Chicken malai tikka

 How to make chicken malai tikka

Chicken malai tikka is a popular chicken kebab or kabab made by using boneless chicken pieces in a creamy cashewnuts based marination. It is a creamy kebab with a distinct flavour of green cardamom. 

Serving chicken malai tikka with green chutney and onion lemon wedges

Chicken malai tikka is also known as murgh malai kebab is a rich kabab of mughlai cuisines. Boneless chicken pieces are marinated in cheese, cashew and cream based marination with a small amount of yoghurt. 

This malai tikka is best to make with chicken breast or chicken supreme pieces. Otherwise you can use chicken leg boneless as well. In chicken malai tikka, tikka means boneless chunks of meats and malai means creamy.

Generally kabab and tikka are treated as a healthy food because they are cooked using less or no oil. They are cooked using their own juice.  And they are cooked in open fire. Similarly chicken malai tikka is also cooked in open fire over slow flame. Whatever cheese, cream and oil are used they get burnt while cooking. So we can consider it as a healthy. 

This is a restaurant style murgh malai kebab recipe.

If you love chicken malai tikka then I am sure you would love the recipe of mozzarella chicken kebab also.

Steps to make the recipe


Marinating the chicken for malai tikka

Cut the chicken pieces into bite size pieces and apply salt, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste and a small amount of green chilli paste. In place of green chilli paste you can use white pepper powder. But green chili paste brings the best result for malai tikka. It will also help to decrease the raw chicken smell of the final dish. 

Marinating chicken pieces with spices for chicken malai tikka recipe

In malai tikka we dint use any other spice powder like cumin powder or garam masala as they will change the flavour as well as the colour of the dish. 

Making malai masala paste

Soak cashewnuts in light warm water for 15 minutes. And grate cheese nicely. You can even use small size cubes of cheese. I prefer to use Amul processed cheese while making malai tikka. You can use any cheese.

Now make a fine paste of the cashewnuts and cheese adding little water in a mixture grinder or blender. Make sure the paste is not watery.

Cashewnuts and cheese paste for chicken malai tikka recipe

Take the paste in a mixing bowl and add curd, green cardamom powder, salt, fresh cream and oil. Whisk everything together to make the malai tikka masala paste.

Mix the above marinated chicken pieces with this malai masala paste and refrigerated for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.

Marinating chicken with malai paste for chicken malai tikka recipe

Cooking the malai tikka

We need to cook the malai tikka in a low flame heat due to the uses of cream, cashewnuts and cheese. Otherwise the tikka will get burnt soon on high heat.

After the marination time,  bring the chicken pieces from the refrigerator and keep at room temperature for 5 minutes.

You can either use iron shewer or wooden sticks to thread the chicken pieces. If using wooden sticks then soak them in water for 15 minutes.

Cooking using Oven

Pre heat the oven to 240°C for 15 minutes and line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Thread the marinated chicken pieces in iron shewer one by one keeping a minimum gap in between them.

Threading chicken pieces in iron shewer for chicken malai tikka recipe

Place the shewer over the baking tray and bake or cook for 15 to 20 minutes or till become crisp golden. Brush some oil or butter over the chicken pieces at a interval of 7 to 8 minutes while baking them. This will make the chicken pieces soft and moisture.

Chicken malai tikka on tawa or pan

If you don't have an oven then you can cook this malai tikka on tawa or on gas stove. But you should be very careful while cooking them on a tawa or pan. Because the cream, cheese and cashewnuts paste quickly get burnt and get stick to tawa or pan. And the resulting dish become dark brown.

Cooked and roasted chicken malai tikka

Before using the tawa, make it non sticky by heating with little oil in high heat flame for one minute. Thereafter lower the flame and add the chicken pieces on it. Roast them over low flame till crisp golden. 

Roasting and cooking chicken malai tikka on a tawa or pan

Initially the chicken pieces will released moisture and marination so don't get upset cook till everything become dry.

Similarly you can cook this malai chicken tikka in a charcoal tandoor by threading them in a iron shewer. Place the shewer inside a medium heat tandoor and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or till become crisp golden

Serving Chicken malai tikka in a plate with onion and lemon wedges,green chutney in background

Brush some oil or butter while cooking the chicken and rotate the Shewer as well so that the chicken pieces are evenly roast from all sides 

 Chicken malai tikka vs chicken tikka

  1. Chicken malai tikka is a mild creamy chicken kabab whereas chicken tikka is spicy.S
  2. Spice powder like cumin, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala are used in the marination of chicken tikka but not in chicken malai tikka.
  3. Cheese cream and cashewnuts are used in chicken malai tikka but not in chicken tikka.
  4. Chicken tikka is made using tandoori masala and red in color but chicken malai is not and it is golden white in color.
More popular chicken tikka and kebab recipes you can make at home

Chicken malai tikka recipe

Serving Chicken malai tikka in a garnished plate with green chutney

Chicken malai tikka is a rich and creamy chicken kebab which is crisp, juicy and tender. Also known as murgh malai kabab is made with cheese, cashewnuts and cream based marination.

Prep time 10 min, cook time 15 min, serve 2

Author : Mobasir hassan


  • 200 gm chicken 
  • 15 to 20 cashewnuts
  • 1/3 cup grated processed cheese
  • 1 tablespoon curd(yoghurt)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon green cardamom powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon teaspoon green chili paste or white pepper powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil or olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or as per taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil for busting
  1. Cut the chicken pieces into bite size cubes and apply salt, green chili paste, ginger garlic paste and lemon juice.
  2. Mix them nicely and keep marinated for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Soak the cashewnuts for 10 minutes and after that drain and mix with the grated cheese. Grind them into a fine paste using small amount of water.
  4. Take the paste in a mixing bowl. And add curd, green cardamom powder, salt , fresh cream and cooking oil. Give everything a good mix to make malai tikka paste.
Making Chicken malai tikka
  1. Now mix the first marinated chicken pieces with this malai paste nicely so that all parts of them are well coated with the masala.
  2. Keep them refrigerated for 3 to 4 hours to marinate and absorb all flavours.
  3. Preheat an oven to 240°C and line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
  4. After that thread the marinated chicken pieces in iron shewer or in wooden sticks ( pre soaked in water for 15 minutes) one by another.
  5. Now place the shewer or wooden sticks over the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or till the chicken become crisp golden.
  6. While cooking brush some oil or butter after 7 to 8 minutes and rotate the Shewer to cook evenly from all sides.
  7. Similarly you can make chicken malai tikka on tawa or pan. 


Chicken malai tikka recipe video

                          Nutritional value
                          ( serving size 100 gm)
  • Calorie : 180
  • Fats : 8 g
  • Protein : 21 g
  • Carbohydrate : 3 g
                          Serving tips
  • Generally kebab and tikka are served with green chutney ( cilantro mint sauce), lemon wedges and onion slices.
  • Some indian flat breads like garlic naan and Paratha can also be served as a side dish with chicken malai tikka.
                          Recipe notes
  • Busting with butter or oil is important while cooking chicken malai tikka as the creamy texture get quickly burnt.
  • While cooking them in a tandoor use a kitchen towel to handle the shewer.
Popular Chicken recipes to make at home

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