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Lamb Tikka Masala

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Marinating time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Category Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
Author Lauren Grant


This restaurant-quality Lamb Tikka Masala has a silky aromatic sauce that nicely coats juicy charred pieces of yogurt-marinated lamb. Everything gets spooned over rice and finished with cilantro and naan bread. Perfect for meal prep or make-ahead entertaining.


  • 2 tablespoons garam masala, divided
  • 2 teaspoons Morton kosher salt, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 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, ½ teaspoon coriander, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag. Toss the spices around to combine. Add lamb and shake to coat. Add 1 cup yogurt, seal bag, and massage meat to coat. Transfer bag to refrigerator and marinate for 1 hour or up to overnight.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium. Add 1 sliced onion and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; cook until softened and starting to brown, 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add 4 chopped cloves garlic, 1 minced serrano, and 1 tablespoon grated ginger; cook stirring frequently until onions are softened and golden brown, about 7 minutes.
  • Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon garam masala, remaining 1 teaspoon cumin, and ½ teaspoon cardamom; cook 1 minute.
  • Add 1 (28-ounce) can 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.
  • Stir in 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk and simmer until thickened, 5–7 minutes. 
  • 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. 
  • Add lamb to sauce, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Serve with rice, cilantro, and naan if desired. 



Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Kosher Salt Conversion: If you don't have Morton kosher salt, check out this article for salt substitution information.
Make the tikka masala dairy-free. Instead of the yogurt you can use coconut cream or dairy-free yogurt.
Swap the lamb for another protein. Feel free to change up the meat in this recipe. We also love chicken or beef. If you prefer a vegetarian option, you can try our tofu tikka masala or chana masala with chickpeas.
Storing the tikka masala: Store leftover tikka masala in a glass storage container with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheating the tikka masala: When you’re ready to serve it again, transfer the tikka mixture to a sauté pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes until warmed through.
Reheat rice on the stove top method: add rice to a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water (and a pat of butter for richness) and heat over low, fluffing with the fork, until warmed through. 
Reheat rice in the microwave method: lay a damp paper towel over top of rice and microwave for 1 minute on medium-high heat. Fluff rice with a fork, test the warmness, and repeat the process once more if needed.  
Perfect for meal prepping and making ahead. This lamb masala stores well for make-ahead meal prep. Make the chicken in the simmer sauce, then store separately from the rice. Reheat everything according to instructions above.


Serving: 1/4 of the recipe and riceCalories: 294kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 11gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 909mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7g
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