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Indian Chicken Tikka

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Not to be confused with chicken tikka masala, the creamy tomato-and-chicken curry beloved (and claimed) by Brits and Indians alike, chicken tikka refers to yogurt-marinated grilled chicken kebabs, native to India.


  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 small fresh green Thai chiles, seeded
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 40)
  • 8 12-inch skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes if wooden)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
  • Lemon wedges

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 330
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 170
  • Fat (g): 19
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 130
  • Sodium (mg): 200
  • Carbohydrates (g): 3
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 35


  • In a mini food processor or with a mortar and pestle, purée 2 Tbs. of the cilantro, the lemon juice, ginger, garlic, chiles, cumin seeds, turmeric, garam masala, and 1 tsp. salt into a smooth paste. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the yogurt. Add the chicken and mix to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) gas or charcoal grill fire for direct grilling.
  • Thread the marinated chicken onto the skewers, leaving a little space between the pieces; season with salt and pepper.
  • Oil the grill grate. Grill the skewers, turning and basting with the butter every 2 to 3 minutes, until the chicken is browned and just cooked through (cut into a piece to check), about 8 minutes. Transfer to plates or a platter and brush with butter one last time. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve with the lemon wedges.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • riponhassan | 08/05/2020

    easy and excellent. i am sure to make this chicken tikka with cilantro marination. In India the popular version of chicken tikka is marinated with tandoori masala and red in colour. i love cilatro marination. Cilantro is a healthy herbs.

  • griml007 | 07/19/2014

    This recipe was delicious and easy. My one recommendation is to use a bit less dairy - the flavors were pretty mild and muted in the final product.

  • localempa | 07/13/2014

    Great recipe! Simple to execute, and many ways to use. I will be making this again soon.

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