Popular in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, chicken tikka is skewered marinated chicken pieces grilled over red-hot coals. Serve as an appetizer or a main dish.
- Bamboo skewers
- 1.5 kilograms chicken fillets thighs or breasts, cut into 2-inch squares
- 2 tablespoons rock salt
- 1 tablespoon grated turmeric or use 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 thumb-sized knobs ginger peeled and grated
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and grated
- 3 to 4 bird's eye chilies finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- ¼ cup butter or ghee softened, for brushing
- Place the chicken in a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients (except the butter or ghee) and mix well.
- Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least six hours.
- At least 30 minutes before grilling, soak about 15 bamboo skewers in water to prevent them from burning while grilling.
- Thread the chicken in the bamboo skewers, five to six pieces are a good number.
- Grill the chicken over hot coals, at least six inches from the heat.
- Turn over once the undersides are lightly charred.
- Brush the charred sides with softened butter or ghee.
- When the opposite sides lightly charred, turn over and brush the newly-charred sides with butter or ghee.
- Turn the skewered chicken two to three more times, at 30-second intervals, brushing the tops with more butter and ghee each time.
- Serve the chicken tikka immediately.
Chicken does not take very long to cook. If your coals are hot enough, it should take only above seven minutes per side. If serving as a main course, chicken tikka is great with white rice and a light vegetable salad on the side. Updated from a recipe originally published in May 17, 2010