Chicken Tikka Kebab

Fan us on Facebook . You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email


Chicken tikka is the quintessential appetizer in of all Indian restaurants all over the globe. Whether it’s a restaurant in Bangalore or in Belgium, chicken tikka will always be there in the menu. I have had my fair share of chicken tikka kebabs in restaurants all over the place. Most of them I found were either too dry or too bland. So, I tried experimenting on the best way to cook this oh-so-important appetizer.

After a lot of tries with various store bought dry tikka masala, and failing almost every time, I took the matter pretty seriously. So, this time I made the masala paste from scratch. And, just to give it that oomph I added some Sriracha and carom seeds to it. Yes, you heard it right, I added the very Chinese sauce to this very Indian recipe, but the result was just fabulous. The heat of the Sriracha mixed with the carom seeds gave it a much better taste.

Kebab is a very Middle Eastern dish, but like all other Middle Eastern recipes, kebabs also got included in the Indian menu as a part of Mughlai cuisine. Kebabs are generally cooked in open fires, in a charcoal grill. The charcoal gives it a smoky taste, and probably enhances the flavor (I have tried chicken tikka kebabs in stovetop, oven and charcoal grill; but the last one turned out to be the best).

And, here’s another recipe to add to the what to cook for Rakhi series

Chicken Tikka Kebab from scratch

2 lbs chicken thighs

2 tablespoon grated green papaya

2 tablespoon tomato paste

¼ cup onion paste

2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste

½ cup greek yogurt

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoon mustard oil

1 tablespoon sriracha

1 tablespoon carom seeds

Salt to taste



Clean the chicken thighs, and trim off the extra fat. Cut into 2 inch size pieces, and keep aside

In a nonstick frying pan, heat the oil, add the onion paste and fry till the onion starts changing color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green papaya, ginger garlic paste, and tomato paste. Fry till the oil starts to come out of the paste, about 3 minutes.

Add all the dry powder and season with salt. This paste you can make ahead, and store in the fridge for upto 3 days.

In a large glass bowl add the cooked masala paste, yogurt sriracha and carom seeds and mix everything together evenly. Now add the chicken pieces to this paste and gently toss so that the chicken pieces gets covered fully in the masala. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for marinating for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight

When you are ready to cook, take out the chicken and bring to normal temperature about an hour before.

You can cook the kebab in stovetop, oven or charcoal grill –

For stovetop cooking –

Heat a shallow pan and lightly grease with oil or cooking spray, lay down the chicken pieces on the pan, make sure all the pieces touch the bottom of the pan, if you have more chicken, then fry in batches. Cook each side for about 2 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through.

For roasting in the oven-

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C), line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Thread the chicken pieces in skewers, 6 pieces if you are using the long skewers and 2 pieces each if using the smaller ones. Place the skewers on the cookie sheet and baste with melted butter or oil. Grill for 20 minutes, turning and basting once in between

Turn on the broiler and broil for about 3 minutes or till the edges start to char

For grilling on charcoal grill-

Thread the chicken pieces in skewers, and grill on an open grill basting with oil on each side. Grill each side for about 5-7 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through

Serve immediately with freshly cut onion rings and raita

Chef’s Tips – If you are using skewers for grilling the kebabs, then soak in water the skewers for at least 2 hours before using, else the skewers will catch fire and burn before the chicken is cooked through

Chicken Tikka Kebab

Balti Chicken

Fan us on Facebook . You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email

The word “balti” always remind me of the Bengali word for bucket, why a chicken recipe will be associated with such a word was quite appealing to me. My first guess was that the dish was served in little copper coated buckets in the restaurant, but that reasoning seemed a little too far fetched. So, I did a little search and of course Wikipedia came in handy.

Apparently, the phrase “Balti Chicken” came from the origin of this recipe. Here again there is much argument about where the origin of this recipe was. Some say that this recipe originated from Baltistan, Northern region of Pakistan  and hence the name. The other theory says that the chicken dish was first prepared by the Balti restaurants in Birmingham in UK.

Anyways as Shakespeare had said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”, there is no point in fighting over a name of a chicken recipe. But, it’s definitely worth trying. The recipe calls for a lot of tomatoes, and the chicken is cooked in the tomato juice making this chicken dish a sweet and sour preparation. This chicken side dish is the new item for the rakhi series. 

Balti Chicken with naan



1 ½ lb chicken, skinned and cut into medium size pieces

1 onion, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

3 cups chopped tomato

4-6 garlic cloves, sliced

2 green chilies, chopped

6 tablespoon canola oil

3-4 sprigs of cilatro, chopped

Salt to taste



In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil, add the onion and cook until translucent. In the meantime in a small bowl add all the ground spices and make a paste with about 2 tablespoons of water. Stir in the spice mix with the fried onions, and cook until oil starts separating, about 3 to 4 minutes

Add the chicken pieces and mix with the fried spices and onions. Put in the tomatoes and season with salt. Cook covered for about 15 minutes. Give it a stir once or twice in between so that the chicken doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan

Add the garlic and green chili and cook covered till the chicken is fully cooked. Pour little water if it gets too dry.

Garnish with the chopped cilantro. Serve hot with naan or rice

Balti chicken


Chef’s Tips: I used about two cornish hen in this recipe. If you want to make it a boneless preparation, you can use chicken thigh; breast pieces tend to get very chewy.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin