Atul’s Chicken Tikka Masala Pie with Wild Berry Compôte

Atul Kochhar

Atul Kochhar

6th March 2020
Atul Kochhar

Atul’s Chicken Tikka Masala Pie with Wild Berry Compôte

240 min

Wild berries and chicken tikka? You might think I’ve got this all wrong, but try it and you’ll appreciate what a great match this unusual combination is. This is one of my signature dishes on the à la carte menu.

Makes 4.

Photo credit: Jodi Hinds.


Atul’s Tandoori Marinade for Chicken

  • 300g Greek-style yogurt 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon ground coriander 1 tablespoon ginger–garlic paste 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika ½ teaspoon crumbled dried fenugreek leaves 2 tablespoons mustard oil sea salt 500g boneless chicken thighs, skinned


  • 500g plain white flour, plus extra for dusting 250g chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 egg, lightly beaten 1½ teaspoons each white and black sesame seeds, mixed ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

ginger-garlic paste

  • 10g garlic 10g ginger

Garam Masala (makes 160g)

  • 5cm piece of cinnamon stick 100g coriander seeds 50g cumin seeds 20 green cardamom pods 20 cloves 5 bay leaves
  • 5 black cardamom pods 2 dried red chillies 1½ teaspoons black peppercorns 1 tablespoon dried rose petals 1 teaspoon ground ginger ½ nutmeg

Onion Masala gravy (makes 300 ml)

  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil 2.5cm piece of cinnamon stick 2 green cardamom pods, bruised 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 2 onions, finely chopped 1 teaspoon ginger–garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon garam masala ½ teaspoon turmeric 350ml water 1 tablespoon tomato puree, mixed with 4 tablespoons water sea salt

Makhani gravy (makes 400 ml)

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil 1 green chilli, chopped 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 800g tomatoes, roughly chopped 400ml water handful of coriander stalks (optional) 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon mild red chilli powder 1 teaspoon crumbled fenugreek leaves 1 teaspoon garam masala 50g butter, diced 80ml single cream sea salt

tikka masala gravy

  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil 400g Atul’s Tandoori Marinade for Chicken (make 1 1/3 quantities of the recipe above) 100ml Makhani gravy 70ml Onion Masala Gravy 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves 2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger

wild berry compôte

  • 100g mixed berries 30g caster sugar 11/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground

raspberry sauce

  • 50g raspberries, puréed and sieved 15g caster sugar a pinch of chaat masala


Tandoori Marinated Chicken

To make the tandoori marinade, whisk all the ingredients together with salt to taste in a non-metallic bowl. Rub all over the chicken thighs until well coated. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.


Next make the pastry. Put the flour, butter and salt into a food processor, and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 105ml cold water with the motor running and process just until it forms a soft dough.
Shape the dough into a ball and flatten, then dust with flour, wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Ginger-Garlic Paste

Meanwhile, make the ginger-garlic paste for both the Onion Masala gravy. Blitz equal quantities of peeled garlic and fresh ginger with 10 per cent of their total weight in water, using a mini blender or food processor, to make a smooth paste.

Garam Masala

To prepare the garam masala for the Onion Masala and Makhani gravy, toast the whole spices (apart from the nutmeg) individually in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until aromatic. Immediately tip them out of the pan into a spice grinder.
Add the dried rose petals and ginger and grate in the nutmeg, then blitz to a fine powder. Pass through a fine sieve. Store any leftover garam-masala in an airtight container in a dark cupboard for up to 3 weeks.

Onion Masala Gravy

For the Onion Masala gravy, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the whole spices and sauté over a medium heat until they crackle. Add the onions and sauté for 5–8 minutes until lightly coloured.
Add the ginger–garlic paste and sauté over a low heat for 2–3 minutes, or until the raw smell of the paste disappears. Stir in the ground spices and sauté for a further 2–3 minutes.
Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, add 225ml of the water and blitz. Add the diluted tomato puree, the remaining water and salt to taste, and blitz again until blended.
Transfer to a saucepan and simmer over a low heat for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if the mixture starts to catch on the bottom of the pan, but the idea is to gently ‘fry’ the sauce, which will darken in colour to light brown.
The final texture (not colour) should be something like tomato ketchup. While cooking, it will gloop occasionally and splatter. It can burn or scald, so cook the sauce with caution. Set aside to cool completely.

Makhani Gravy

Next prepare the Makhani gravy. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the chilli and ginger and sauté over a medium heat for 1–2 minutes until lightly coloured.
Add the tomatoes, water and coriander stalks, if using, and simmer, uncovered, for 20–25 minutes until the tomatoes are reduced to a pulp. Press the mixture through a sieve and discard the seeds and skins.
Return the strained sauce to the pan and bring to the simmer. Add the honey, chilli powder, fenugreek and garam masala, and bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 8–10 minutes until it thickens.
Add the butter, cream and salt to taste. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, then adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Tikka Masala Gravy

Finally, make the tikka masala gravy. Heat oil in a wok, add the tandoori marinade and simmer for 2 minutes. Add both the Onion Masala and Makhani gravies and the coriander leaves and ginger, then remove from the heat.
Pour the mixture into a roasting tray to cool.

Wild Berry Compôte

To make the compôte, put all the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and reduce it to a chutney-like texture. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.


After the chicken has marinated, preheat the oven to 240°C/Fan 220°C/Gas 9. Roast the chicken thighs for 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove them from oven and leave to cool.
When both the chicken and tikka masala gravy are cool, cut the thighs into thick strips so it’s easier to fit them in the pie tins. Mix the strips with the cooled tikka masala gravy and set aside.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until slightly less than 5mm thick. Cut out four 12cm rounds. Divide the chicken filling evenly and place on the centre of these rounds, leaving a border of pastry around the edge.
Re-roll the pastry trimmings and cut out four 10cm rounds. Brush a little beaten egg around the edge of the large round, then lay a small pastry round on top, folding the edges of the larger round up and over the edge of the smaller round to seal.
Repeat to make 3 more pies.
Reheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/ Gas 4.
Brush each pie with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then place on a greased baking tray. Bake for 20–25 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is hot.

Raspberry Sauce

While the pies are baking, make the raspberry sauce. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and keep hot.
To serve, place the pies on individual plates with the wild berry compôte surrounding each pie. Add a spoonful of raspberry sauce on top and serve.

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