Do you ever have those moments when you think of a recipe and know it's going to be good? But then once you taste the finished dish, it tastes even better than you imagined? I had that moment with these chicken tikka masala pita wraps. I had the idea of making a chicken tikka masala and putting it in a wrap. Doesn't sound too crazy, right? Stuff the wraps with fresh tomatoes, mint, feta, cucumbers, and the most delicious garlic aioli, and trust me, you'll be enjoying these as much as I did.
Chicken Tikka Masala Pita Wraps
Chicken tikka masala
- 1 lb chicken breast or thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt plain
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoon oil divided
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno minced
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoon coconut cream
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- juice of ½ lemon
- salt and pepper
- 4 pita pockets
- 2 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- 1 Persian cucumber thinly sliced
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
- ¼ cup feta crumbled
- 2 tablespoon fresh mint chopped
- Marinate the chicken. Combine the yogurt with minced ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, and turmeric. Add the marinade to the chicken, mixing to fully coat the chicken. Let sit for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Meanwhile, make the garlic aioli. Combine the mayonnaise with 3 minced garlic cloves, the juice of ½ lemon, salt, and pepper. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and the juices run clear, about 6-7 minutes. Remove the chicken and wipe the pan clean.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan. Saute the garlic and jalapeno until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, paprika, cumin, and garam masala. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the coconut cream and simmer another 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Reserve ¼ cup of the sauce and set aside for serving. Add the chicken back to the pan and toss to coat. Simmer for 1 more minute.
- Assemble the pita wraps. Split open the pita pockets and stuff with the chicken, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, crumbled feta, and mint. Drizzle the garlic aioli and serve with extra aioli and tikka masala sauce on the side. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Chicken tikka masala is essentially a marinated chicken simmered in spiced tomato curry. It's usually very saucy and you enjoy it with rice and naan. I wanted to make a version of that Indian dish but make it less saucy. Don't worry all the flavor will still be there.
Combine plain Greek yogurt with ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, and toss the marinade with the chicken. I used chicken thighs but you can also use chicken breast. This recipe makes a mild version of chicken tikka masala. To add more intensity, increase the amount of cayenne.
Marinade the chicken for one hour or up to overnight. While the chicken is soaking up all those wonderful ingredients, make the garlic aioli. You can also make the garlic aioli the day before. In fact, the longer it sits, the better it'll taste.
Heat a saute pan and cook the chicken until browned and the juices run clear. Remove the chicken and transfer it to a plate.
Wipe the pan clean and start making the sauce for the chicken tikka masala pita wraps. Saute the garlic and jalapeno until aromatic, then add the tomato sauce, paprika, garam masala, and cumin.
If you want to increase the heat, I recommend adding more jalapeno. Go ahead and add those jalapeno seeds too while you're at it!
Finish the sauce with a touch of coconut cream and season it with salt and pepper. Reserve ¼ cup of the sauce for serving, then throw in the chicken and let it simmer for a minute.
While the chicken is finishing up, prepare the toppings. Chop fresh lettuce, crumble some feta, halve some cherry tomatoes, slice some cucumber, and mince some fresh mint.
Heat up pita bread and split it open. Stuff the pita with the chicken and all of the toppings along with a good drizzle of the garlic aioli. Serve the chicken tikka masala pita wraps with extra garlic aioli and extra tomato sauce on the side.
I'm not lying when I took a bite and immediately yelped with glee. I couldn't believe how delicious these wraps were! They were so tasty I went ahead and ate it for lunch the next two days.
For more Indian food inspiration check out these Indian butter chicken wings!