Chicken malai tikka

 How to make chicken malai tikka(murgh malai kebab) 

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

Truly restaurant style soft, full of creamy and succulent pieces of malai tikka recipe.

Serving chicken malai tikka with green chutney and onion lemon wedges

Kebab are everyone's favorite. They are especially for all the foodies who loves some grill or BBQ.

Chicken malai tikka is creamy, soft and juicy. And extremely easy to prepare at home. If you are looking for such a chicken malai kabab recipe, you have come to the right place. Here I bring you the step by step guide on how to make chicken malai tikka which is creamy, soft and juicy.

What is Chicken malai tikka

Chicken malai tikka also known as murgh malai kebab is a rich kabab of mughlai cuisines. Boneless chicken pieces are marinated in a cheese, cashew and cream based marination with a small amount of yogurt. It has a distinct and rich flavour of elaichi (green cardamom) powder.

This malai tikka is best to make with chicken breast or chicken supreme pieces. Otherwise you can use chicken leg boneless as well. Tikka means boneless chunks of meats and malai for cream so the term chicken malai tikka means creamy boneless chicken.

So you can describe malai kabab as a creamy boneless chunks of chicken perfectly cooked, charred and tendered over a charcoal fire tandoor. Rhis chicken malai tandoori is super creamy in taste and so tender that melt in mouth.

Before we jump into the recipe let us look at how nutritious and healthy kebab are. Eating kabab has many heath benefits. They are low in cholesterol and high in protein.

Kabab and tikka are treated as a healthy food because they are cooked using less or no oil. They are cooked in open fire using  BBQ or tandoor over low flame heat. Thus they get cooked using their own juice. Those extra  cheese, cream and oil are get burnt while cooking. So we can consider it as a healthy food.

This is a restaurant style murgh malai kebab recipe.

Chicken malai tikka ingredients

Chicken : boneless chicken is best for malai kabab. Either leg boneless or breast boneless can be used. It also work with bone in chicken.

Cream : fresh cream is suitable or a heavy cream.

Cashew nut : good quality cashew nuts gives some extra flavours. 

Cheese : any good brand's processed cheese.

Yoghurt : make sure the yoghurt is a hung one.

Green cardamom : a key ingredient which gives it the distinct flavour.

Other : ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, salt and cooking oil.

Serving suggestions

Green chutney ( Cilantro mint sauce) is a classic to serve with any kebab or tikka. Some onion slice and a lemon wedge is perfect to serve with this tikka.

Butter naan or other Indian flatbread can be serve as a side dish with chicken malai tikka.

If you love chicken malai tikka then I am sure you would love the recipe of mozzarella chicken kebab and chicken reshmi kabab as well.

Steps to make malai chicken kabab


Marinating the chicken for malai kabab

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 Cashew nuts 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 Cashew nuts 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. You can use this masala paste to make malai paneer tikka also 

If the malai chicken kabab marination consistency get runny, add some cashew nut paste to get the solid consistency.

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

Raw papaya paste is not used for marination in malai tikka. Instead of it use lemon juice and curd. Raw papaya paste is used for marination in lamb, mutton or beef. Generally not in chicken marination.

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, cashew nuts 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 cashew nuts 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.

Malai Chicken tandoori

This means to marinate tandoori chicken with the above prepared malai marination. A whole Chicken or part of a whole leg and breast marinated with malai marination and cooked in a clay tandoor till become crisp and juicy.

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 after at certain interval and rotate the Shewer as well so that the chicken pieces are evenly roast from all sides.

Difference between Chicken malai tikka vs chicken tikka

  1. Chicken malai tikka is a mild creamy chicken kabab whereas chicken tikka is spicy.
  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 cashew nuts 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.
Is Chicken Malai Tikka healthy ? 

There is no doubt that it is a delicious dish, but whether it's considered healthy or not depends on various factors, including how it's prepared and consumed. Here are some considerations:

  • The primary ingredient in Chicken Malai Tikka is chicken, which is a good source of lean protein. However, the "malai" or cream used in the recipe can add more calories and saturated fats. You can make it healthier by using low-fat yogurt instead of heavy cream.
  • The marinade often includes yogurt, spices, and sometimes oil or butter. Try to use low-fat yogurt and a minimal amount of oil that can make the dish healthier.
  • Prefer to grill or baking the chicken is a healthier cooking method compared to deep frying. It reduces the overall calorie content.
  • Consider pairing it with a salad or vegetables while serving can add more nutrition to the meal.

Fish malai tikka

Using the above malai masala paste you can make fish malai tikka as well. You just marinate the fish cube size pieces with ginger garlic paste, green chili paste, lemon juice and salt for 15 minutes and then mix with the malai masala paste. Keep them refrigerated for 2 to 3 hours to absorb the flavours.
Thereafter line them or thread in a iron shewer or wooden sticks and bake till crisp golden. 
You can even cook them using a tawa or pan.

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, cashew nuts and cream based marination.

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

Author : Mobasir hassan


  • 200 gm chicken 
  • 15 to 20 cashew nuts
  • 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 cashew nuts 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 butter 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.
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