader. Stir it well for a few seconds.
- Pour in water and half of double cream and sprinkle salt to taste. Bring it to simmer and place the cooked lamb tikka to the masala sauce.
Close the lid and continue cook for another one and half hour or until the lamb is tender. Stir occasionally and add more water if the gravy is too thick.
- Stir in the rest of the cream milk and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat and sprinkle chopped coriander.
- Marinating is an essential step that you cannot skip. Marinate the meat for at least 1 hour to achieve the best tender meat result. If you have more time, you can leave it in the fridge overnight covered with cling flim.
- Grilling the meat before cooking together with curry sauce is to achieve the charred smokey flavour like a tandoor oven.
- To remove any gamey lamb smell, you need to pat dry any excess blood and trim excess lamb fat from the meat. Do not stingy with the herbs and spices. Use good amount of fresh ginger, garlic, and ground spices for the best flavour.
To complement this dish simply serve with plain chapatis, naans, garlic bread, flat bread, or fluffy basmati rice. Add Indian onion and tomato salad, lettuce, or lime wedges on the side.
Tikka masala lamb freeze and reheat well. Once the curry is completely cooled down, place it in a clean air-tight container or freezer-safe bag, then freeze it in the freeze. It usually lasts in the freeze for a couple of months.
Store the leftover lamb tikka curry in the fridge as it contains yogurt and cream in the sauce. Masala sauce gets thicker and tastier the next day. You will need to add a few tablespoons of water if the gravy is too thick. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave until piping hot. Stir in freshly chopped coriander just before serving.
Lamb tikka masala is a medium-hot creamy Indian curry with chili powder, garam masala, ground cumin, coriander, etc. You can adjust the spiciness by adjusting the chilli powder amount or substitute it with mild paprika instead.
More Delicious Lamb Curry Recipes
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Lamb Tikka Masala
- Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot to cook the curry
- Grill pan, skillet, or oven to grill the marinated lamb
Lamb and Marinade
- 600 gram Boneless lamb (About 21 oz) lamb leg, shoulder, sirloin, Cut into medium bite-size pieces
- 1 tbsp Garlic paste
- ½ tbsp Ginger paste
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Chilli powder
- 1 tsp Garam masala
- 3 tbsp Yoghurt
- 1 tsp Salt
For Masala Curry
- 3-4 Shallot onions Or brown onions, finely chopped
- 250 gram Tomato passata ( About 8.8 oz ) Or finely chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Garlic paste
- ½ tbsp Ginger paste
- 6 tbsp Double cream Divided into half
- 3 tbsp Ghee
- 2 tbsp Cooking oil vegetable or neutral flavour oil
- 1½ tsp Salt
- 1½ cup Water Add warm water. ( add more water if needed )
- Handful Coriander
- 1 tsp Chilli powder Paprika powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- 1½ tsp Garam masala
- ½ tsp Cumin powder Zeera or Jeera powder
- ½ tsp Coriander powder Ground coriander seeds
Lamb Marinade and Grill
- Marinate the lamb pieces with turmeric, chilli powder, yoghurt, salt, garam masala, garlic paste, and ginger. Combine everything well, cover with cling flim and let it marinate for at least 1 hour. You can also leave it in the fridge overnight. If you have more time you can leave more hours or leave it in the fridge overnight.
- Grill the marinated lamb over the gill, grill pan, skillet, or in the oven over medium high heat for 4-5 minutes or until charred on both sides. Remove from heat and set them aside.
Cook Tikka Masala Sauce
- Heat oil and ghee in the heavy bottom pot to medium heat. Add onions and sautee for 1-2 minutes until translucent. Add ginger, garlic paste and continue stir until the onions are brown.
- Next add the tomato passata and cook until the tomato change colour and oil separates. Add turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder and cumin powder. Stir it well for a few seconds.
- Pour in water and 3tbsp double cream. Season with salt to taste and bring it to simmer.
- Placed the grilled lamb back in the sauce, close the lid and cook with low-medium heat for one and half hours or until the meat is tender. Stir occasionally and add more warm water if needed.
- Add the rest of cream and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in chopped coriander.
- Serve with basmati rice, naan, or chapati.
- Lamb - Use lamb leg, lamb shoulder, rump, or sirloin with a bit of fat. Trim out excess fat and cut into medium-bite size pieces.
- Do not skip the lamb marinating process as it is the key step to achieving a tender and flavourful result.
- Yoghurt - Use plain natural yoghurt to marinate the lamb. It helps the meat tenderize the keep the meat moist and juicy.
- Shallot - We love to use shallot onions as they are less in moisture and easy to melt in the curry sauce.
- Tomato - I used tomato passata in this recipe, you can also use finely chopped fresh ripened tomatoes.
- Chilli powder - If you are making mild/kid-friendly curry, you can add paprika instead of hot chilli powder.
- How to store and reheat? This curry is great for meal prep and fridge and freezer friendly. Once it is completely cooled down, you can store it in the freezer-safe container and freeze it in the fridge. It usually lasts in the fridge for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until piping hot before serving. If the curry sauce is too thick, stir in water before reheating.