Air fryer Chicken Tikka Masala recipe

This delicious curry is from Pinch of Nom, a group dedicated to making healthy, slimming food that also tastes delicious.

“No Pinch of Nom cookbook is complete without one of our oh-so-popular fakeaway curries!” says Kate and Kay Allinson, the brains behind Pinch of Nom.

“Air fryers are ideal for recreating the mouthwatering charred flavours that you usually only get from cooking in a tandoori oven – which is what makes this chicken tikka masala taste as good as a takeaway. The spice-coated chicken pieces cook nice and quickly, keeping them juicy inside, but crisp on the outside.

“By the time they’re ready to be stirred into the mild, creamy sauce, you won’t want to wait another minute to dig in!”

Serves: 4


For the spice mix:

  • 1tsp ground paprika
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 2tsp garam masala
  • 1tsp garlic granules
  • ½tsp mild chilli powder

For the chicken tikka:

  • 50g fat-free Greek yoghurt
  • 1tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • A few drops of red food colouring (optional)
  • 500g skinless chicken breast, cut into evenly sized 2.5cm cubes

For the sauce:

  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3cm piece of root ginger, peeled
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded (or leave the seeds in for extra spice)
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml plant-based coconut drink
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1tbsp mango chutney
  • 50g fat-free Greek yoghurt
  • A good handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped

To accompany:
125g cooked basmati rice


1. Combine the spices for the spice mix in a small bowl.

2. In a large non-metallic bowl, make the chicken tikka by mixing together the Greek yoghurt with one tablespoon of the spice mix. Add the lemon juice and a few drops of red food colouring, if using. Stir well and add the diced chicken, mixing until all the pieces are well coated in the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for at least two hours, or you can leave overnight if you wish.

3. To make the sauce, place the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in a food processor or blender, and blitz to a paste.

4. Set a non-stick pan over a medium to low heat. Spray well with low-calorie cooking spray. When hot, add the blended paste and the salt, and gently fry for 10 minutes, until it is dry and a golden colour.

5. Add the remaining spice mix to the paste, and cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and coconut drink and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

6. About five minutes before the end of the cooking time, spray your air fryer basket with low-calorie cooking spray and add the marinated chicken. Spritz the top with low-calorie cooking spray and air-fry for eight to 10 minutes at 200°C, turning halfway through. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.

7. While the chicken tikka cooks, remove the sauce from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and mango chutney, and using a stick blender, carefully blitz until smooth. Stir in the yoghurt and chopped coriander. Add the cooked chicken pieces and stir to coat, then serve with basmati rice.

Pinch Of Nom Air Fryer by Kate and Kay Allinson

Pinch Of Nom Air Fryer by Kate and Kay Allinson is published by Bluebird. 

Also read: Seven slow-cooker tips to take your winter cooking to the next level

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