Authentic Pakistani Chicken Tikka

Authentic Pakistani Chicken Tikka
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Chicken Tikka is a popular Pakistani dish that is loved for its smoky and robust flavours.

It is a staple at gatherings, barbecues, and street food stalls across Pakistan. Chicken Tikka is made by marinating tender pieces of chicken in a flavorful blend of spices and yogurt, and then grilling or baking until cooked to perfection.

The marinade for Chicken Tikka typically includes a combination of yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, and a variety of spices like red chili powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. This combination of spices creates a harmonious balance of flavors, with a touch of heat from the chili powder and aromatic undertones from the other spices.

The marinated chicken is then skewered and cooked on a grill or in the oven until it develops a slightly charred and smoky exterior, while remaining juicy and tender on the inside. The smoky flavor is enhanced by cooking the tikka over charcoal or using a grill pan.

Chicken Tikka is often served as an appetizer or as a main course accompanied by naan bread, mint chutney, and a side salad. It is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own, incorporated into wraps or sandwiches, or even added to biryanis or rice dishes to elevate their flavors.

With its tantalizing aroma and rich flavors, Pakistani Chicken Tikka is a beloved dish that showcases the vibrant and diverse culinary heritage of Pakistan.


1.5 pounds (700 grams) boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons red chilli powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon paprika (optional, for added colour)
Salt, to taste
Wooden skewers (pre-soaked in water)
In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, vegetable oil, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, paprika (if using), and salt. Mix well to form a smooth marinade.
Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and ensure they are coated evenly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight to allow the flavours to penetrate the meat.
Preheat your grill or oven to medium-high heat. If using a grill, ensure it is well-oiled to prevent the chicken from sticking.
Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto the pre-soaked wooden skewers, shaking off any excess marinade. Leave a small space between each piece to ensure even cooking.
Place the skewers on the preheated grill or on a baking sheet if using the oven. Cook the chicken tikka for about 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and has a nicely charred appearance. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (75°C).
Once cooked, remove the chicken tikka from the grill or oven and allow it to rest for a few minutes.
Serve the chicken tikka hot, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves and accompanied by lemon wedges and onion rings. It pairs well with naan bread, mint chutney, and a side salad.

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Authentic Pakistani Chicken Tikka

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