Say hello to the most tender and juicy Murgh Malai Tikka! This chicken tikka smothered in a wet rub of yogurt, warm spices, and fresh herbs is simply the best.
Grill them on a stovetop, oven, or outdoor BBQ, and these tikkas will surely rock your party! Who knows, this might soon become your new summer grilling favorite recipe.
Who doesn’t love tikkas and that too on a stick? There’s something irresistibly fun and exciting about devouring food on a stick!
Don’t you agree – it looks so appealing and inviting.
And since summer is the official grilling season, hence, I am going to spice up my dinner tonight with my favorite – Murgh Malai tikka!
What is Murgh Malai Tikka?
Let me take a quick break here for those who are not familiar with the term Murgh Malai tikka.
Murgh Malai tikka is an Indian chicken dish where marinated chicken pieces are grilled over charcoal.
In this term – Murgh malai tikka, Murgh means chicken; Malai means cream, and tikka refers to pieces of meat or veggies marinated in a spicy mix.
Collectively, it means – chicken pieces marinated in a spicy cream-based mixture.
What makes up Murgh Malai Tikka recipe?
This malai chicken recipe calls for a combination of flavorful ingredients, and they include-
» Chicken– I prefer to cook tikkas with boneless skinless chicken breasts. But it will work with any kind of chicken meat.
» Lemon juice – helps to tenderize the meat and adds a fresh pop of flavor.
» First set of marinade – cashew paste, ginger-garlic paste, cornstarch, green chilies, and a blend of spices like – green cardamom powder, salt, cumin powder, red chili powder, and garam masala powder*, perks up the flavor quotient of this marinade.
*If no garam masala powder on hand, then curry powder will also suffice.
» The second set of marinade includes-
» Yogurt – use thick unsweetened yogurt for this recipe. Use homemade hung curd or store-bought Greek yogurt. Yogurt helps in tenderizing the chicken and also helps in absorbing the lemon and spices flavor more efficiently.
» Low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese – sticks to the chicken and lends a creamy and rich texture to this malai tikka.
» Oil– smoked mustard oil adds a nice earthy touch.
» Dried fenugreek leaves – a classic Indian herb that adds tons of flavor to the murgh malai tikka.
» Cream – help to balance out the heat from the spices while adding a delicious burst of flavor in every bite.
» Cilantro leaves– fresh cilantro leaves are a real game-changer.
Now, that we know the role of each ingredient in this murgh malai tikka; let’s head to the kitchen and start cooking!
How to make Murgh Malai Tikka?
This chicken malai tikka recipe starts with the right chicken marinades.
- Step 1– tenderize the meat.
- Step 2– Marinade 1- I love this first set of marinate because it is a mixture of simple ingredients and a blend of spices.
- Step 3– Marinade 2- this marinade infuses the chicken with and an extra layer of flavor and creaminess. Cream+yogurt+ cheese creates an amazing saucy marinade that moistens and infuse the flavor in these tikkas.
Step 1- Tenderize the meat
1. Thoroughly rinse the chicken. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Since we are making tikkas here, cut the chicken into 1-inch chicken cubes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.
2. Add salt.
3. Fresh lemon juice.
4. Toss it well. Allow the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes. This marinade gives the chicken a succulent bite.
Step 2- Marinade 1
5. Meanwhile, let’s prepare the first set of marinate. In a large mixing bowl, add cashew paste.
6. Stir in ginger-garlic paste, green cardamom powder, and cornstarch.
7. Add green chilies, salt, cumin powder, red chili powder, and garam masala powder.
8. Mix until blended.
Step 2- Marinade 2
9. Add yogurt.
10. Cheese Murgh malai tikka
11. Add kasoori methi, cream, cilantro leaves, and oil.
12. Mix to combine. Murgh malai tikka
13. Add the chicken pieces.
14. Mix to coat the murgh pieces evenly in the malai marinade.
15. Cover and let the chicken marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
16. Once the resting time is over, preheat the oven 400 degrees F. Remove chicken tikka from the fridge and thread the pieces onto the skewers. Evenly divide the cubes between 6 skewers.
17. Cook the murgh malai tikka for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through to cook evenly.
18. Remove from the oven. Generously brush with butter and serve hot.
Other ways to Cook Murgh malai tikka?
Traditionally, tikkas are cooked in clay ovens/tandoors. Murgh malai tikka grilled over charcoal will be juicy, tender, and have the best smoky flavor.
But if the weather is not favorable, you can still get great results by cooking the chicken tikka on skewers in an oven or a grill pan. Or forego the skewers and cook the chicken cubes in an air fryer.
Whether you grill the Murgh malai tikka outside or on the stovetop, you will end up with flavorful and delicious chicken every time!
Plus, the aroma of murgh malai chicken, when it is cooking, is outrageous and simply hard to resist!
Now for some faqs and variations!
» Will this recipe work for bone-in chicken?
Absolutely! You can marinate chicken thighs, chicken tenders, or chicken drumsticks in this marinade. Though the smaller the cut of meat, the less time it will need to marinate.
For bone-in chicken, you will want to marinate it for a full 8 hours.
» Can you freeze the chicken malai tikka?
You sure can! This malai tikka makes an excellent freezer meal. Allow the cooked malai tikka to cool comfortable. Transfer the chicken to a freezer-safe container or a Ziploc bag, and it will store well for up to 2 months.
» Can this marination work for veggies?
Oh yes! This marinade is great on veggies and tofu.
» How long can you keep this tikka in the fridge?
Your cooked murg malai tikka will stay fresh and yummy for up to 3 days in the fridge. For best results, store it in an airtight container.
» Can you double this recipe?
Of course! This recipe is very adaptive and can be scaled up and down to feed a large gathering.
» Can you add veggies to this tikka?
You sure can! I think tikkas taste and look all the more yummy when they are spaced with vegetables. To match the cooking time, I would suggest adding bell peppers, zucchini, onions, or mushrooms to the skewers.
Ways to serve this murgh malai tikka
There are many great ways to serve Murg malai tikka. Here are some of my favorites –
- As a wrap- place these tikkas on homemade chapatti (Indian bread), top with some sliced onions, lettuce, and green chutney and enjoy.
- Serve over a bed of rice.
- To make it a complete meal, pair the tikkas with panchmel dal and homemade tandoori roti.
This recipe is truly one of my favorite summer-time grilling recipes, and everyone loves it.
So, hop on and join the grilling train.
Fire up your grills and call your family and friends for a delicious lunch and they’re going to love this Murgh malai tikka that has the perfect amount of smoky, juicy flavors in every bite.
Trust me, this chicken tikka will have everyone licking their fingers & plates!
Do let me know in the comments when you make this recipe. Feel free to contact me with any questions or inquiries, and I would be happy to answer them.
CRAVING FOR MORE, TRY THESE OTHER DELICIOUS Chicken recipes!
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON JULY 4th, 2017. UPDATED AND POSTED THE RECIPE AGAIN ON MAY JUNE 22nd, 2020 WITH BETTER PICTURES AND TIPS!
Murg Malai Tikka
- 1 Pound Boneless Chicken (rinsed and cleaned)
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- ½ teaspoon Salt
FIRST SET OF INGREDIENTS
SECOND SET OF INGREDIENTS
- ¼ cup Hung Curd (thick Market curd/yogurt)
- ¼ cup Low fat Shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon Dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 tablespoon Chopped cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons Cream
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- Clean, rinse, and cut the chicken into cubes.
- In a large bowl mix chicken with lemon juice and salt.
- Mix it well. Let it marinade for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile, let's assemble all the ingredients listed under 'The first set of ingredients.' Combine all the above ingredients in a bowl.
- Assemble all the ingredients listed under 'second set of ingredients.' If cilantro, green chilies or garam masala aren't your favorites, then feel free to leave them out. Your tikkas will still turn out good. Combine both the ingredients (the first set of ingredients + the second ingredients) in a large bowl.
- Mix it well. Do the taste test.
- Add chicken. Rub this marinade onto the chicken. Marinade chicken in this mix for 5-6 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven @400 degree F. Remove chicken from the fridge and thread the pieces onto the skewers. Evenly divide the pieces between 6 skewers.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes turning them once in between until cooked through.
- Remove from the oven. Generously brush with butter. Transfer the skewers to a platter and serve hot.