Yummy Chicken Tikka Recipe

Chicken Tikka is similar to Tandoori Chicken except you use small pieces of thighs instead of large pieces of bone-in chicken. Thighs are also what you’ll need if you want to make authentic Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) or Chicken Tikka Masala.

While ideally cooked in a tandoor (an Indian clay oven) we’re going to assume you don’t have one at home, so you can use a barbeque, an oven, or even a frying pan. The main thing is to cook your chicken at a medium-high temperature to it get nice and brown giving it an appetising colour.

The red colouring on chicken tikka you get at restaurants is a food colouring you can buy at Indian grocery stores, for a natural alternative you can use a combination of chilli powder, turmeric, and paprika or even beetroot powder.

I’d recommend using a charcoal barbeque, however, the easiest option is to cook in an oven at high temperature on fan-forced. 


  • 800g skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • Half a lemon, juiced
  • Thumb size piece of ginger, grated
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika


  • 1 tsp of tandoori colouring (if you use this leave out the paprika and turmeric)


If using the oven, preheat to 220⁰C, fan-forced.

Cut the thighs into bite-sized chunks. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and combine with the chicken until it’s thoroughly coated. For best results marinate overnight, but for at least 30 minutes.

Thread the chicken onto skewers (if using wooden skewers soak them in water for 10 minutes beforehand so they don’t burn). If barbequing cook on a medium-high heat turning often till slightly blackened and cooked through.

If using the oven rest the ends of the skewers on either side of a baking tray, and cook for 15-20 minutes until done.

Rest for a moment and serve with lemon or lime wedges, rice and salad. You could also make wraps with naan or any other kind of flatbread.

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