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“Is Chicken Tikka Masala Keto? The Answer Will Surprise You!”

The keto diet is scientifically proven to be the best weight loss diet. It is not a very restrictive diet as long as you keep track of a few portions. One common question among many new keto dieters is if they can have their favorite foods on keto.

Is Chicken Tikka Masala Keto

The answer is almost always a yes as long as you are ready to make a few tweaks to the recipe. Chicken tikka masala is a burst of spicy flavor and is enjoyed all over the world but especially in south Asia. But is chicken tikka masala keto? Luckily, yes!

 What is Chicken Tikka Masala?

Chicken tikka masala is a very well-known dish. Whether you've heard about it on tv, enjoyed it at a restaurant, or you're a chicken tikka addict, one thing is for sure this dish is robust in flavor. Although this dish may not be the right fit for certain taste buds because of its spicy nature.

There are many recipes that effectively lower the spice level without compromising too much on taste. However, many people who follow the traditional recipe claim that the high spice content of this dish is what makes it special. But, what is chicken tikka masala?

There’s a lot of mystery around how chicken tikka masala began. Many claim the dish was invented in 1965 by Kundan Lal Gujral, the owner of a restaurant called Moti Mahal Delux in New Delhi. Mr. Gujral wanted something unique to serve his customers so they wouldn't have to order the same thing over and over again.

Keto chicken tikka masala with flatbread

 He was looking for a dish that was different but still had familiar flavors to it, so he decided to combine two popular dishes; butter chicken and tandoori chicken. He combined the flavors of the tandoori chicken, which was marinated in yogurt and spices, with the ground chicken and butter chicken sauce to make his first version of chicken tikka masala.

Others believe chicken tikka masala was invented by a chef named Karim at the Indian restaurant in Nelson, Lancashire, in the United Kingdom. After tasting the chicken tikka masala for the first time, he claimed that it reminded him of home because it was cooked with “a secret blend of spices.

” Some believe it was a British Pakistani chef, Ali Ahmad Aslam. But, whoever or however the dish was made, we all love it!

Chicken tikka masala is an Indian dish which features chunks of chicken that are marinated in yogurt and spices and cooked in an onion and tomato sauce until perfectly tender. Some recipes also use coconut milk to give it that extra creaminess.

Chefs who have mastered this recipe always tell their sous chefs to only add the spices at the end to not overwhelm the dish with the flavor of the spices as the dish is meant to be savored, not overpowered.

One spice that is commonly added to chicken tikka masala is garam masala, a blend of ground spices typically used in Indian cooking. Chefs often add more spices to the dish depending on how much heat a person can handle and how sweet they want the dish to be. Other common spices are coriander, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, and salt. These spices not only make the dish taste delicious but also provide your body with healthy nutrients.

Is Chicken Tikka Masala Keto Friendly?

What is keto? It is a popular diet that cuts carbs and focuses on fats, but what is it exactly? Well, to start off, the keto diet is high in fat and low to moderate in protein. You need to ensure 70-80% of your calorie consumption is from fat.

When you consume fewer carbohydrates, your body starts a process of ketosis — where the body begins to burn stored fat for energy instead of glucose. This can result in rapid weight loss.

So is chicken tikka masala keto friendly?

chicken tikka masala keto

Chicken tikka masala contains very few carbs and no non-keto ingredients like sugar or refined oils. It is keto-friendly, but it is very easy to tip the keto scale, depending on which recipe you use. Some recipes are very high in sodium and fat, which can be unhealthy on a keto diet.

This dish is often paired up with high-carb foods like basmati rice, naan bread, and carb-filled vegetables like cauliflower rice. You can serve it with steamed broccoli or cauliflower and spiralized zucchini noodles instead of rice and bread for a healthier option.

Even though this dish is healthy as a whole, having it as a side is not the best option if you're trying to lose weight because it's very high in carbs. 

Is Chicken Tikka Masala Healthy?

Is chicken tikka masala healthy? Well, it depends because some recipes contain too much fat and are high in sodium. While fat on keto is recommended, you must follow the fat intake limit to not mess up your ketosis.

The garam masala and turmeric found in this recipe help boost the immune system. It also fights free radicals in the body and prevents inflammation. Coriander helps reduce the risk of indigestion and bloating. Ginger can help reduce inflammation and provide relief from stomach cramps and pain. It also helps reduce nausea.

How many Calories are in a serving of Chicken Tikka Masala?

The nutritional profile of chicken tikka masala is 260 calories, 18 g of fat, 3 g of saturated fat, 51 mg of cholesterol, 19 g of carbohydrates, 6 g of dietary fiber, 15 g of protein, and 680 mg of sodium. It is high in sodium (680 mg), so be cautious when eating too much of it! If you're watching your weight or trying to keep carbs low, avoid serving this alongside your curry dishes, as it can increase the total calories you consume.

keto chicken tikka

Chicken Tikka Masala Keto Friendly Recipe

The keto diet is also incredibly flexible, so you can create a meal plan that works for you. But choosing the right foods can be a challenge… Here's a keto-friendly chicken tikka masala recipe you can try!


– Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts x 1 lb  

– Olive Oil x 2 tbsp

– Finely Chopped Onion x 1

– Minced Garlic Cloves x 3

– Peeled and Grated Fresh Ginger x 1-inch piece  

– Cumin Seed x ½ tsp

– Coriander Seed x ½ tsp

– Cinnamon Powder x ½ tsp

– Turmeric Powder x ½ tsp

– Red Chili Powder x ½ tsp

– Garam Masala x ½ tsp

– Ground Coriander x ½ tsp

– Salt x ½ tsp

– Pepper x ½ tsp

– Diced Tomatoes (14 oz) x 1 can  


  • Melt the butter and cook the chopped onion until soft in a saucepan, keep a medium flame.
  • Add garlic and spices to the pan and stir, cook the mixture until it becomes fragrant
  • After a minute passes or until the mixture becomes fragrant, remove it from the stove and put it aside to cool a bit.
  • Put the chicken inside a food processor and run the machine until it’s finely chopped.
  • Transfer the content into a large bowl and combine everything with the onion mixture.
  • Add the seasonings of your choice, mix well until combined. Then cover and refrigerate everything for 30 minutes or for the best results, let the marinade sit overnight.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil into a large skillet over a medium-high flame.
  • Add in the chicken and cook each side for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and leave it to the side to cool, then add all the vegetables inside the pan to let it cook for 5 minutes.
  • Once the vegetables are nearly done, add in the chicken again and cook until completion.
  • Stir in the cream and heat everything before you finish serving.
  • For a final garnish, chop up a little cilantro and sprinkle it everywhere.

Adding vegetables and cream to the recipe is a great way to add flavor while keeping the recipe keto-friendly. Heavy cream contains a lot of fat content, and vegetables are a healthy keto-friendly addition to the chicken tikka masala recipe.

keto chicken tikka masala with rice

Don't serve chicken tikka masala with high-carb sides like basmati rice, nan bread, or chapati. Instead, serve it with low-carb vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or green beans. Try adding a small amount of butter or ghee when cooking the vegetables for a buttery, nutty flavor. You can also steam your vegetables instead of boiling them to reduce their carbohydrate content.

Wrapping Up

The effects of a keto diet are amazing! Whether you follow keto for weight loss or for its health benefits, the keto diet is one of the most effective, healthy, and easy diets to follow.

Plus, you can tailor your keto diet to fit your lifestyle and your health goals. You can also make little changes to your traditional favorite recipes and make them keto friendly.

Chicken tikka masala is keto friendly. It contains few carbs and is high in fat content. The vegetables in the dish also provide essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs on a keto diet.

Use a chicken tikka masala recipe, like the one shared above that is low in carbs and low in fat for maximum weight loss benefits!

If you'd like to learn more about keto friendly foods, please click on one of the links below:

Is Pozole Keto Friendly?

Is Ham Keto Friendly?

Is Chickpea Flour Keto Friendly?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is chicken tikka masala tandoori?

Chicken tikka masala and chicken tandoori are two completely different dishes with entirely different methods of preparation.

Why is chicken tikka so red?

While a lot of people tend to make the assumption that chicken tikka is red because of spices that's not the case. It gets the distinctive red color due to the food coloring.

Is chicken tikka masala white meat or dark meat?

Chicken tikka masala is generally prepared using white meat.


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