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Lightened Up Chicken Tikka Masala with Turmeric "Rice" {Low-Carb, Paleo}

Chicken Tikka Masala gets a health makeover, while maintaining all the aromatic spices and wonderful flavors of Indian cuisine. Serve with rice, or with Turmeric Cauliflower Rice, for a low carb or Paleo option.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Moroccan
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 307kcal



  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast (3 large breasts)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons plain, low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lime
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (for browning)

Tikka Masala Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons coriander
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (more or less - to taste!)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk (canned)
  • cilantro (optional, garnish)

Turmeric Cauliflower "Rice"

  • 1 large head of cauliflower (riced)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric



  • Cut the chicken into large chunks, and season with sea salt. In a storage container (or I use a plastic ziplock bag), add the chicken, yogurt and lime juice. Marinate for 1-6 hours (the longer, the more tender the chicken will be).

Tikka Masala

  • In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add the minced onion and garlic, and saute until translucent (about 7-10 minutes).
  • Add the garlic, and all the spices and salt. Saute together for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree. Bring to a low simmer, and reduce heat.
  • In a separate frying pan, add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and add the chicken. Brown the chicken. It doesn't need to be cooked through.
  • Add the browned chicken to the large skillet with the sauce. Continue to cook on medium low for about 15 minutes, until flavors have combined and chicken is fully cooked.
  • Add coconut milk.
  • Serve over rice or cauliflower rice, and garnish with cilantro.

Turmeric Cauliflower Rice

  • Chop the head of cauliflower roughly. Add the cauliflower to a food processor (small batches work the best- don't fill the food processor more than ½ way full), and process until the cauliflower is broken up into pieces and resembles rice.
  • In a skillet, heat up sesame oil. Add the riced cauliflower, and saute until heated through. Add the sea salt and turmeric. Rice should be cooked until soft, but not mushy or browned.


Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1197mg | Potassium: 1354mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 918IU | Vitamin C: 73mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 4mg