Curry pastes are always ideal flavor providers when making something quickly without compromising taste. So, here we bring you about India’s favorite paste and its ingredients used.

Tikka masala paste originates from Indian cuisine. It derives from India’s famous tikka masala spice powder. The primary purpose of this is to flavor the chicken in the chicken tikka masala dish. But it has many other uses too. This paste usually includes:

  • Garam Masala
  • Fresh and dry spices and herbs
  • Salt
  • Oil

Let’s dig further into the content of this paste and know why it is important in your daily cooking.

Tikka Masala Paste-SpiceRally

What Is Tikka Masala Paste?

It is a form of curry paste coming from Indian cuisine. This is mainly used to add instant flavor to various tikka masala dishes. This curry paste combines many flavorful fresh and dry spices and herbs. It usually has a smooth, pasty consistency. 

Tikka masala paste possesses an incredible, full-bodied flavor with a special punch of spiciness. The bursting flavors are perfect for marination and versatile enough for other uses in your daily cooking. You can make this at home or buy it from the store.

What Is In This Paste?

Tikka masala paste usually calls for quite a few ingredients. The very flavorful nature of this paste is mainly created by combining fresh and dried ingredients. The perfect balance results from the true Indian spices and herbs, blended with other flavorings. 

There can be variations of this paste. While the recipe could vary depending on the production or maker, a common set of ingredients often appears in this paste.

Garam Masala- This is the key flavoring of tikka masala paste

Fresh and dry herbs and spices– fresh garlic, ginger, red chiles, hot/smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ground turmeric, fresh cilantro

Salt- Added to taste or depending on the need

Oil– A type of neutral oil is usually used such as avocado oil or canola oil

Vegetables- Onions, tomato puree

Other Ingredients Used In The Tikka Masala Paste

Apart from these main ingredients in tikka masala, it may also contain the following ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Cayenne pepper powder
  • Water
  • Corn flour
  • Mustard
  • Tamarind paste
  • Dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi)
  • Dried cilantro leaves
  • Acetic acid
  • Chili powder
  • Bay leaves
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom
  • Traces of nuts (peanuts, cashews, or coconut)
  • Other flavor enhancers, preservatives, and color additives (in commercially-produced options)

How To Make This Paste At Home?

Most shop-bought tikka masala paste options could contain preservatives and artificial flavor enhancers. So, if you do not like those flavors, making your own batch at home is your best bet. 

Making this paste at home is hassle-free and can be consumed by both vegs and non-vegs alike. This recipe requires several ingredients. But, all of them are very easy to find from just one visit to the supermarket. So, let’s get into blending!

Tikka Masala Paste Recipe!

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Recipe by SpiceRally


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  • Spices & Herbs
  • 2 tsp 2 Garam Masala Garam Masala Recipe

  • 1 tsp 1 Cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp 1 Coriander seeds

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Black peppercorns

  • 2 pods 2 Green Cardamom

  • 1 piece 1 Cinnamon (about a 1/2-inch piece)

  • 1 tsp 1 Ground turmeric

  • 1 tsp 1 Smoked Paprika

  • 1 tsp 1 Garlic (fresh garlic, crushed)

  • 1 tsp 1 Ginger (fresh ginger, minced)

  • 1 1 Large Red chile pepper (a mild chile pepper chopped)

  • 3 tbsp 3 Fresh Cilantro (chopped with stems)

  • Other ingredients
  • 2 tbsp 2 Avocado oil

  • 1 tsp 1 Sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Sugar

  • 2 tbsp 2 Tomato puree

  • 1 tbsp 1 Onion (chopped)



  • Preparation
  • Start by preparing the dry spices. Keep your saucepan over low heat and add the dry spices into it (cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and green cardamom pods).
  • Dry-roast these spices for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.
  • Remove them from the pan and set them aside until you need them.

  • Making the tikka masala paste
  • Add all the remaining ingredients into the jar of your food processor or blender along with the dry-roasted spices.
  • Start blending until everything comes together as a paste.
  • Scoop the content on the rims and edges of the blender jar. You can add another tablespoon of oil or tomato puree if the paste is too thick and dry.
  • Once the paste comes to the desired consistency, you can use it immediately. Or else, spoon it down into a tight-fitting mason jar and keep it inside the refrigerator until needed.

Tasty Tips and Suggestions by SpiceRally

  • Leave out the salt and sugar if you wish to add them externally.
  • Stir in a dash of one of these ingredients if you need to elevate the heat and spiciness of your tikka masala paste- cayenne pepper powder, chili powder, tabasco sauce, sriracha sauce, curry powder.
  • If you use hot paprika instead of smoked or regular paprika, use less red chiles if you prefer less heat.
  • You can also use ground dry spices instead of the whole spices. If you’re using ground spices, you don’t have to dry-roast them.
  • Storage- Keeping this tikka masala paste in the refrigerator is compulsory. You can store this in the fridge for up to one month and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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What Is The Difference Between Tikka Masala Paste and Tikka Masala Spice Blend?

The consistency is the most apparent difference between these two. Tikka masala paste is pasty while the tikka masala blend is a powdered spice. In addition, the paste holds more profundity with a flavorful base. 

On the contrary, tikka masala spice powder is a blend of dry spices with less flavor. However, the tikka masala spice blend is more versatile in terms of usage than tikka masala paste.

If you’re interested in discovering more information about the difference between tikka masala paste and tikka masala spice blend, we’re ready to educate you with a complete article. Click here now!

What Are The Uses Of This Paste?

As mentioned earlier, tikka masala paste is primarily used to marinate the chicken for chicken tikka. It is also helpful in flavoring other tikka dishes. Mainly, this paste works as a marination ingredient. In addition to that, you can also use this paste in the following ways:

  • As a wet rub when grilling meat, fish, or seafood.
  • To mix with cooked salads
  • Is an excellent ingredient to incorporate into curries
  • To combine into curry sauces and gravies
  • To make various egg dishes

Do you want to learn more exciting ways to use your jar of tikka masala paste at home? Follow up on this link and read our article for the comprehensive guide!

What Are The Substitutes of Tikka Masala Paste?

This paste is a unique ingredient and quite different from other popular curry paste types such as Thai curry pastes. 

But still, if you don’t find this at home or can’t find it around, a few substitutes can help you to replicate its flavor. While a homemade recipe can be the closest alternative, these ready-made options are also possible to use:

  • Vindaloo curry paste
  • Thai massaman curry paste
  • Balti curry Paste
  • Tandoori paste
  • Rogan Josh curry paste
  • Madras curry paste

How to use these tikka masala paste substitutes in your dishes and how effective are they? To learn more about these options, click here and refer to our detailed article.

Storage and Shelf Life Of Tikka Masala Paste

Generally, the shelf life of the homemade paste tends to be lower than that of shop-bought ones. The main reason here is the amount of preservatives included in store-bought options. However, both shop-bought and homemade paste should be kept in the fridge or freezer. 

They would stay fresh and flavorful  in the fridge for up to one month. If you store this paste in the freezer you may keep it well for up to three months. However, keeping it at room temperature after opening is not recommended since it can change the flavor and quality of your tikka masala paste.

Where Can You Buy This Paste in the US?

Tikka masala paste is not a common culinary ingredient that you may see in every local store outside of India. So, if you’re living in a place like the US, you may find it easily in the international spice aisle of leading supermarkets. In addition to that, you can also get this from online shopping sites/sellers or by visiting an Asian store.

Is Tikka Masala Paste Vegan-friendly?

Mostly it is made commercially and domestically come as vegan-friendly options. Unlike most Thai curry pastes. This ingredient does not typically contain traces of fish. But if you’re concerned, it is always advisable to check the list of ingredients before purchasing.

Does This Paste Contain Gluten?

Generally, no direct gluten-related ingredient is added to the tikka masala paste. But sometimes, you may find traces of gluten in certain additives included in commercially produced options. Therefore, it is better to read the list of ingredients on the label and make sure before buying.

Is Tikka Masala Paste Keto-friendly?

Like most curry paste, this is also a keto-friendly option. It contains spices and herbs so you can undoubtedly add it to your ketogenic or low-carb diet.

Introduce The Goodness Of Pure Indian Flavors To Your Food With Tikka Masala Paste!

This rich, creamy, and zesty paste is one of the best ingredients to keep in your kitchen. You will never regret making it at home or buying it since it can offer so much flavor to your chicken, fish, pork, seafood, or even vegetables! 

The spiciness of warming herbs and spices incorporated with the flavor of tomatoes and several other ingredients creates layers of flavors. The exotic taste of Indian food is no more a hassle with this paste.

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