Primal Chicken Tikka Masala


Indian and Thai cuisine are typically VERY primal/paleo. Indian dishes feature a lot of heavy cream-based sauces, while Thai favors coconut milk. Obviously if you're strict paleo, you'll be drawn more towards the Thai option, but I don't shy away from the primal way of heavy cream. Now, I don't eat it every day - not even close. But it makes its way into my Starbucks order and, YES I whole heartedly enjoy it when I'm craving Indian. 

Here, I bring a traditional dish found in any Indian restaurant to your primal home! Rather than serving over naan or white rice, however, I used cilantro lime cauliflower rice...which was a great choice. The tikka masala sauce does magical magical things to that rice. Best part - leftovers are often plentiful here. If not from the chicken, DEFINITELY from the sauce. I had an entire tupperware container of the sauce leftover that tastes magnificent over just about any protein. 


For the Chicken Tikka Masala

  • 1 cup grass-fed butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast - cubed 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp tandoori masala

For the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and let caramelize on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat when onions turn brown.
  3. In a large pot, melt the remaining butter over medium/high heat. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, heavy cream, salt, cayenne and garam masala. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. While the sauce is simmering, toss the cubed chicken in olive oil and tandoori masala. Spread out chicken cubes in a single layer across a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. When chicken is done, add it to the sauce. Add onions to the sauce as well. Let simmer for about 5 more minutes.
  6. While the sauce is simmering and the chicken is cooking, you can prepare your cauliflower rice. Cut the cauliflower head into florets and add to a high speed blender or food processor. Pulse until it becomes a rice-like consistency.
  7. In a large skillet, melt the butter with the garlic and add the riced cauliflower. Cook on medium/high heat for 5 minutes.
  8. Add lime juice, salt and cilantro to the rice and saute for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  9. When the chicken tikka masala is done and you've prepared your rice, go ahead and plate your rice, top off with a heaping serving of chicken tikka masala (don't skim on the sauce!) and DEVOUR! And then go get seconds.

Servings: 4-6