We love our Murgh Tikkas, truly with our heart and soul. This is few of those quick  recipes which result in the most delicious aromatic chicken, and which may be eaten in a myriad of creative ways. All it needs is a check in the pantry that you have the ingredients and spices for the marinade. The cooking barely takes a few minutes and this is one of those convenient party or backyard barbeque recipes.

Murgh is Chicken and Tikkas are the little morsels or bites; having originated in the northern regions of  India these are immensely popular as an appetizer and are relatively easy to make. The kebabs and grilled meat in India have strong influences of the Persians and the Mughals, and the Murgh/Chicken Tikka is no exception. The little bites are tender and beautifully flavored.  The succulent bites of chicken are usually served on a bed of sliced onions, with wedges of lemon juice and a sprinkle of Chaat Masala.


If you are using bamboo skewers, you will need to soak them in water for about 20-30 minutes.

Use chicken without bones and skin. Cube the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes. Wash and pat dry. Place chicken cubes in a large non reactive bowl.

Add all the ingredients of the first marinade and rub them well into the chicken pieces; let it sit for about half an hour.

Heat the 1 tablespoon milk and add the saffron to it. Stir and let it sit. The saffron will release the color and aroma in the warm milk.

Heat the half tablespoon of oil in a pan, but not smoking hot. Crush 1 teaspoon ajwain/carom seeds gently by rubbing them with finger in the palm of your hands and tip them in the oil. Add the chickpea flour, and constantly stir it with a wooden spoon at low heat, until it turns a shade darker and you smell that nutty flavor. It might look like the flour is lumping up, but it is okay and keep stirring. I love the nutty taste and flavor of this toasted flour.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the yogurt. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste, garam masala, 1 teaspoon crushed ajwain/carom seeds, kasuri methi, turmeric, black pepper,  red chili powder, salt and the food color you are using. Add the saffron milk. Removed the toasted chickpea flour from the pan and add to this mixing bowl. Whisk everything together until you get a smooth lump free mix. This is your final marinade.

Spoon this out in to the bowl with chicken and toss really well so every cube of chicken is coated with the marinade. Let it sit for at least 4 hours; overnight is great.


  1. 2.5 lbs  skinless boneless chicken breasts – about 4 small -medium breast pieces or tenderloins in same weight


first marinade:

  1. 1.5 tablespoons lime juice
  2. salt
  3. 1/2 tablespoon red chili powder (use Kashmiri Red Chili powder or paprika for less heat)
  4. 1/2 tablespoon ginger paste
  5. 1 tablespoon grated onion
  6. 1/4 tablespoon garlic paste

second marinade:

  1. 1 teaspoon ajwain/carom seeds + 1 teaspoon ajwain/carom seeds, crushed with a rolling pin/mortar pestle
  2. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  3. 1/4 scant cup chickpea flour/besan
  4. 5 tablespoon thick, drained plain yogurt
  5. 1.5 tablespoon ginger paste
  6. 1 .5 tablespoon garlic paste
  7. salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. 2 teaspoons red chili powder (or to taste)
  10. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  11. a pinch of saffron + 1 tablespoon milk
  12. 2 tablespoons virgin pure mustard oil
  13. 1 teaspoon garam masala (homemade or store bought)
  14. 1 teaspoon kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves 

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