Indian food is known for its complex flavors and spices. However, many of the traditional dishes can be high in carbs. This keto version of the classic Punjabi chicken tikka masala with coconut milk instead of cream to make a flavorful, low-carb curry.

Introduction to Keto Punjabi Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala is one of the most popular Indian dishes. It consists of tender chunks of chicken marinated in yogurt and spices (chicken tikka) in a creamy, tomato-based curry sauce.

This keto recipe uses full-fat coconut milk instead of heavy cream to make a dairy-free, low-carb curry sauce. It has all the rich, silky texture of traditional chicken tikka masala, but each serving comes in at only 5g net carbs.

Making this Punjabi style coconut chicken curry at home is easy. With just a few basic ingredients and spices, you can enjoy an incredibly flavorful, keto-friendly meal ready in under an hour.

Benefits of Chicken Tikka Masala for a Keto Diet

Chicken tikka masala fits perfectly into a keto or low-carb diet:

  • High in protein – A serving provides 29g of protein from the chicken to help you meet your daily protein intake goals on keto.
  • Low in carbs – Using full-fat coconut milk instead of cream significantly reduces the carb count. Each serving has just 5g net carbs.
  • Contains healthy fats – Coconut milk provides medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are directly converted into ketones to fuel your body and brain on a keto diet.

This curry dish will help keep you feeling full and satisfied all while delivering a mega-dose of flavor.

Keto Swaps for Traditional Chicken Tikka Masala

To make this classic Indian dish keto-friendly, a few simple swaps are made:

  • Coconut milk replaces cream – Full-fat coconut milk gives the rich, silky texture of cream with way fewer carbs and a subtle coconut flavor.
  • Almond flour replaces wheat flour – A small amount of almond flour helps thicken the sauce without adding carbs.
  • Erythritol sweetens instead of sugar – A tiny bit of erythritol enhances the other flavors. Leave it out to make the recipe sugar-free.
  • Ghee instead of vegetable oil – Ghee (clarified butter) provides the richness of butter without the milk proteins.

With these easy subs, you get an amazing low-carb chicken tikka masala that fits into a keto lifestyle.

Keto-Friendly Ingredients for Chicken Tikka Masala

Here are the main keto-approved ingredients that go into this delicious chicken curry recipe:


  • Chicken thigh fillets – Chicken thighs work great since they stay juicy when cooked in the spiced tomato sauce. Boneless, skinless thighs are easy to slice into chunks for the marinade.

Healthy Fats

  • Full-fat coconut milk – Adds the richness of cream with the benefits of MCTs and a lower carb count. Canned coconut milk works best.
  • Ghee – Also called clarified butter, it provides buttery flavor without milk proteins.
  • Coconut oil – Used for sautéing aromatics and cooking the chicken. It withstands high heat.

Flavor Boosters

  • Garlic – Provides a pungent flavor that complements the spices well.
  • Ginger – Fresh ginger adds a little heat and helps balance the other flavors.
  • Tomato sauce/puree – Provides texture and tomato flavor to the sauce.
  • Spices – Onion powder, garam masala, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper flavor the dish.
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro adds brightness and freshness as a garnish.

With just these few keto-approved ingredients, you can make an amazing low-carb Indian curry!

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Keto Chicken Tikka Masala

Making this coconut chicken tikka masala curry at home takes just 6 easy steps:

1: Marinate the Chicken

  • Cut chicken thighs into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl.
  • Prepare the marinade by combining full-fat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, and other spices.
  • Pour marinade over the chicken pieces and mix well to coat.
  • Cover and place in fridge 30-60 minutes to marinate.

2: Prepare the Sauce

  • While chicken marinates, prepare the curry sauce.
  • Sauté onion and garlic in ghee or coconut oil over medium heat until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato sauce/puree, coconut milk, spices and almond flour.
  • Let simmer 5-10 minutes until thickened slightly.

3: Cook the Chicken

  • In another pan, cook chicken pieces in batches 3-5 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  • Transfer cooked chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

4: Finish the Sauce

  • Add the cooked chicken pieces back into the sauce.
  • Let simmer 5 minutes until chicken is coated and sauce is creamy.
  • Add salt to taste and stir in chopped cilantro.

5: Serve Keto Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Serve the coconut chicken curry hot, garnished with more cilantro.
  • Pair it with riced cauliflower or shredded cabbage.

6: Store Leftovers

  • Let leftover curry cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container.
  • Keeps 3-4 days refrigerated or 2-3 months frozen.

In just 30 minutes of active cooking time, you can make this incredible keto chicken tikka masala at home. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or impressive low-carb meal for company.

FAQs About Keto Chicken Tikka Masala

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about making chicken tikka masala keto:

Is chicken tikka masala keto-friendly?

Traditional chicken tikka masala recipes are loaded with carbs from heavy cream, tomatoes, and rice or naan on the side. This keto version uses coconut milk and avoids rice or bread to create a low-carb curry that fits a keto diet.

What can I serve with keto chicken tikka masala?

Serve it with riced or mashed cauliflower, cauli-rice, zucchini noodles, or over a base of spinach or kale for extra nutrients. Cucumber raita makes a nice cooling accompaniment.

What spices are in chicken tikka masala?

Garam masala, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, and pepper are key spices. Onion powder and garlic add lots of flavor too.

Can I make it spicy?

Yes! Add extra cayenne pepper or minced fresh chili peppers to amp up the heat. Serve with sliced chilies on the side.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs?

Chicken thighs are juicier, but you can sub boneless chicken breasts if you prefer. Just be careful not to overcook them.

How long does keto chicken tikka masala last?

It keeps 3-4 days refrigerated and 2-3 months in the freezer. Let cool completely before storing.

This easy low-carb recipe lets you enjoy the rich, creamy flavors of chicken tikka masala in a keto-friendly way. Coconut milk makes a big difference in cutting the carbs.

More Delicious Keto Indian Recipes to Try

If you love Indian food, there are many more tasty keto-friendly recipes to try:

  • Butter Chicken – Chicken cooked in a creamy tomato and butter sauce. Use coconut milk and ghee instead of cream and butter.
  • Tandoori chicken – Chicken pieces marinated in yogurt and Indian spices and roasted in a hot oven or grill.
  • Palak paneer – Spiced pureed spinach with cubes of paneer cheese. Substitute extra-firm tofu for paneer.
  • Chana masala – Spicy chickpeas in tomato sauce. Make with canned hearts of palm instead of chickpeas.
  • Saag – Spiced pureed greens like spinach or kale.
  • Indian-spiced cauliflower – Roast cauliflower florets with garam masala, cumin and other spices.

With a few easy substitutions, you can enjoy the incredible flavors of Indian cuisine on a low-carb keto diet.

Enjoy Mouthwatering Keto Chicken Tikka Masala Tonight

Keto Punjabi chicken tikka masala with coconut milk is an amazing way to enjoy the rich, savory flavors of India on a low-carb diet. With just a few simple ingredient swaps, you can make this classic curry keto-friendly.

The combination of tender, lightly spiced chicken thighs in a silky tomato and coconut milk sauce is incredible. This easy recipe comes together in just 30 minutes too.

For a satisfying keto meal that will transport your taste buds, make this coconut chicken tikka masala curry. Your family is sure to ask for seconds.

After trying this low-carb version, you may never go back to heavy cream-based chicken tikka masala again. The coconut milk makes it rich and creamy but keeps the carbs minimal.

So get your spice rack ready and whip up this delicious keto Punjabi chicken tikka masala with coconut milk today!

Keto Punjabi Chicken Tikka Masala with Coconut Milk

Keto Punjabi Chicken Tikka Masala with Coconut Milk

This easy keto chicken tikka masala is made with coconut milk for a creamy, low-carb curry sauce. Ready in just 30 minutes!

  • Large skillet
  • Small bowl
  • 1 lb boneless (skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce or puree
  • 3 tbsp ghee or coconut oil (divided)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (for garnish)
  1. In a small bowl, combine chicken, 2 tbsp yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Mix well. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp ghee. Sauté garlic briefly until fragrant. Stir in onion and cook 2-3 minutes until starting to soften.
  3. Add coconut milk, tomato sauce, and spices. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
  4. In another skillet, cook chicken in batches in remaining 2 tbsp ghee until browned and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per batch.
  5. Add cooked chicken to sauce and let simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and garnish with cilantro.
  • Look for canned full-fat coconut milk without additives or guar gum for the creamiest results.
  • Leftovers will keep refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for 2-3 months.
Main Course


Myra Henry created the Keto Taco Salad blog to share my favorite delicious low-carb recipes without sacrificing flavor. when i started the keto diet 2 years ago, I discovered a love for making healthy Mexican dishes like keto taco salads. My blog features easy keto taco salad recipes and tips for keto success.

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