Move over chicken! Shrimp tikka masala is a terrific variation on the classic, with juicy, plump shrimp combined with a classic tikka masala sauce. Ready in less than 30 minutes, too!

shrimp tikka masala in copper bowls with rice

A bag of frozen shrimp is always perfect for a quick meal and this Shrimp Tikka Masala means you can enjoy a super flavourful meal, too! With just a few ingredients and less than 30 minutes, this shrimp dinner proves quick and easy and can also be delicious.

What you’ll need

ingredients for making shrimp tikka masala

A few notes on the key ingredients …

Shrimp – I’m a big fan of the plump and juicy Argentinian shrimp, which is what I’ve used here. This shrimp is pink when uncooked. You can use any uncooked shrimp here though, but a larger shrimp is best.

Passata – I’ve used jarred passata (strained tomatoes) here, but tomato puree or canned crushed tomatoes work equally well.

Ginger Garlic Paste – ginger garlic paste is a great addition to the kitchen if you enjoy Indian foods. It’s quite easily found in with the International foods in small jars. If you don’t have it, simply make your own mix with regular garlic and ginger (or ginger paste). Directions are in the Recipe Card below.

Kashmiri Chili Powder – Kashmiri chilli powder is another one of those ingredients that is great to have around if you like to cook Indian dishes. You can substitute cayenne, but use a lot less, as it is hotter than the Kashmiri chilli powder. Adjust both to your tolerance for heat.

Fenugreek Leaves (aka Kasuri Methi) – fenugreek leaves bring that classic Indian flavour to Indian dishes, so I highly recommend them. It is easier to find than you think. My small-town grocery has some frozen in the frozen foods or you can get dried fenugreek leaves from Indian grocers, online retailers or Amazon. In place of fenugreek, you can use a bit of chopped cilantro, or if you happen to have celery leaves on hand, chop up a bit of the leaves and add.

Step-by-step photos

  1. Start by combining the shrimp with ginger garlic paste (you can also use regular garlic and ginger or ginger paste combined).
  2. Add a bit of the spice mix to the bowl.
  3. Stir it all together and let it stand 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add the marinated shrimp to a skillet and cook just until cooked through, about 3 minutes (These are Argentinian shrimp, that are pink to start with, so it can be hard to tell when they are cooked, so time is the best indicator. Regular shrimp will go from grey to pink when cooked.)
  5. Remove the cooked shrimp to a bowl.
  6. In the same skillet, brown some onions, then add some more ginger garlic paste.
  7. Add the remaining spice mix to the skillet and the tomato paste, if using and cook briefly.
  8. Add the passata (or crushed tomatoes) and hot water to the skillet.
  9. Add the fenugreek leaves, if using (you can also use some chopped cilantro here).
  10. Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet and warm through.
  11. Add the cream and stir to combine.
  12. The finished shrimp tikka masala!

Recipe video

Recipe tips

  • Quickly defrost frozen shrimp by placing it into a bowl of cold water for about 20-30 minutes. Don’t use warm or hot water, though, which can introduce food safety issues.
  • You are in control of the spiciness of this dish, by simply adjusting the amount of the spice mix you add to the shrimp and the skillet. As written, the spice mix will bring medium heat. Feel free to reduce or hold some back if you like.
shrimp tikka masala in copper bowl with rice

What to serve with Shrimp Tikka Masala

I love to serve this with basmati rice (white or brown rice, as you like). A little warm naan is also a great addition to sop up the lovely sauce. Add a lime wedge for drizzling, as it’s a nice, bright flavour note, then sprinkle with some more chopped cilantro.

Add some vegetables by serving with a salad or steamed broccoli/broccolini or try it with simple green peas or green beans.

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shrimp tikka masala in copper bowls with rice

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Tikka Masala

Lovely, plump shrimp combines with classic Tikka Masala sauce, for a quick, easy and delicious meal. Ready in less than 30 minutes!
4.75 stars from 4 ratings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2 servings


Spice Mix:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspon Kashmiri chili powder, or a pinch-1/8 tsp of cayenne or omit for no heat

For the curry:

  • 10 oz (300 g) uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined and thawed *see Note 1 below
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste, *see Note 1 below for homemade substitute
  • 2 teaspoons Spice mix, from above
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • Remaining Spice mix, from above (or add less, to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste, optional
  • 1/2 cup passata, or canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon white or brown sugar
  • 1/4-1/3 cup hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi), or some finely chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 Tablespoon heavy cream, 35% b.f. recommended
  • Salt, to taste

To serve:

  • Lime wedges
  • Cooked rice and/or warm naan bread
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


  • Start by mixing together the spice mix in a small bowl.
  • Add the thawed shrimp to a medium bowl. Add the 2 teaspoons of ginger garlic paste, 2 teaspoons of the spice mix and a sprinkling of salt. Stir together and let stand 5-10 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
  • Heat some cooking oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the marinated shrimp and cook just until cooked through about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the skillet to a clean bowl. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel.
  • Add a splash more oil to the pan, then add the onion and a sprinkling of salt. Cook, stirring, until the onions are golden. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger garlic paste and cook 1 minute. Add the remaining spice mix and tomato paste and cook briefly. Add the passata, sugar and hot water (as needed) to thin. Cook a few minutes to warm. Return the shrimp to the pan, then sprinkle in the fenugreek leaves. Add the cream and cook another minute or so. Taste the sauce and add additional salt, as needed.
  • Serve with cooked rice, a lime wedge and/or warm naan bread. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.


Note 1: Quickly defrost frozen shrimp by adding to a bowl of cold water (not warm or hot water!), for about 20-30 minutes.
Note 2: Make your own ginger garlic paste by adding fresh garlic cloves and fresh ginger (or ginger paste) to a blender or food processor. Use twice as much garlic to ginger and blend until it forms a paste. Measure out as needed for this recipe.
For a less spiced dish, simply hold back some of the Spice Mix, to taste.
Be sure to read the notes above this Recipe Card, for more tips on making this recipe. You will also find step-by-step photos and a Recipe Video, that you might find helpful.
Cuisine: Indian
Course: Main Course
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 236kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 196mg, Sodium: 896mg, Potassium: 599mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 958IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 130mg, Iron: 3mg
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