This chicken tikka recipe is certain to become a real family favourite. Just marinate the chicken overnight in a simple spicy yogurt marinade. The chicken is so so good and great on its own or in a curry.
Indian food is a real favourite of ours and I've marinated chicken with Indian spices and yogurt before but this time I wanted to get the chicken to taste as near to what I feel is chicken tikka as possible. I read lots of recipes for chicken tikka marinades and in the end I've come up with a version that tastes really authentic.
Is this an authentic chicken tikka recipe?
Well, before you argue, authentic to me anyway. I've never been to India and so I'm thinking of the chicken tikka from restaurants, supermarkets and takeaways. If that's the type of chicken tikka you're used to as well then I'm sure you'll love my easy homemade version.
What spices are in a chicken tikka?
The recipe for the chicken tikka marinade contains all my favourite spices - cumin, cayenne, paprika, cinnamon, coriander and turmeric as well as ginger and garlic. It's best to mix it up and then taste it to check you love the flavour. I didn't make it too spicy because the chicken was for the children as well so you could add a little more cayenne pepper to it. I marinated the chicken overnight so the flavours really penetrated it. But if you don't have time to marinate it for a long time don't worry. This recipe will still result in some tasty Indian chicken.
Why is chicken tikka so red?
Red food colouring is often used commercially to give the chicken that deep red colour and I was keen to experiment this time. I added some natural red food colouring to the marinade but even with a teaspoonful you can see that my chicken doesn't look too artificial. So I now wonder just how much food colouring is sometimes in it! Of course, if you're just making this at home, the food colouring is not at all necessary. I only used it once as an experiment.
What to serve with chicken tikka
We ate this with a quick homemade vegetable curry, a simple cucumber raita and a pack of Tilda Aromatic Spices Steamed Basmati Rice. You can cook the rice in the microwave or stir fry it. Along with the vegetable curry and raita it made a tasty side dish for the chicken. And of course not having to use a pan to cook the rice saved on the washing up too!
I served this as a dry chicken tikka but you could use the marinated chicken in any chicken curry recipe. It goes really well in this North Indian chicken curry. Once it's been marinated overnight the chicken is really tender and tasty.
The chicken tikka is also delicious in a wrap with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber plus the raita! Or just put it in a salad.
How to cook chicken tikka?
Chicken tikka can be cooked in different ways. I like to cook it on the barbecue or in a griddle pan so you get the deliciously charred bits on the edge. It is equally good cooked under the grill (broiled) or even just cooked in a frying pan.
You can bake it in the oven. Depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts it will take 20-25 minutes at 180C.
Can you adapt this chicken tikka marinade recipe?
As I said above, you can definitely omit the food colouring! It's also important to taste the marinade before adding the chicken to check that you like the flavour. Increase the quantities of the spices a little for even more flavour!
I used chicken breasts but you can use this chicken tikka marinade on legs or thighs too. One thing is certain, this is definitely a meal that I'm going to be making again and again!
What to do with leftover chicken tikka?
Using up the leftovers is something I love. In fact, as you can see from my Cook Once Eat Twice recipe collection, I love recipes that make enough for two or more meals.
If you have some leftover chicken tikka then why not use it in one of these recipe ideas?
- A sandwich with some iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise
- Make a chicken tikka pizza
- Put it in a flatbread wrap
- Make a chicken tikka salad
- Put it in a jacket potato
Recipe for Easy Homemade Chicken Tikka
- 600 g chicken (4 chicken breasts)
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- 1 tsp natural red food colour optional
- 1 pinch salt
- Mix together all the marinade ingredients and put the chicken in.
- Marinate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- Cook the chicken under the grill or in a frying pan until fully cooked.
If using chicken breasts, butterflying them first will give a larger surface area so the marinade can flavour them more.
Nutritional information is approximate and a guideline only.
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More Indian Recipes
I love making curries and have lots of recipes here on Searching for Spice. In fact, I even have a recipe collection devoted entirely to easy homemade curries from scratch! Why not have a look at one of these recipes? I think you'll also love my recipe collection of spicy midweek meals.
If you like Indian marinated chicken recipes then do check out my chicken cafrael recipe too.
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Disclosure: I was sent a free sample pack of the Tilda Aromatic Spices Basmati Rice. This post also contains affiliate links.