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Is Chicken Tikka Masala an English Dish?

Yes, it is! When you think of ‘British food’ you might think of fish and chips, but because Britain is multicultural, it has strong links with European and Asian food too.

The most popular Indian curry in Britain is the Chicken Tikka Masala, but did you know that this dish did not originally exist in India? It was created by Indian restaurants in Britain, for the British people.

Since at least the 1950’s, Indian cuisine has been a part of British culture.

But What is Chicken Tikka Masala?

Let’s break it down!

Chicken – easy, it’s chicken 😉.

Tikka – chilli, garlic and ginger that the chicken is soaked in.

Masala – the spicy, creamy sauce.

Fun Facts!

This spicy curry has more than 20 ingredients!

Masala sauce is made from onion, chilli, turmeric and cream.

To marinate means to soak pieces of meat in spices and liquid before cooking.

The meat absorbs chilli and other spices, and this adds lots of flavour!

The chicken is cooked in a pan before it is added to the Masala sauce.

A Chicken Tikka Masala is usually eaten with rice and naan bread.

How to make a Chicken Tikka Masala in 5 Easy Steps

You will need:

4 chicken breasts chopped into smaller pieces

A small piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped (this means cut into small pieces)

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red chilli

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

A small amount of coriander, finely chopped

Spices: turmeric and chilli powder

Lemon and lime juice

Vegetable oil


Salt and pepper

Naan bread and rice

Step 1. Put 1 tablespoon of oil in a large bowl with the juice of half a lime. Mix in the ginger, chilli powder, garlic, coriander and salt and pepper. Add the chopped chicken to the mix.

Step 2. Let the chicken marinate (soak in the spices and oil) for at least 10 minutes. Then heat a pan and cook the chicken for around 10 minutes until it turns brown. This is the chicken tikka.

Step 3. For the masala sauce, take a new pan and cook the onion and chilli in oil. Add turmeric and cream then cook on a low heat.

Step 4. Add the marinated chicken to the masala sauce and gently cook for another 5 minutes. Test the chicken to make sure it is cooked all through. Add the juice of half a lemon. Step 5. Finally, add a little coriander on top and serve in a bowl with naan bread and rice.

Curries and Chinese food have been British favourites for many decades. And did you also know that the British habit of drinking tea came from abroad? That’s right, we brought tea back from China during the time of the British Empire. Britain also has Afro-Caribbean links from settlers who arrived in the last 90 years. In cities like Liverpool, Birmingham and London, Caribbean takeaways and restaurants are very popular. We hope you have enjoyed this blog. As always, you will progress more by reading, listening and practising your English so make sure you check out IQ Global for free resources and our YouTube channel. See you next time!

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