Chicken tikka

I had stopped cooking or eating chicken for a while now, so there weren’t any non-vegetarian recipe posts for last 4-5months. But as they say – times change, so do I. I wanted to make this comeback to the non-veggie side of things a bit special, and I chose to try this recipe that my colleague Cyndy was asking about.

Tikka is traditionally made in a special kind of oven called Tandoor. Normally boneless pieces of chicken are marinated in spicy masalas for around 3-4 hrs and then grilled. In India, these are served in mostly all non vegetarian restaurants. The best tikka I tasted was from a small restaurant called ‘Curry House’ in BTM Layout, Bangalore. I used to specially go to this restaurant to eat tikka and/or hariyali kabab, chicken biryani and spicy buttermilk. Though all dishes they served are very tasty, I would always order these. After a few days of my frequent visits to this place, the waiters would pre-order this stuff because they knew what I would order :).

Since I don’t have a tandoor or grill with me, I fried them on a flat bottomed pan till they are almost done and then baked them in oven. They turned out to be perfect.

10 pieces of boneless chicken
1/2 tea spn ginger paste
1/2 tea spn garlic paste
1/2 tea spn cumin powder
1/2 tea spn coriander powder
1/2 tea spn garam masala
1 tea spn chili powder (preferably Kashmiri chili powder or byadagi chili powder)
1 cup yogurt/curd
1 tbl spn lemon juice
Chaat masala (optional)

Increase or decrease the spices according to taste. Use fresh ginger and garlic for best results, the ready made ginger-garlic paste has a a very different taste and aroma.

Take the yogurt in a thin cloth and squeeze out all water out of it. This is called hung yogurt.
Add hung yogurt and all other ingredients(except oil/butter) to the chicken and mix well. There should be a nice coating of this mixture on all pieces. Do not add any water to it. Leave it in freezer for around 3-4hrs.

Heat a flat bottomed pan, apply oil/butter and keep the pieces on it.

Fry from all sides till it is almost cooked. Preheat the oven at 350F and bake the pieces for around 10-15mins till the pieces get a brownish color.
Alternatively instead of frying and baking, thread the pieces onto the skewers and grill them till they are done.
While serving, spread some chaat masala on top and serve with lemon pieces.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 40mins

31 thoughts on “Chicken tikka”

  1. Most of the times i use shan powders for tandoori/tikka. Got to try homemade marinate. Have a Q- why use Hung yogurt? Does it help better in marination?

  2. Asha, yes they are the best in chicken dishes. I can keep on eating them and forget about the main course :).

    Sandeepa, my first attempt with tikkas was a flop when I tried to bake them completely in oven. They became chewy. Second time I tried cooking them on stove top and they turned too watery. So one of my friend mentioned that his sis fried them first and then bakes them. I tried it this time and it worked very well.

    Manjula, I used to buy those ready made masalas before. But beleive me, home made tastes better. If you use normal yogurt, it becomes too watery after marinating for sometime, so normally hung yogurt is used so that the coating remains very thick.

  3. Thanks for this recipe, looks yummy! Coming from a vegetarian family, I’ve started to cook (& eat) non-veg just from past couple of years (Thanks to my hubby, he’s a non-veg lover). Still improvising on my chicken dishes. Have to try this one over the weekend!

  4. Chicken tikka looks delicious Shilpa!
    I had similar experience with baking, so I am going to try your fry first then bake approach next time.

  5. Shilpa, can you please give me some tips for cooking chicken? Like I said, I’m still a novice in non-veg cooking. I don’t know at which point you consider the chicken “cooked” or “almost cooked”. Does it change color or do you make out by the texture? A couple of times I’ve tried, it comes out kind of dry. My friend said it’s because they get overcooked. So what is the right point at which you take out the pieces from the pan? And does it have to be fried on low flame?

    I appreciate any tips you could give me regarding this.

  6. Shilpa-
    I gave in to chicken a few days ago too…your murgh tikka masala looks great! good idea to fry AND bake…i don’t think normal ovens aren’t hot enough to “sear” (seal the surface) to keep the meat moist-( tandoors must be very hot!)…when i’ve used the oven alone, it always turned out dry and chewy. thanks for the tip!

  7. I marinate the chicken for making various dishes, but never thought of chicken tikka. One more way for hung curd is tie it in a muslin cloth and hang it overnight. You will get thick curds. Anyway i do not know how it tastes, being a veggie. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thanks Arjuna, believe me this method works like a charm :).

    Pelicano, then I can expect some chicken recipes from you right? I have no idea what is the problem with normal ovens, tikkas never turned out good when I used one of the two methods. I have spoiled tikkas atleast 3-4 times before making them perfect :). Try this and let me know.

    Aruna, thats the method hung curd should be done actually. But you know, I don’t have time or patience to hang it all night. One of the reason might be, I forget it always. So I just squeezed it to remove water. If little water remains, no problem. You can make it with Paneer for veggie version.

    Vani, yes the chicken turns very light (whitish). Thats the first indication to know it is getting done. Fry them on a low/medium flame and observe carefully to see the whole chicken color getting lighter. By then the masala would have sticked to the pieces. Then to the side of one of the pieces, press hard with a spoon. If it is not cooked, it won’t get cut. At this stage, pop them in oven. Once you start observing it for few days, you will easily come to know. If you have any doubt, eat some piece and check.

  9. Wow Shilpa, Chicken looks tempting.I like non veg very much.Even yesterday also i made chicken65.
    I liked the tip you gave to vani’s query .It was helpful……Thanks.

  10. My mouth is watering already cant wait to make tikkas….hmm….:)
    the method of frying and baking is great Shilpa…

  11. Shilpa, I tried this and it came out really well.. Better than a lot of chicken dishes I’ve cooked in the recent past. My hubby and I simply loved it. Thanks again for the recipe!

  12. Thanks a lot Vani for letting me know. Your comments are really important for me to post more such recipes. Thanks again dear.

  13. shilpa why dont u start a category for indo chinese recipes i just love them and since ive come here not eaten it for the last 2 yrs actually would love to get some recipes

  14. Hi Shilpa,
    I just tried this recipe yesterday and it was just delicious. We just loved it. Thanks for all your efforts and the recipe too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Hello Shilpa,

    Great recipie,makes my mouth water. You have said keep it in the freezer for 3/4 hours,wont that bring the water out from the yoghurt when it comes back to room temperature?

    Love all your recipies,you have inspired me to take up konkani cooking again!


  16. Namrata, yes it brings back some of the water due to ice. But by then, the masala would have become thick enough and made a coating on the pieces. I feel this way is the best. You can just refrigerate it if you are doing it for other kind of tandooris and kababs. Thanks a lot for your kind words about me.

  17. Hi Shilpa,
    I liked your tikka recipe.

    I tried chicken tikka. But I am not good at hanling oven. I dont know which tray to use and where I need to keep it. We have some R A B C etc. I kept fried chicken in grilled pan and put it on B stand in oven and cooked for 10 min. In 10 min all chicken pieces(only 7 pieces I tried) were turned black :(.
    Can you suggest which tray to use in oven.

  18. Sandhya, what are R A B C? do you have the oven user manual with you? Please check if you have it. I thought they might be broil, bake clean, but I donno.Usually the tray does not matter. You should keep the oven on a lower temperature. I think yours was too hot, so the pieces got burnt. Keep checking them every 5mins initially till you get a good knowledge of oven.

  19. hello!

    i tried this recipe yesterday. but when i fryied the chicken pieces on the tawa it started becoming watery. so the pieces became soft rather than nice crispy.
    please advise..

    Shilpa: Ketaki, you need to fry them till all water goes off. After that you need to bake them to get the crispy outer crust.

  20. hey..m posting for the first time ever..
    ..could u post most some mexican dishes…those are suppose to be of,somewhat same spices as indian dishes do…that would be a great help if u let know…

  21. hi! i am a frequent visitor on ur site and have tried alot of veg dishes they r my hubby has asked to look for non veg hubby likes fish& myson likes &my daughter are pure veggies so please can you suggest a low cal recipe with gravy .

  22. Hi, Can you tell where in BTM layout is the Curry House restaurant ? Thanks .

    Port Darwin

    Shilpa: Sony, its in Bilekalli just opposite to Vijaya Bank Colony. If you ask anyone for Vijaya Bank colony, you can easily find it.

  23. Hi Shilpa.. Can I use plain yogurt instead of hung yogurt? I dont have any kind of thin muslin cloth with me.. I can put the tikka pieces in the skewer and the bake them right?

    Shilpa: Yes suma, you can use normal yogurt. But the marinade might become too watery. So be sure to use very thick yogurt. If you don’t have muslin cloth, you can use a clean hand karcheef(I dont have a muslin cloth with me)

  24. Hi shilpa,

    Chicken tikka looks delicious.. All ur recipes are good and easy to cook.. Ur site more helpful for me coz i dont know anything about cooking just now started cooking… and ur site is a right hand for me.. thanks a lot…
    I did this chicken Tikka it came very good… but one doubt after 3-4 hours of marination the chicken is too hard and cant keep in room temp coz it may get contamination.. wat u ill do, whether we should defrost it.. reply me as soon as possible…

    Shilpa: It should be refrigerated…not frozen.

  25. This recipe rocks ! I have tried it with Chicken Drumsticks, whole chicken legs and cornish game hens…. yum… Also, the hung yogurt seems to make a lot of difference as well. The red chili powder I have is too hot, so I put less of it, and add a little bit of McCormick’s red color… Also, freshly grated ginger-garlic paste is a must ! And for marination I usually leave it in the fridge and not the freezer as mentioned above. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Hi Shilpa,

    My Hubby says “henceforth we stop ordering from out” ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for this lovely tikka recipe.

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