Make this ever popular smoky and delicious Indian Chicken tikka kebabs at home. Serve them as an appetizer with Cilantro chutney, Mint chutney or Raita. Shred the chicken tikka and add it to your salads or wraps & sandwich fillings.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips.
Cut chicken to 1½ inch pieces and add them to a mixing bowl. If possible pat dry the chicken with a few tissues to remove any excess moisture.
Add chilli powder, coriander, cumin powder, garam masala, chaat masala, salt, kasuri methi and lemon juice. Mix well and rest for at least 10 to 15 mins. This helps the chicken to absorb the flavors well & this step is optional.
Next add ginger garlic paste, oil and yogurt. Mix well. Cover and marinate for a minimum of 8 hours and up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. If you are in a rush you may cut down the resting time to 20 mins.
How to Make Chicken Tikka Kebab
If using bamboo skewers make sure you soak them for 30 mins and later pat dry before use.
Prepare a deep baking tray and line with aluminum foil, if you want to grill these in the oven. Preheat the oven to 240 C or 460 F for at least 15 mins.
Optional - If using bell peppers and onions, add them to the chicken marinade and mix well.
Thread the bell peppers, onions (if using) and chicken to the skewers in alternating patterns. (check photos in the post)
Place them on the prepared tray, spacing them apart and bake the chicken tikka for 9 mins. With the help of tongs, turn them to the other side and bake for another 9 to 10 mins, until completely cooked. Every oven is different so the cook time may vary.
Turn on the broil mode on your oven and broil for 2 mins. If your oven does not have this setting, simply move the chicken to the top most rack. This chars the chicken slightly.
Bring the tray out of the oven and check if the chicken is cooked thru. For this cut the chicken tikka to 2 parts, meat should not be pink in color in the center of the tikka. If it looks pinkish, it means it is still undercooked & bake for a little longer.
Place the chicken tikka skewers in the air fryer basket or in a pan that fits your basket.
Air fry for 6 mins at 200 C or 400 F. Turn them to the other side and air fry for another 6 mins. Brush them with butter (or leftover marinade or mustard oil) and air fry for another 2 mins.
I prefer to brush the air fryer chicken tikka again with butter before serving.
Grill in a Pan
Brush your pan with oil or butter and place the chicken tikka over the pan. Grill them on a medium heat for 4 to 5 mins, turn them to the other side and grill for another 4 to 5 mins until fully cooked and the internal temperature reaches 165 F or 74 C.
If you want to char the chicken, take the chicken tikka on metal skewers, over direct fire and grill for 1 to 2 mins.
Smoking Chicken Tikka
If you want to replicate tandoori flavors, Place the hot grilled chicken tikka along with the tray on your kitchen counter. Place a small steel bowl in the center of this tray.
Hold a wood coal with a tong, over direct fire until hot and red. Put that in the steel bowl in your tray. Pour 1 tsp ghee over the hot coal. Immediately you will see a lot of smoke. Cover the tray with another tray or seal with foil to trap the smoke.
Leave it for 3 to 5 mins, depending on how smoky you want it to be. Your smoky chicken tikka is done!