Chicken Tikka (Murgh Tikka)


This classic Punjabi recipe is one of the food icons of India. It is known internationally and also used in the all time British favorite Chicken Tikka Masala. Basically it is pieces (tikka) of chicken (murgh), which has been marinated in yogurt and spices for 24 hours and put on skewers before cooked in a tandoor – a traditional Indian oven. Since few people have access to a tandoor, this recipe shows how to make Chicken Tikka using a domestic oven or a BBQ. Normally food coloring is used to give the chicken its characteristic red color, but this version leaves it out. If the red color is desired simply add ¼ teaspoon of red tandoori food coloring to the marinate.

Chicken Tikka

500 g. boneless chicken breast fillets cut into 2,5 cm (1 in) cubes

½ tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon hot chili powder

1½ tablespoon lemon juice

2 table spoons garam masala  (see how to make garam masale here)

4 garlic cloves

15 g. coriander (cilantro) leaves

5 cm (2 in) piece of ginger

100 ml  thick plain yogurt

Salt to taste

One lemon cut into wedges

Mix all the ingredients except the chicken and blend to a fine paste. Add salt to taste. Then add the chicken, cover and leave in the fridge over night. Before cooking thread the chicken pieces on skewers (preferably metal skewers).

If using a BBQ

Heat the barbecue to around 300 degrees celcious and cook the chicken for around 10 minutes or until cooked and browned. Serve with lemon wedges.

If using a domestic oven:

Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Roast chicken uncovered for around 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and browned around the edges. Serve with lemon wedges.