Chicken tikka originated in South Asia and is very popular. The word “tikka” means “bits” or “pieces” and the chicken is cut in this way before set aside to marinade. The marinade is the most important part of the dish.
In South Asia, where refrigeration was not available years ago, marinating was their form of meat conservation. So don’t be worried about the chicken marinading overnight. In fact, we prefer to marinate for up to 4 days. During this time the meat will become tender and collects more flavor from the yogurt.
Once cooked, you can serve your chicken tikka in a number of ways. In England, it is very popular to cool the tikka then add mayonnaise and serve it in a sandwich.
Serve your chicken tikka straight from the oven, over basmati rice or with a simple salad.
Ingredients for 4 – 6
- 1 kg of chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 5 cm of fresh ginger root
- juice and lemon zest
- 1 kg of natural yogurt
- I tablespoon salt
- 2 small cans of tomato paste
- 115 gr of butter
- In a food processor and add the garlic, ginger, lemon juice, yogurt, tomato sauce and salt then process to make a smooth sauce.
- Mix together all the dry spices and fry over low heat for 30 seconds. Cool and set aside.
- Once cooled, combine the smooth sauce with dried spices.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Completely cover the pieces of chicken with the tikka marinade.
- Store in an airtight container then refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the grill medium to high.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and arrange onto a strong baking tray in one even layer.
- Place the chicken under the grill (broiler) about 3 – 5 inches away from the source of the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes.
- Continue cooking in this way until the chicken begins to charcoal around the edges.
- When cooked, arrange on a serving plate and spread with melted butter and sprinkle with coarsely chopped cilantro.