Murg Malai Tikka/ Chicken Malai Tikka
Murg Malai Tikka/ Chicken Malai Tikka is a popular North Indian recipe for marinated chicken pieces, grilled over charcoal resulting in soft, juicy kebabs that will simply melt in your mouth. Tender pieces of boneless chicken are marinated in a unique blend of yogurt, cream, cheese, and spices and cooked on a grill or oven.
Chicken Malai Tikka is perfect for an outdoor barbecue or grilling in the oven. Murg Malai Tikka (murgh – chicken, malai – cream, tikka- bite-size grilled piece of food) is not overwhelmingly spicy, these kebabs are mild and creamy with a rich taste that lingers on long after they have disappeared. Serve with a dollop of mint chutney and your taste buds would definitely be on a dancing spree!
My husband loves Murg Malai tikka! The soft succulent chicken with the with layers of flavour is out of this world. It is important to marinate the chicken for a long period of time to develop deep flavours. My recipe calls for 3 marinates and believe me that it makes a huge difference to the tikka. The layer of marinates not only helps in tenderizing the chicken but also builds layers of flavour.
Tikkas are best cooked on metal skewers. The meat cooks not only from the heat of the coals but also from the hot skewers and that produces tender and juicy pieces of tikka. Murg Malai Tikka can be made on regular pan, on grill pan, in oven or over barbecue. If you plan to make it in the oven or grill pan, I have written some tips on how to give the tikka’s smoky BBQ flavour. This is a remarkably simple recipe that requires very few ingredients and hence easy to prepare.
300 gm chicken thighs (1-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons ginger, garlic paste
½ lime juice
To grind for Third Marinade
handful cashew nuts
2-3 green chillies (medium to hot)
1 teaspoon roasted cumin seed powder
½ teaspoon cardamon powder
½ teaspoon poppy seeds (khus khus)
2-3 tablespoons plain hung yogurt
2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon garam masala
2-3 tablespoons double cream
2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
Marinate the clean chicken tikka pieces in ginger garlic paste and leave it aside for 10-15 minutes.
Next add lime juice and mix it well coating the chicken with the lime juice and leave it aside for another 10 minutes.
Grind the cashew nuts, green chillies, cardamon powder, poppy seeds, roasted cumin seed powder with some water for the third marinade into a fine paste.
Mix the marinade paste, fenugreek leaves, salt, garam masala, cream, yogurt, coriander, and cheese together. Taste to check the spicing as the marinade needs to be slightly hot.
Add the chicken pieces to the marinate and rub it gently coating all the tikkas. (There might be some excess water while marinating the chicken especially the first and second marinade. Always drain it off otherwise the marinade will become watery)
Cover and keep aside for at least 4-5 hours or preferably overnight.
Light the charcoal until white hot. Skewer the chicken pieces.Gently place the skewered tikkas over the hot coals. Be sure to rotate the skewers regularly so that the chicken chars on the exterior and cooks evenly through. It takes around 6-8 minutes to cook the tikka. You can baste the chicken with some oil while cooking.
Drizzle with some chaat masala and lime juice and serve hot with some green chutney.