Chicken Malai Tikka
Chicken Malai Tikka
5 from 37 votes
This malai chicken tikka recipe made with chicken chunks marinated in a creamy sauce is perfect for iftar. A tender and juicy reshmi kebab recipe that is delicious served with homemade naan and a side of salad.
Chicken Malai Tikka

If you’re craving a taste of the vibrant and aromatic flavors of Indian cuisine, then Chicken Malai Tikka might just be the dish for you.

Originating from the northern regions of India, this dish is renowned for its succulent pieces of chicken marinated in a rich blend of yogurt, cream (malai), and an array of spices, creating a symphony of flavors with every bite.

Despite its exotic name, Chicken Malai Tikka is surprisingly simple to prepare, making it an ideal choice for both beginner and seasoned cooks alike.

With just a handful of ingredients and a few easy steps, you can recreate the magic of this classic Indian dish right in your own kitchen.

Marinated in a luscious mixture of yogurt, cream, garlic, ginger, and a hint of spice from green chili paste, the chicken becomes incredibly tender and flavorful.

The addition of lemon juice adds a subtle tanginess, while the aromatic spices like black pepper and dried fenugreek leaves (methi) infuse the dish with depth and complexity.

Expert Tip: If you prefer a spicier kick, increase the amount of green chili paste or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the marinade for an extra burst of heat.


Chicken: Chicken serves as the main protein in this recipe, providing a tender and juicy base for the flavorful marinade.

Yoghurt: Yoghurt helps tenderize the chicken while adding a creamy texture and tangy flavor to the marinade.

Double Cream Malai: Double cream, also known as malai, enriches the marinade with its creamy consistency, lending a luxurious taste and texture to the dish.

Salt: Salt enhances the overall flavor of the dish, balancing out the sweetness of the cream and acidity of the yogurt.

Black Pepper: Black pepper adds a subtle kick of heat and depth of flavor to the marinade.

Garlic Paste: Garlic paste infuses the chicken with a bold, savory flavor, complementing the creamy and aromatic elements of the marinade.

Ginger Paste: Ginger paste adds a warm, spicy note to the marinade, enhancing its depth and complexity.

Green Chilli Paste: Green chili paste provides a subtle heat and fresh flavor to the marinade, adding a delicious kick to the dish.

Oil: Oil helps bind the marinade ingredients together and prevents the chicken from sticking to the pan during cooking.

Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a bright, citrusy flavor to the marinade, balancing out the richness of the cream and yogurt.

Cornflour: Cornflour acts as a thickening agent in the marinade, helping to create a smooth and creamy texture.

Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Methi): Dried fenugreek leaves, also known as methi, contribute a distinctive earthy flavor and aroma to the dish, enhancing its complexity.

Coriander: Fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely, add a burst of freshness and color to the finished dish, elevating its presentation and flavor profile.

Expert Tip: To achieve a smoky flavor similar to traditional tandoori cooking, you can add a small amount of smoked paprika or ground cumin to the marinade.

Serving Suggestions

  • Naan Bread and Mint Chutney: Serve the Chicken Malai Tikka with freshly baked naan bread and mint chutney. The soft and pillowy naan bread pairs perfectly with the tender chicken, while the refreshing mint chutney adds a burst of flavor.
  • Rice and Salad: For a heartier meal, serve the Chicken Malai Tikka with steamed basmati rice and a crisp salad. The fragrant rice complements the creamy texture of the chicken, while the salad adds freshness and crunch.
  • Tandoori Platter: Create a tandoori platter by serving the Chicken Malai Tikka alongside other tandoori favorites such as chicken tikka, seekh kebabs, and tandoori prawns. This assortment of grilled meats is perfect for sharing with friends and family.
  • Wrap or Roll: Use the Chicken Malai Tikka as a filling for wraps or rolls. Simply place the chicken pieces on a warm tortilla or paratha, add some sliced onions and peppers, and drizzle with a dollop of yogurt sauce for a quick and delicious meal on the go.
  • Side of Raita: Serve the Chicken Malai Tikka with a side of raita, a cooling yogurt-based condiment flavored with cucumber, mint, and spices. The creamy raita helps balance the heat of the spices and adds a refreshing contrast to the dish.

Expert Tip: For extra tenderness and flavor, prick the chicken pieces with a fork before marinating to allow the marinade to penetrate deeper into the meat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to marinate the chicken for a specific amount of time?

Marinating the chicken for at least 30 minutes is recommended to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. However, for best results, you can marinate the chicken for up to 4 hours or even overnight in the refrigerator to intensify the flavor.

Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs for this recipe?

While chicken thighs are preferred for their juiciness and flavor, you can certainly use chicken breast if preferred. Just be mindful that chicken breast tends to cook faster, so adjust the cooking time accordingly to prevent it from drying out.

Can I grill the chicken instead of roasting it in the oven?

Yes, you can grill the chicken on a barbecue grill or stovetop grill pan instead of roasting it in the oven. Simply skewer the marinated chicken pieces and grill over medium-high heat until cooked through, turning occasionally for even cooking.

Can I freeze the marinated chicken for later use?

Yes, you can freeze the marinated chicken for later use. Place the marinated chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

Can I omit the cream (malai) from the marinade?

While cream adds richness and flavor to the marinade, you can omit it if you prefer a lighter version of the dish. Alternatively, you can use Greek yogurt or coconut milk as a substitute for cream while still achieving a creamy texture.

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Chicken Malai Tikka

Chicken Malai Tikka

by Nabeela Kauser
This chicken malai tikka recipe gives you chicken tikka that is juicy, moist, and so flavourful. Bake this chicken tikka kebab in the oven or grill on the outdoor BBQ.
5 from 37 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marination Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetiser
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 5
Calories 260 kcal


  • 700 g Chicken
  • 100 g Yoghurt
  • 100 g Double Cream Malai
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Green Chilli Paste
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour
  • 1 tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves Methi
  • 1 tbsp Coriander


  • In a bowl add the yoghurt and cream along with the rest of the ingredients (except the chicken) then whisk until well combined
  • Cut the chicken into large chunks then add into the marinade and coat each piece evenly
  • Set aside and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes, the longer the better
  • Once ready to cook preheat the oven to 240°C (465°F) gas mark 9 and skewer the chicken pieces and place on a roasting tray
  • Roast the chicken for 8-10 minutes on one side then flip and roast further for another 8-10 minutes
  • Serve immediately with a side of naan bread and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 260kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 14gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 534mgPotassium: 190mgFibre: 0.2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 416IUVitamin C: 3mgVitamin D: 0.5µgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg
Keyword BBQ, Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Creamy, Food, Ramadan, Recipe, Summer
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Latest comments (4)

Nabeela Kauser

Hey, I used fresh coriander in this recipe for that vibrant flavour and aroma. It really makes a difference! 😊

Nabeela Kauser

5 stars
Thank you for trying out the chicken malai tikka recipe and I’m so glad to hear that your family enjoyed it, especially the kids! It’s always a great feeling to know that a recipe has been a hit with everyone, and I’m grateful that my recipe was able to bring some joy and deliciousness to your home. I hope you and your family continue to enjoy many more tasty meals together!

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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