A Comprehensive Guide to Chicken Masala Spice: Ingredients, Uses, and Homemade Recipes

Chicken masala spice is a vibrant and aromatic blend of spices commonly used in Indian cuisine. It imparts a distinctive flavor to dishes, particularly chicken tikka masala, a beloved dish worldwide. This guide delves into the ingredients, uses, and homemade recipes for chicken masala spice, empowering you to create authentic and flavorful Indian dishes in your own kitchen.

Ingredients of Chicken Masala Spice

The harmonious blend of spices in chicken masala spice creates a symphony of flavors. Here are the key ingredients:

  • Coriander: Ground coriander seeds provide a warm, nutty, and citrusy aroma.

  • Paprika: Paprika powder adds a vibrant red color and a sweet, slightly smoky flavor.

  • Cumin: Ground cumin seeds impart an earthy, warm, and slightly bitter taste.

  • Fenugreek: Dried fenugreek leaves contribute a unique, slightly bitter and nutty flavor.

  • Chili powder: Chili powder brings a touch of heat and smokiness. Adjust the amount to your preferred spice level.

  • Ginger: Ground ginger adds a warm, pungent, and slightly sweet flavor.

  • Turmeric: Ground turmeric provides a golden-yellow color and a slightly bitter, earthy taste.

  • Nutmeg: Ground nutmeg adds a warm, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor.

  • Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon imparts a warm, sweet, and slightly woody flavor.

  • Cardamom: Ground cardamom seeds add a sweet, slightly floral, and slightly minty flavor.

  • Black pepper: Ground black pepper provides a sharp, slightly spicy flavor.

Uses of Chicken Masala Spice

Chicken masala spice is a versatile blend that enhances the flavor of various dishes. Here are some common uses:

  • Chicken tikka masala: This classic dish features tender chicken marinated in yogurt and spices, then grilled and simmered in a creamy tomato sauce.

  • Other chicken dishes: Chicken masala spice can be used as a marinade or seasoning for grilled, roasted, or stir-fried chicken dishes.

  • Vegetable dishes: Add chicken masala spice to vegetable curries, stir-fries, or roasted vegetables for a flavorful twist.

  • Soups and stews: Enhance the flavor of soups and stews by incorporating chicken masala spice.

Homemade Chicken Masala Spice Recipe

Making your own chicken masala spice blend is easy and allows you to control the ingredients and flavors. Here’s a simple recipe:


  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons paprika powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Combine all the spices in a small jar or airtight container.
  2. Shake or stir to mix thoroughly.
  3. Store the spice blend in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Tips for Using Chicken Masala Spice

  • Adjust the proportions: Feel free to adjust the proportions of the spices to suit your taste preferences. For example, if you prefer a spicier blend, add more chili powder.

  • Marinate before cooking: Marinating chicken or other meats in chicken masala spice before cooking allows the flavors to penetrate deeply, resulting in more flavorful dishes.

  • Add during cooking: You can also add chicken masala spice directly to dishes during cooking. Start with a small amount and gradually add more to taste.

  • Experiment with different dishes: Don’t limit yourself to chicken dishes. Experiment with using chicken masala spice in various recipes to discover new flavor combinations.

Chicken masala spice is a versatile and flavorful blend that adds authenticity to Indian cuisine. Whether you’re making chicken tikka masala or experimenting with other dishes, this spice blend will elevate your culinary creations. With its vibrant color and aromatic flavors, chicken masala spice is a staple in any spice cabinet.

How To Make Tikka Masala Powder

The following ingredients should be dry-roasted for 8 to 10 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly, until they are fragrant and lightly browned.

  • 3 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 15-20 whole dry Kashmiri red chilies (stalks removed)
  • 4-5 whole black cardamoms
  • 5-6 whole green cardamoms
  • 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 5-6 cloves

what is chicken masala spice made of

what is chicken masala spice made of

After turning off the heat, remove the pan and allow the ingredients to cool completely.

Add the following ingredients to a food processor or grinder along with the roasted ingredients.

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoon dry mango powder
  • 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder.

Grind to make a fine powder.

what is chicken masala spice made of

Use the tikka masala mix as needed and keep it in an airtight container.

what is chicken masala spice made of

This spice can also be used to add flavor to your fusion Indian wraps and sandwiches.

For two to three months, tikka masala powder can be kept at room temperature in an airtight, clean, and dry container.

To extend its shelf life, store it in the refrigerator for up to six months.

After each use, securely shut the lid and remove the spice with a dry, clean spoon.

About Tikka Masala Spice Mix

A blend of several Indian spices that is hot and aromatic is called tikka masala powder (Spice Mix). Popular Indian tikka recipes like paneer tikka, chicken tikka, mushroom tikka, and fish tikka are made with it.

It requires simple ingredients and takes only 20 minutes to prepare at home.

It’s readily available in stores, but I always like to make it at home. The reason homemade tikka masala powder is superior to store-bought is

  • It is made using high-quality ingredients.
  • Free of preservatives.
  • Free of artificial colors.
  • It tastes much better.
  • Economical.

You can make about ½ cup of the spice mix with this simple homemade tikka masala recipe.

You only need one tablespoon of this spice powder to marinate nine ounces (250 g) of paneer, tofu, red meat, or chicken.

Whole coriander (dhaniya ke beej), whole cumin (jeera), whole black peppercorns (kalimirch), whole green cardamoms (hari elaichi), whole black cardamoms (badi elaichi), whole cinnamon (dalchini), and whole cloves (laung) are just a few of the whole spices that are finely blended into this tikka masala.

Use any dry red chilies that are easily available. I like to use Kashmiri dry red chilies because they give the masala a lovely red color without overpowering it with heat.

Additionally, you’ll need Kashmiri red chili powder, dry mango powder (amchoor), and turmeric powder.

Additionally, you can use paprika powder in place of Kashmiri red chili powder.

$2 Chicken Tikka Masala | But Cheaper


What is chicken masala made of?

Chicken masala is a simple Indian dish made with chicken, spices, herbs, onions and tomatoes. Serve this with rice or any flatbreads like naan, roti or paratha.

What is masala spice made of?

Masala is loosely translated as “spice” and although there are many varieties and preferences masala is typically made up of 5 spices. Cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cloves and cumin are mixed together to make an aromatic and flavour profile.

Is chicken masala very spicy?

Chicken-tikka masalas tend to be quite spicy, whereas chicken-tikka butter is not as spicy. Also, since there’s no cream in these curries, they don’t have that rich buttery taste that comes with those dishes.

How to make chicken masala?

Do remember 2 crucial steps to make a yummy chicken masala – 1. Cook the dish on a low heat so the chicken gets time to soaks up all the flavors. 2. Use hot water if required to bring the dish to a consistency. 1. To a mixing bowl add the following ingredients to marinate the chicken. This step infuses flavors and tenderizes the chicken.

What spices are used in chicken masala?

However the premium places customize the spice level for you along with the consistency of the masala – dry, semi-dry or gravy (saucy). The authentic version of chicken masala uses whole spices like bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamoms & cloves. They infuse deeper flavors slowly as the chicken cooks. However feel free to skip them if you do not prefer.

What spices are in tikka masala?

The key spices in a tikka masala are cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and garam masala. To make a tikka masala blend at home, add two parts cumin and coriander to one part turmeric, paprika, and garam masala. My Indian Spice Blend is essentially an all-in-one solution to Indian food because it balances all of the spices listed above.

How to make chicken tikka masala?

For this chicken tikka masala recipe, the yogurt helps tenderize the chicken; the garlic, ginger, and spices in the marinade infuse it with lots of flavor. This is part of BA’s Best, a collection of our essential recipes. Combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl.

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