I have made chicken tikka masala recently and it turned out alright. I got the texture and look properly, but, however, the taste seems a bit off. I have used the chicken tikka masala, onions, cihlli powder, heavy cream, tomato puree and orange peppers, as per directions.

However the taste is not satisfying as I had in restaurants. Anyone can suggest anything to improve my taste? Any spices that I can add or something?


  • Both you and the answer below have no mention of yoghurt. To me the main thing that makes a curry taste like curry and not just a spicy chicken stew is the addition of yoghurt at the end. Especially important for tika masala..
    – Doug
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 8:15
  • This question is quite hard to answer, as we can't know what you don't like in your chicken. I will leave it open in the hope that somebody can spot a clear problem in what you are doing. But if the answers turn into a random list of spice suggestions, I'll have to close.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 10:10

2 Answers 2


You aren't getting the 'Indian restaurant' taste because you aren't using Indian restaurant techniques. Most Indian restaurant curries are based on a 'gravy' made with copious amounts of garlic, onions and ginger, stewed for several hours. They also use large amounts of ghee to add richness (and a boatload of calories), and finally they use marinaded chicken, cooked in a tandoor (a very hot, dry oven) which gives a unique flavour.

It is simply not possible to replicate the flavours at home without using the same ingredients or similar techniques. It is not something you can knock up in half an hour.

If you'd like to have a go at replicating a restaurant curry, try reading The Curry Secret by Kris Dhillion.


Okay, you should remember when cooking with Indian flavours, unless it's a proper type of sugar, don't add anything to sweeten it. Orange peppers are incredibly sweet compared to the other flavours and using correct chillies in curries is a delicate process that takes a while to master. Now it's been almost two months since you asked this but if you do face the same issue again, fry some garlic and ginger in olive oil and if you have any, curry leaves (can be difficult to find in some countries) - take it off the heat and add a few tablespoons of yoghurt mixed with a tablespoon of cornflour. Pour all the contents of the pan into your curry and see how it tastes. It might need more salt at this point - add to taste.

It will not taste like a restaurant's - it'll taste like what it is - ready made spice mixes with a bit of a love.

Substitute one star anise for the curry leaves if you can't find any. In fact use both if you want. I do.it gives it a butter chicken flavour which is what I think you ought to go for as chicken tikka masala is really just a mix of some tikka spices and butter chicken. Give or take some awesome.

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