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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chicken Tikka | Spicy Grilled Chicken

What comes to your mind whenever you hear this word "Tikka". Well for me it's that smokey flavor, grilled and charred meat pieces in vibrant red color sometimes green or white, a comfort food kind of thing. The dish originates in South Asia and mainly popular in countries like India and Pakistan...and now it is categorized among the International cuisine. If you go to certain places in India, you will see the whole street dedicated to tikka.

It is traditionally prepared wherein small boneless pieces of chicken are grilled on a skewer and cooked in a hot clay oven called "tandoor" or sometimes even laid flat and cooked over a hot burning bed of charcoal. That's how it gets that smokey flavor without which it is incomplete. Well, the spices are normally the same followed by most of the chefs and cooks except for slight changes and personal touch here and there. Sometimes you will find a colorful display of varieties of tikkas. Like if you see a green color tikka, then it obtains its color from herbs like spinach, coriander, mint etc. And if it is white in color then it has that rich and creamy flavor of cream and nuts. And the list goes on.

Here I will show you as to how you can get the same effect of charcoal cooking with all the smoke flavor at the comfort of your home and with your ordinary electric oven. Well, there are few easy tricks to be followed.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Marination time: 4 hours + 30 min
Grill time: 25 min.

Serves 3     


  • 500 gms boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoon yogurt
  • 1 piece of charcoal
  • Ghee for basting
For Marinade ( Grind together to smooth  paste)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fried onion
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon mustard paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek powder
  •  1 teaspoon kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder ( Allspice powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • Pinch of black salt
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt


  1. Wash the chicken pieces and pat them dry with help of a kitchen tissue. Put slight incisions on the chicken.
  2. Take the ground paste and add 2 tbsp of yogurt and mix well. Marinate the chicken pieces in it for about 4 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 250 deg. C.
  4. Also, keep a charcoal piece for burning on low flame. (burn it for 15 minutes)
  5. Take the bowl in which the chicken is marinating. Keep a small pieces of foil and place a hot burning charcoal on it. Pour ghee over the charcoal and place a tight lid over the chicken for it to get fumigated. Don't let the charcoal smoke escape through the lid. Leave the chicken in this way for about 30 minutes.
  6. Place the chicken pieces on a baking tray and grill in the oven close to the top flame for about 20 minutes. Slightly brush ghee over each piece and grill for another 5 minutes or till chicken is done.
  7. Sprinkle some chaat masala powder and serve hot.
  • You can use any parts of the chicken but they should all be of the same size.
  • The quantity of the ground paste might be more, so you can store the extra masala paste in the freezer before adding chicken to it.
  • Do not grill chicken in the oven for too long as you will end up getting dry rubbery chicken tikka. The ideal time for a marinated chicken to cook is 20 to 25 minutes and not more than that.


  1. I have tried a lot of tikka recipes before but I felt this one is very unique with fried onions , mustard and many others.

  2. Hello, I have two questions :
    Tomato puree : is it fresh tomatoes blended ? or do you mean concentrated tomato
    Mustard paste : what is it ?
    Thnaks for your help

    1. Tomato puree is the one which get in stores (concentrated one).
      Mustard sauce is a ready made sauce available in big supermarkets which is also used for burgers and sandwiches.
      In case if you do not get mustard sauce you can skip that part.

  3. Tried this classic chicken tikka and turned out too good. Everyone loved it. Thanks shaan for the mouth watering recipe.

  4. Salam alaikum, I have an otg.. So after preheating @ 250 on what mode should I grill it?? I mean with only the top rod
    on?? TIA

    1. Switch on the top flame and place the baking tray close to it. After 15 minutes turn the pieces.