Delicious Chicken Tikka and Chicken Tikka Masala

chicken tikka

The delicious dish originated in the Indian state of Punjab. Since then it is the favorite and most wanted Non-veg starter. Chicken tikka is like tandoori chicken the difference is, Tandoori chicken has big chunks of pieces (usually with bone), whereas tikka has small pieces without bone. You’ll find Chicken Tikka as in the first position under the Non-veg starter menu in each restaurant (non-veg restaurants). Over the period of time, chicken tikka now comes in various flavours. Chicken tikka and Chicken tikka masala are the famous Indian cuisines served in almost all the Indian restaurants all across the world.

What is Tikka?

In Punjabi Tikka means “bits and pieces”. These pieces are marinated in yoghurt and some spices and then barbequed in a tandoor (clay oven) or on red hot coal. The Tikkas are brushed with Ghee (clarified butter) at regular intervals. Brushing with ghee gives a nice fragrance to these tikkas and ghee also enhances the taste. The tikkas are usually eaten with green coriander chutney or green mint chutney, tamarind chutney and onion salad with lemon. The dish is garnished with fresh coriander leaves and pich of chat masala. The variations of tikka are paneer tikka, Lamb Tikka, Chicken tikka, fish Tikka and Prawns Tikka.

What is Chicken Tikka?

A Chicken tikka is an Indian dish that originated in North Indian state of Punjab. It is very popular non vegetarian starter that is available in almost all the Non Vegetarian restaurants across India. As such there is no specific recipe for this dish. It is believed that there are almost 48 Chicken tikka recipes across India. Today chicken tikka has various versions like chicken pudina tikka, Lehsuni chicken Tikka etc.

Chicken tikka recipe:


  • Boneless Chicken Breasts – 1 Kg
  • Garlic – 3 Cloves
  • Ginger – 1 inch
  • Onion – 2 no’s
  • Curd /Yoghurt – 150 ml
  • Red chilly powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder – 2 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala – 1 teaspoon
  • Lime – 2 tablespoon
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste


  • Make a paste by grind one onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor.
  • Add this to all the other ingredients, mix well , now add chicken and mix well .
  • Marinate overnight in a fridge.
  • Skewer the chicken pieces on thick skewers, not too tightly or they will not cook well on all sides.
  • Preheat oven to maximum, 240 C , cook for 10 minutes or so, turning over once.
  • Remove chicken from skewers and garnished with thinly sliced onions, coriander leaves and slices of lemon or lime.

What is Chicken Tikka Masala?

Its popularity has proven so great that almost every Indian restaurant worldwide offers it. Another variation of Chicken tikka is the Chicken tikka Masala. It is a dish of roasted chicken chunks in a rich red, creamy, lightly spiced, tomato- onion based sauce. The chicken chunks are first marinated in yoghurt and other spices then baked in tandoor or on coal. Then these pieces are again cooked in the gravy. The sauce or chicken pieces (or both) are often coloured orange or red with food dyes or natural colouring such as turmeric powder mixed with tomato puree. Other tikka masala dishes replace chicken with lamb, fish or paneer.

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

For marinade:

  • 1 cup fresh yogurt (should not be sour)
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsps ginger paste
  • 3 tbsps garlic paste
  • 3-4 tbsps garam masala
  • 6 peppercorns/ 2 dry red chillies
  • 3 tbsps lime/ lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp orange food coloring
  • 1 kg chicken (breast or thigh) skinless and cut into 2″ chunks

For the gravy:

  • 2 medium-sized onions finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped fine
  • 5 pods cardamom
  • 1 tin (400 gms approx) chopped tomatoes or 6 medium-sized fresh tomatoes chopped fine
  • 2 tbsps garam masala
  • 2 tsps soft brown sugar
  • 1 cup single cream
  • 3 tbsps almonds blanched and ground to a paste
  • 3 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Grind the chopped coriander (keep some aside for garnishing) and all other marinade ingredients (except yoghurt) to a smooth paste in a food processor.
  • Pour the above mix into a large bowl and add yoghurt. Mix well. Add the chicken pieces and mix well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate. Allow to marinate overnight.
  • Thread the chicken onto skewers and keep ready.
  • Preheat your oven or grill to medium high (200 C/ 400F/ Gas Mark 6). Place the skewers on the grill racks in your oven with a tray underneath to catch drippings. Roast open till the chicken is browned on all sides and tender. Keep aside.
  • To make the gravy/ sauce: Heat the oil in a deep pan on a medium flame and add the onion. Cook till soft.
  • Now add the cardamom and the garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the garam masala, brown sugar, tomatoes, almonds and mix well. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and a thick paste forms.
  • Add the grilled Chicken Tikkas (chunks/ pieces) and stir. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cream and mix well. Turn off the flame.
  • Garnish the dish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Naans.