Barbeque Grilled Chicken Tikka, how to make chicken tikka

How to Make Chicken Tikka: A Step-by-Step Guide for Delicious Tikka

Chicken Tikka is one of those extremely popular South Asian cuisines that has made its way around the world. And unless you live on a desert island, anyone can bet that you have tried Tikka at least ONCE. Like Biryani, Burgers, and Omelettes, this too has a million different versions around the world.

Traditionally speaking, the response to how to make Chicken Tikka is by preparing pieces of chicken in a spicy marinade and grilling them over hot coals (called Angethi in Urdu). It is usually served with spicy mint chutney or tamarind chutney along with some lemons and chopped onions.

Nowadays, various variants of this popular dish have appeared.

Now there are spice mixes available that you can use to make Tikkas and you don’t have to prepare the marinade.

Steps For How to Make Chicken Tikka

Marinate the Chicken

One chicken gives 4 tikka pieces, 2 thighs, and 2 breast pieces. If you are making more than 1 chicken, double the recipe and you are good to go. Using a good knife, cut the chicken lengthwise so that it has deep areas to incorporate the marinade.

Go ahead and brush the marinade all over the chicken. Make sure you cover all the nooks and crannies. Once done, cover the chicken with foil or cling film or a tin lid and refrigerate to marinate.

Marination Time for Chicken Tikka

At least 4 hours are needed for all the spices to rub in properly. If you are using boneless chicken, you can start cooking immediately, but for bone-in chicken, a minimum of 4 hours of marinating overnight is recommended. The reason is that this gives the vinegar enough time to react with the chicken and tenderize it. This makes the top layer of the chicken firm so that all the juices are sealed inside the piece of chicken, giving you a deliciously tender chicken tikka when cooked.

Chicken Tikka Cooking Methods

There are 3 ways you can prepare Tikka

  1. On the stove.
  2. Bake in the oven. how to make chicken tikka
  3. BBQ it on an outdoor grill.

The easiest way is to cook on the stove. Either way, baking or cooking on the stove, you will first braise the chicken on a high heat in a grill pan and then proceed to slow cooking.

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka

  • 1 whole chicken cut into legs and thigh pieces (or regular pieces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper powder
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder (zeera)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam masala powder (all spices in powder)
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 3 pinches of orange food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons of oil

Instructions for Making Chicken Tikka

  1. Add horizontal cuts to the chicken pieces to make sure all the marinade can go inside.
  2. In a bowl, mix all the remaining listed ingredients to prepare the marinade.
  3. Add all the chicken pieces to a flat dish and coat them all generously with the marinade. Make sure you cover all cuts and edges.
  4. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  5. Remove the chicken 20 to 30 minutes before baking.

Use one of the following methods to cook the chicken:


  1. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a grill pan or skillet.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and grill on high for 3 minutes on each side (this will give you a nice seared look and seal in the chicken juices)
  3. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the chicken over low heat for 8 minutes.
  4. Turn the pieces over, cover and cook for another 8 minutes.
  5. Serve hot


  1. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a grill pan or skillet.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and grill on high for 3 minutes on each side (this will give you a nice seared look and seal in the chicken juices)
  3. Cover the chicken with foil and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 190 °C


This one is pretty over the top. Grill until you get a nice charred look. Brush the chicken with oil every 5 to keep the juices sealed. Turn the chicken every time you brush them with oil. It will take about 20 minutes. 


You can also smoke the chicken while marinating if you want to give it a nice charcoal aroma while cooking inside.

  • Chicken: Use medium-sized chicken pieces weighing 750 grams. (A live chicken weighs 1-1.25 kg) A smaller chicken has tender meat. A larger bird would require longer marinating, at least 8 hours.
  • Wet Spices: Wet spices are ginger, garlic, green chillies and papaya paste on a round plate. Papaya paste is used as a meat tenderizer.
  • Pakistani Spices: Tikka doesn’t require tons of spices like achari chicken. Dry spices are common spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, salt, red chilli flakes and Kashmiri chilli powder.
  • Kashmiri chillies are bright red in color and have a medium spicy taste. You can replace Kashmiri chili powder with paprika and extra chili.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt adds a bit of tang and is also a meat tenderizer.
  • Lemon: Lemon helps with pungency.
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