Chicken Tikka – Barbeque Bliss

The Chicken Tikka Story

What makes a dish become so popular that it features in restaurant menus the world over, everybody who’s anybody stakes claim to a secret recipe which promises an unmatched taste and leaves your drooling for more? Such is the fame of the superstar of Indian cuisine, the Chicken Tikka that Britain unofficially recognizes it as its national dish, various companies have tried replicating its smokey, spicy flavors and packing it neatly in a box, but ask a true chicken tikka aficionado and you will know that it’s not chicken tikka unless its served piping hot straight out of a tandoor. So how did a bite sized piece of chicken manage to garner so much attention?

Let’s roll back to the time when battles were fought on horseback and with a sword in hand. The moghuls always fancied India as their last frontier, a place which had to be conquered. In the early 1500’s along came Babur on his horse and thus began the story of Chiken Tikka. There is no written record stating the origin of chicken tikka, but like many stories about its origin there is one which talks about hungry moghul soldiers skewering pieces of chicken on their swords and cooking them over an open flame, maybe that’s how the chicken tikka was born. The meat loving moghul kings always wanted something spicy and flavorful on their plates, so soon enough the royal chefs started experimenting with spices, marinating meat was a moghul technique of cooking lamb, this was put to use on chicken as well, the tandoor oven played its part and the succulent chicken tikka made regular appearances in royal banquets and dinners.

Soon the British laid their eyes on India; the moghuls were ousted but their food and especially chicken tikka was embraced by the Brits like a long lost son, maybe it had something to do with the bland English food that made Chicken tikka such a sensation in the west, having travelled across the seas to Europe, chicken tikka soon became the best way to use a chicken and people couldn’t have enough of this bite sized piece of spicy goodness. Nobody knows for sure what the early form of chicken tikka would have tasted like, but one thing is for certain the Moghuls would have surely loved the modern avatar of this king of tikkas, Chicken Tikka.

This is the big daddy of all the Kebabs in India. Chicken Tikka is undoubtedly the most famous Indian dish in the west and why not, the juicy and flavorful bite sized pieces of chicken if cooked right just melt away in the mouth and leave you wanting more and more of this truly amazing preparation. Traditionally chicken tikka is cooked in a tandoor, which gives it a heavenly smokey flavor, but it can be easily made at home in an oven. Enjoy it with loads of mint and coriander chutney and onion rings.

Chicken Tikka – Succulent and spicy chicken bits

Chicken Tikka with Mint Chutney

Serving Size – Serves Four
Estimated Preparation Time – 10Minutes
Estimated Cooking Time – 20minutes

[tab name=’Ingredients’]

Chicken Breasts

Chicken breast-2
Chilli Powder-1Tbsp
Gram flour-2Tbsp
Ginger paste-1Tbsp
Garlic Paste- 1Tbsp
Garam Masala-1tsp
Lemon Juice- 2Tbsp
Vegetable oil-2Tbsp


[tab name=’Preparation Method’]

Wash and cut the chicken breast into even sized dices. Dry off with a kitchen towel and keep aside.

To prepare the marinade. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan, add gram flour to the oil, mix well and cook till the color changes to a light golden.

Chicken Tikka Marinade

Keep aside in a bowl take Yoghurt, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, garam masala, salt, lemon juice and the prepared gram flour paste. Mix thoroughly to form a smooth sauce like consistency.

Add the cut chicken dices into this marinade and leave in to marinate for at least 30-45 minutes. The longer it marinates the juicier the chiken tikka will be.

To make the tikka, pierce the marinated chicken pieces into a skewer and place onto an oiled baking tray. Cook in the oven at 190C or 380F for 15-20 minutes or till a brown crust appears on the tikkas.

Serve hot along with lemon wedges,mint chutney and onion rings.


[tab name=’Nutrition and Tips’]

Chicken Tikka with onion rings and mint chutney

Nutritional Value – Calories- 510 Fat 21 g, Carbohydrates- 27 g, Protein- 32 g

Tip: To avoid the tikkas getting too dry baste them with oil while cooking in the oven.


This entry was posted by Quick Asian Recipes - Amrit Gill.

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