Chicken Tikka is boneless chicken pieces marinated in curds/yoghurt and aromatic spices and then cooked in a tandoor (clay oven).The key to tikka preparation is a good marination and very importantly the quality of chicken used. The chicken pieces should be tender and not fibrous. It is also important to use quality curds/yoghurt and well balanced spices.
Today’s Chicken Tikka is super delicious even though it is prepared using an electric oven. Like all tikkas, it can be served with a spicy green chutney, sliced onions, mint leaves and a squeeze of fresh lime/lemon or with a green salad. It is perfect to serve your guests at a celebration party as finger food with cocktails/mocktails or even as an evening snack. In case if you have left overs then you can fill them in pita pockets, fix sandwiches/kathi rolls, make chapatti/naan/roti wraps with salad. Children as well as adults will love it as it is a wonderful dry non messy lunch or a mid morning snack.
I make Chicken Tikkas using a charcoal grill and also an electric oven. I made this Chicken Tikka which was so succulent and just the right amount of spice. We enjoyed it with cocktails and mocktails. My home was filled with lovely aromatic spices and we relished them. I wanted to use the left overs to make some salad or wraps/rolls but that was not to be as there weren’t any! I was happy as I knew they were a hit with my family.
So here’s the recipe for this fantastic Chicken Tikka for you to try and check out the happy faces for yourself!!
250 gms. Boneless Chicken Breasts
First Marinade :
1 tbsp. fresh Lime/Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Second Marinade :
¼ cup Hung Curds (strain ½ cup curds in a muslin cloth or in a fine strainer)
1 tsp. fresh Ginger paste
1 tsp. fresh Garlic paste
1 tsp. Red Chilli pwd.
1 tsp. roasted Cumin pwd.
1 tbsp. Coriander pwd.
1 tbsp. Tandoori Masala ( I used Everest)
¼ tsp. Garam Masala pwd.
A drop of Orange Food Color (optional)
Vegetable Oil for basting
Clean and wash the boneless chicken breasts.
Pat dry and cube the chicken in to sufficiently large pieces (tikkas). Remember chicken will shrink on roasting.
Place the pieces of chicken in a sufficiently large bowl and rub some salt, pepper and lime juice into the chicken. Set aside for about 15-20 mins.
In another bowl, whisk together the hung curd, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli pwd., roasted cumin seed pwd., coriander pwd., tandoori masala, garam masala and orange food color.
Add this tandoori paste to the bowl of chicken pieces and mix well to combine. The pieces of chicken should be well coated.
Cover the bowl with cling film or a lid & and let it marinate for about 3-4 hrs. ; preferably overnight in the fridge.
When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 200C.
Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil & lightly brush with oil.
Arrange the marinated chicken pieces at a uniform distance.
After baking for 15-20 mins. remove the tray baste/brush with oil and flip the tikkas.
Baste the flipped tikkas with oil & let it bake for another 10-12 mins.
Check with a toothpick to test if cooked through & tender. If not, baste/brush again with some oil & bake again; flipping again after every 3-4 mins. The pieces should be lightly blackened.
Do not overcook the chicken. Boneless chicken cooks quickly so you need to be alert & check every few mins. The cooking time also depends on the size of the pieces of chicken.
Serve the chicken tikkas piping hot with green chutney, sliced onions & wedges of lime/lemon and/or a green salad.
Tips & Variations :
To achieve the best flavor, it is better to marinate the tikka pieces overnight in a fridge or for at least 4 hrs.
The key to any tikka preparation is a good marination.
For chicken tikkas, the quality of the chicken is of utmost importance. The chicken pieces should be tender and not fibrous.
It is also important to use quality curds/yoghurt and well balanced and preferably freshly ground spices.
To marinate use glass, ceramic or clay bowls.
If using skewers, then you may alternate the chicken pieces with onion and bell peppers.
Use of fresh coriander, a sprinkling of chaat masala, rock salt, crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) is all a matter of personal preference.
Use of vegetable oil, mustard oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, pure ghee (clarified butter), homemade ghee, olive oil and butter for basting and boosting the flavor depends on personal preference.