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Chicken Tikka

how to make the best chicken tikka recipe? what is chicken tikka?
Cooking is traveling without ever leaving your house.

Exciting, daunting. Stumbling without direction. Colorful and messy. Frustration. But then realization and discovery, reward and enjoyment.

No more so, than into the land of spices - India.

I’ve been eager to delve into the adventure of real Indian cooking. I’ve tried cooking some simple Indian dishes at home, but I haven't reached beyond that. It's overwhelming staring down the long list of steps and unfamiliar ingredients in most Indian dishes.

What did not help is that Indian food is all over Malaysia. It's delicious and cheap. When I crave Indian food, I eat out.

A week ago, I decided enough is enough. I parked myself in the kitchen until I emerged with an Indian dish that tasted as good as all the spices in it smelled. The result – Chicken Tikka.

what spices are in chicken tikka masala?
what to add to chicken tikka?

Ready to give Indian cooking a try?  To get started, play a Bollywood song. It will put you in the perfect mood to start mixing spices.

what does chicken tikka taste like? is chicken tikka spicy?

Chicken Tikka by Season with Spice

3 pieces (approx. 1 1/2 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces or cubes
2/3 cup natural yogurt
4 cloves garlic, diced
3 tbsp tomato paste or puree
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp butter
Salt & black pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh coriander, diced
Red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
6-8 skewers (if you use bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes to prevent burning)

And spices...
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp curry powder (I used a pre-mix of chili, cardamom, star anise, cloves, fennel seeds)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper or chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric - to add a yellowish-orange hue (optional)

Broiling the chicken tikka:
Day One or Morning:
1. In a large bowl, combine the spices, yogurt, garlic, tomato paste, lime juice, and ginger.
2. Add the chicken pieces to the mixture and coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate. Marinate overnight or at least a few hours.

Day Two or Afternoon:
1. Alternating between chicken and red bell pepper pieces, thread onto skewers and remove excess marinade. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and place skewers on top.

2. Brush the chicken pieces with butter, sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper to taste, and add diced coriander on all sides.

3. Broil the chicken skewers for 10 minutes, flip over, and broil for another 10 minutes until golden brown. Timing will depend on your oven's broiling temperature and the size of the chicken pieces used.

Serve hot with a tortilla or flat bread, sour cream or yogurt, and a refreshing salad.


Rasa Malaysia said...

Absolutely delicious. Love it.

Reese said...

Thanks Bee. Wonderful to have you here. Looking forward to seeing more Penang dishes on Rasa Malaysia.

bunnyeatsdesign said...

Gorgeous colours. I have all those spices though I would probably use thigh rather than breast. Indian restaurants here never seem to use breast?

The Dinner Belle for Kimberlybelle.com said...

I like to add mushrooms, onions, & potatoes to my Tikka skewers. They soak up the flavors really well. Just par boil the potatoes first so that at the end of broiling/grilling they are fully cooked. Eat it Up!

The Dinner Belle for Kimberlybelle.com

SeasonWithSpice said...

Hi BunnyEatDesign - thanks for your note. Thigh or breast work just fine for chicken tikka. Indian restaurants do use both.

Kimberlybelle - I love the idea of adding mushrooms and onions too. Certainly make it a complete meal with tikka skewers.

Donna said...

Great recipe. We tried it with chicken breast too, but next time I'll try thighs. I just introduced myself to our BBQ, so this was a fun recipe to try.Thanks for sharing.

SeasonWithSpice said...

Hi Donna - glad that you tried it out. BBQ is the best way with to enjoy this chicken tikka recipe. Cheers!

Curtis said...

I am looking recipes for bbq for summer parties. BBQ is a great crowd pleaser and assist to bring the family together. Please suggest some quick tips to make sure your BBQ experience is safe and fun.

recipes for bbq

SeasonWithSpice said...

Hi Curtis,

I am living in an apartment in Malaysia, so we don’t get to do BBQ that often as we wish. We have to make do with broiling in oven instead.

For a good resource on BBQ, I recommend this site:

Aside from my chicken tikka recipe, you can also get another delicious BBQ chicken recipe from A Spicy Perspective for your summer parties. The link is here:



Candice said...

Hi Reese,

If I wanted to bake this dish (instead of bbqing), would it work? Would I be able to keep the chicken breast as a whole to bake it? Also, how many people does this recipe feed? I'm looking to make this recipe for five people.


Candice said...

Hi Reese - what temperature would you suggest I preheat the oven to bake the chicken? Yes, I'm planning to serve this as a main dish for 5 adults. I ususally cook about 12 pieces of chicken breast for 5 people (in case we want to bring lunch the next day). In addition to doubling the spices, would I double the ingredients as well (e.g., instead of using 3 tbsp tomato paste, would I use 6 tbsp?)

Sorry for all the questions...I'm still a newbie to cooking.

Thanks! =)

Season with Spice said...

Hi Candice - No problem, i'm happy to help. Since 12 pieces is your regular serving, I'd say go for the same amount then. Yes, you will need to increase the amount of tomato paste. For the rest of the ingredients, double the amount given here, then adjust according to taste.

For the standard size chicken breasts, bake them at 350. If you are comfortable, try broiling the chicken instead. Broiling will yield the best result for chicken tikka. It takes very short time to heat up the oven. Place your chicken on a broiler/ roasting pan and broil for 5-6 minutes on each side. Flip and rotate the chicken 2-3 times. Keep a good watch on the oven. The chicken is done when it turns golden brown and reaches 160F in the thickest part. And don't forget to trust in yourself and apply your cooking instinct when trying out new recipes:) Let me know how it turns out!

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