Chicken tikka is a delightful Indian appetizer that is served in restaurants. It is spicy and healthy where marinated boneless chicken pieces are cooked in tandoor, Air fryer or grill. Try this tasty treat.
This is a favorite with the folks at home. It tastes just like the restaurant kind but is moister and more delicious.
What is Chicken Tikka?
Tandoori chicken tikka is a very popular Indian appetizer where pieces of cubed boneless chicken are marinated in a spiced yogurt marinade and then grilled over charcoal in a tandoor or clay oven (traditionally).
It is spicy and truly delicious. To replicate the tandoor flavour, one can grill, barbecue, bake in oven or Air fry to get the same authentic chicken tikka taste.
You can replicate the smoky taste of the tandoor by getting a nice char on your grilled chicken.
How to Make the Perfect Tikka
1. The success of a good kebab is in chicken tikka marinade. You must marinate in a thick yogurt spice marinade preferably overnight.
This makes the chicken tender and also flavourful. Then grilling it makes it really succulent and tasty.
2. Always dry the chicken breasts before you start adding the marinade.
Adding a little oil to the marinade helps keep the tikka moist.
3. Using a thick yogurt and chickpea flour helps adher the marinade well to the tikka when cooking.
4. I serve these tikka either in rolls with fresh veggies or with a side of pulao.
5. Sprinkle lemon juice and chaat masala when serving to make them even tastier.
6. You can follow the same recipe with chicken thighs or legs. The cooking time will go up though.
7. I also use the leftover marinade to dip peppers and onions and grill them. They make for excellent accompaniments.
8. Mint yogurt chutney goes very well with these tikkas.
Here is my recipe:
The Best Chicken Tikka Recipe
- 1 lb. Chicken breast boneless or 500 gm.
- 2 tbsp. ginger and garlic paste or minced ginger and garlic
- 3 tbsp. Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. garam masala powder or curry powder
- 1 tsp. cayenne
- 1 tsp. black pepper coarsely ground skip if you prefer less spice
- 1 tbsp. Tandoori chicken masala
- 1 tsp. paprika or Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. kasuri methi or dry fenugreek
- 1 tsp. oil/butter for marination and some more for basting
- 2 tsp. chickpea flour or besan
- The key in making good chicken tikka is in its marination.
- Take all the ingredients of the marinade and mix to form a thick paste.
- Evenly coat chicken pieces with this marinade and keep for 4-6 hours or overnight for the flavours to get absorbed.
For Air Fryer
- Pre heat your airfryer at 160 C or 320 F for 5 minutes.
- Take skewers and put the chicken tikka pieces in. Baste with some butter/oil and Air fry at 160 C or 320 F for about 8 minutes. Next raise the temperature to 200 C or 390 F and air fry for about 6 minutes to get a lovely charred look.
- Preheat oven at 240 C or 460 F for 10 minutes. Line a baking tray with foil and arrange a grill tray on it. Line your tikka on skewers and bake for about 25-30 minutes till it is well cooked. You can do the same in a conventional grill.
- Serve hot with lemon slices, slices of onion and chaat masala. Enjoy
- Always preheat your oven/air fryer 2. This recipe is spicy, reduce the spice as per your taste. 3. We cook first at low heat to cook the chicken from inside and yet keep it moist. 4. The high heat cooking is to give it a nice charcoal grill look. 5. When using air fryer, you can baste the pieces with oil midway during cooking. 6. Don't overcook or the chicken will become stringy and chewy. 7. You could also do this on stove top by cooking on a hot skillet. Heat a skillet. Pour some oil and put the tikkas. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat till both sides are done. Or use a grill to cook the tikkas.
Enjoy your hot and tasty chicken tikka and wow your family and friends. If you like the recipe, do give it a star * rating. Thanks.
Cut each chicken breast into similar-sized cubes.
Add all the marination ingredients like yogurt, lemon juice, cayenne (red chilli powder), paprika (Kashmiri chilli powder), pepper powder, tandoori chicken masala, garam masala, coriander powder, kasuri methi, salt, besan and oil to the chicken cubes.
You can adjust the spice as per your taste. This is a spicy recipe.
Mix well and marinate the chicken cubes for 2-6 hours. Skewer onto wooden skewers.
For Air frying
Pre heat your airfryer at 160 C or 320 F for 5 minutes.
Take skewers and put the chicken tikka pieces in. Baste with some butter/oil and Air fry at 160 C or 320 F for about 8 minutes.
Next raise the temperature to 200 C or 390 F and air fry for about 6 minutes to get a lovely charred look.
Preheat oven at 240 C or 460 F for 10 minutes. Line a baking tray with foil and arrange a grill tray on it.
Line your tikka on skewers and bake for about 25-30 minutes till it is well cooked. You can do the same in a conventional grill.
Serve hot with lemon slices, slices of onion and chaat masala. Enjoy.
This tikka goes really well with lemon wedges, sliced onions, green mint chutney and a sprinkle of chaat masala for the tang.
I suggest a minimum marination time of 2 hours. It tastes more flavourful when marinated for 4-8 hours.
You can use more garam masala in its place.
You can skip it in the recipe.
The marinade needs thick yogurt. You could hang some yogurt in a cheese cloth. Drain the whey and use. Or use Greek yogurt.
If you brush oil on the basket and put the tikka in the skewers then they don't stick or stick minimally.
You can skip pepper powder and cayenne. Add more paprika or Kashmiri chilli powder for a more red appearance.
Yes, these cook beautifully on an indoor grill, a charcoal grill or a barbecue.
Chicken breast are very lean and dry out very easily. Basting them helps them stay moist.
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