Weekend Special: Chicken Malai Tikka Recipe

Written by: Najma A.



Time to read 5 min


The weekend is here, and what better way to indulge in culinary delight than by preparing a mouthwatering dish that's sure to please your taste buds and those of your loved ones? Enter the "Chicken Malai Tikka," a weekend special that combines the creaminess of malai (cream) with the succulent goodness of chicken and a medley of spices. This North Indian delicacy is incredibly delicious and surprisingly easy to make. In this blog, we'll take you through a step-by-step guide on preparing Chicken Malai Tikka at home.

The History of Chicken Malai Tikka

Chicken Malai Tikka, a beloved North Indian delicacy, has a rich culinary history that traces its roots to the heart of the Indian subcontinent. This flavorful Chicken Malai Tikka combines the creaminess of malai (cream) with succulent chicken pieces, creating a taste sensation that has delighted palates for generations.

Ancient Origins: Tandoori Tradition

The history of Chicken Malai Tikka is closely intertwined with the tandoori cooking tradition, which has been practiced in the Indian subcontinent for centuries. "Tikka" refers to small pieces of meat, often marinated in yogurt and spices before being roasted in a tandoor—a cylindrical clay oven heated by charcoal or wood. This cooking method imparts a unique smoky flavor and tenderizes the meat, resulting in both flavorful and juicy dishes.

Evolution of Creamy Delights:

Adding "malai" (cream) to the traditional tandoori preparation marked the birth of Chicken Malai Tikka as we know it today. This creamy twist introduced a luscious texture and richness to the dish, elevating it to a new level of culinary excellence.

Punjab: The Cradle of Flavor

The Origins of Chicken Malai Tikka can be traced to the vibrant state of Punjab in North India. Punjab, renowned for its fertile land and agricultural abundance, has a rich culinary heritage. It's a land where food is a celebration of life, and tandoor cooking is a cherished tradition. Chicken Malai Tikka became a popular appetizer in Punjab, often enjoyed in homes and eateries.

Global Recognition

As Indian cuisine gained popularity worldwide, so did Chicken Malai Tikka. Indian restaurants around the globe began featuring this delectable dish on their menus, introducing it to a diverse range of palates. Its creamy, flavorful profile made it a crowd-pleaser, appealing to traditionalists and those seeking something new and exotic.

The Modern-Day Delight

Today, Chicken Malai Tikka remains a staple in Indian restaurants and a favorite among those who love Indian cuisine. While the traditional preparation involves marinating chicken pieces in a mixture of cream, yogurt, and spices before grilling them in a tandoor, modern variations may include adaptations for ovens and stovetops. This versatility has allowed enthusiasts to recreate the Chicken Malai Tikka at home, ensuring that the legacy of Chicken Malai Tikka continues to thrive.

In conclusion, Chicken Malai Tikka's history is a testament to the evolution of Indian cuisine, blending tradition with innovation to create a dish that is not only delicious but also a symbol of cultural heritage. Its journey from the tandoors of Punjab to international kitchens is a testament to its enduring popularity and the global appreciation of the flavors it offers. Whether enjoyed in its place of origin or distant lands, Chicken Malai Tikka continues to be a culinary delight that bridges cultures and brings people together to celebrate food.

History of Chicken Malai Tikka

Ingredients You'll Need for Chicken Malai Tikka

Before you start cooking, gathering all the necessary ingredients is essential. Here's what you'll need for your weekend's unique Chicken Malai Tikka:

For the Marination of Chicken Malai Tikka:

  • 500 grams of boneless chicken pieces (preferably thigh or breast)
  • 1 cup fresh cream (malai)
  • 2 tablespoons thick yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust according to your spice preference)
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Garnish:

  • Lemon wedges
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Onion rings
  • Mint chutney
Chicken Malai Tikka Ingredients

Step-by-Step Cooking - Chicken Malai Tikka

Now that you have all your ingredients ready let's dive into the cooking process.

Step 1: Preparing the Chicken

  1. Start by washing the chicken pieces thoroughly under running water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  2. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces or chunks, ensuring they are of uniform size. This will help in even cooking.

Step 2: Creating the Marinade

  1. Combine the fresh cream (malai), thick yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, salt, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix all the ingredients well to form a smooth and creamy marinade.

Step 3: Marinating the Chicken

  1. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade mixture, ensuring they are fully coated.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate it for 2-3 hours. For the best results, marinate the chicken overnight, allowing the flavors to infuse deeply.

Step 4: Preparing for Grilling

  1. Preheat your grill or oven to 180°C (360°F). If you have a tandoor oven, that's even better for that authentic smoky flavor.
  2. While the grill or oven is heating up, soak wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes to prevent them from burning during cooking.

Step 5: Skewering the Chicken

  1. Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto the soaked wooden skewers. Make sure not to overcrowd the skewers, allowing space between each piece for even cooking.

Step 6: Grilling the Chicken Malai Tikka

  1. Brush the skewered chicken pieces with vegetable oil. This will help in achieving that beautiful golden char when grilling.
  2. Place the skewers on the preheated grill or in the oven.
  3. Grill the chicken for about 15-20 minutes, turning them occasionally to ensure they cook evenly. You can also baste the chicken with more oil or the leftover marinade for added flavor.
  4. Keep a close eye on the chicken to prevent overcooking, as it can become dry.

Step 7: Serving Your Chicken Malai Tikka

  1. Once the chicken pieces are cooked through and have a lovely golden color, remove them from the grill or oven.
  2. Garnish the Chicken Malai Tikka with fresh coriander leaves, lemon wedges, and onion rings.
  3. Serve hot with mint chutney on the side for a refreshing contrast to the creamy chicken.
Cooking Instructions Chicken Malai Tikka

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Enjoy Your Weekend Special Chicken Malai Tikka!

There you have it—a delicious and creamy Chicken Malai Tikka recipe perfect for your weekend culinary adventure. This dish is a true crowd-pleaser, making it an ideal choice for gatherings, parties, or simply when you want to treat yourself to something special.The magic happens during the marination process, infusing the chicken with a rich and aromatic blend of spices, cream, and yogurt. The grilling or roasting adds that coveted smoky flavor and gives the chicken its beautiful charred appearance. The result is tender, succulent chicken pieces with a creamy, slightly tangy, and spicy flavor profile.So, gather your loved ones, fire up the grill, and savor the joy of preparing and enjoying this weekend's unique Chicken Malai Tikka. It's a culinary experience that will leave everyone asking for seconds!

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