Chicken tikka with mint chutney

Get your kicks with chicken tikka

Originally appeared in the September 08, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

The most painful part of this recipe is waiting for the chicken to absorb the marinade.  But three or four hours of patience will grant you a spicy prize.  And while there’s an intricate showcase of spices, you’ll discover the procedure to be frighteningly simple.

Chicken tikka has its origin in Indian cuisine.  Traditionally, the meat is grilled, and some regions call for the meat to be cooked directly over hot coals.  I’ll leave that up to you—just know that using an ordinary cast-iron grill pan will work just fine.  Check out more after the jump:The term “tikka” translates to “bits and pieces”; so what we have here are bits and pieces of chicken threaded on to skewers and placed on a rocket-hot grill.  One of the defining features is how the yogurt chars on the grill—a distinct flavor that’s somewhat exotic.

You should serve chicken tikka with jasmine rice or grilled flatbread.  Also, with all this savory spice and heat from the grill, it would be a nice touch to add a cool element—don’t sweat it, I’ve got you covered.  Just visit my blog ( to pick up a recipe for mint and apricot chutney, which will be a perfect sidekick for your chicken tikka.

Chicken tikka

Serves 2

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 3 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • To taste, kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1.  In a medium-sized bowl, combine cubed-chicken with lemon juice, yogurt, and remaining dry spices.  Cover and refrigerate for three to four hours.  Meanwhile, heat grill to medium-high.

2.  Thread chicken chunks onto wooden or metal skewers, and place on grill.  Turn the chicken occasionally, ensuring that meat is properly cooked through.  Serve chicken tikka with jasmine rice, grilled flatbread, and mint chutney (below).

Mint chutney (to serve with chicken tikka)

Yields roughly 1 ½ cups

  • ½ ounce fresh mint leaves
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 serrano chile
  • 3 green onions, rough chop
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • To taste, kosher salt and pepper

1.  Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Adjust consistency with water.

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