Go Back

Easy Creamy Lamb Tikka Masala

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Marinating time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Yield 4 servings
Category Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
Author Lauren Grant


A silky aromatic sauce nicely coats juicy charred pieces of yogurt-marinated lamb which then gets spooned over rice and finished with cilantro and naan bread. Cozy and comforting in a bowl! 


  • 2 tablespoons garam masala, divided
  • 2 teaspoons Morton kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless lamb leg, sirloin or shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 serrano, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice or basmati rice and/or naan bread
  • Cilantro or mint for serving


  • Combine 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cumin, coriander, and pepper in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag. Toss the spices around to combine. Add lamb and shake to coat. Add yogurt, seal bag, and massage meat to coat. Transfer bag to refrigerator and marinate for 1 hour or up to overnight.
    chunks of meat marinating in a spiced yogurt mixture in a zipper-lock bag
  • Heat oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium. Add onion and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and cook until softened and starting to brown, 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    thin slices of onion cooking in a skillet
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, serrano, and ginger; cook stirring frequently until onions are softened and golden brown, about 7 minutes.
    think slices of onion cooking in a skillet with spices
  • Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon garam masala, remaining 1 teaspoon cumin, and ½ teaspoon cardamom; cook 1 minute.
    think slices of onion cooking in a skillet with spices
  • Add tomatoes with juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them (or use your kitchen shears to cut them in the can). Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring frequently and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until thickened and deepened in color, 15–20 minutes.
    canned tomatoes cooking in a large skillet
  • Add coconut milk and simmer until thickened, 5–7 minutes. 
    richely hued orange-colored tikka masala sauce in a skillet
  • Meanwhile, heat oven to broil (high) with rack set in upper middle position Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack inside sheet. Arrange lamb on rack in a single layer (don’t scrape marinade off). Broil lamb until starting to char, 10–12 minutes. 
    charred bits of lamb on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet
  • Add lamb to sauce, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Serve with rice, cilantro, and naan if desired. 



Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you don't have Morton kosher salt, check out this article for salt substitution information.


Serving: 1/4 of the recipe and riceCalories: 294kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 11gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 909mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7g
Keywords Lamb Tikka Masala, Tikka Masala
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!