Murgh Malai Tikka

Chicken cooked in a marinade with yoghurt, cheese, coriander and chillies

Murgh Malai Tikkas to bring in some much needed sunshine! I long for spring and of course a gorgeous bright summer. It’s April and still cold, dreary with a chill in the air. Most days I feel like a hearty one pot steaming bowl of curry and some roti but even in this weather you can’t go amiss with warm creamy tikkas stuffed in fluffy naan with chutney.

Murgh Malai Tikkas are bite size pieces of chicken cooked in a creamy marinade with yoghurt, cheese, ginger, garlic and chilli. There is a balance of flavour from the creamy yoghurt along with the heat of the ground chilli paste and warmth from the garam masala powder. I use a little bit of corn flour to help bind the marinade; I find it clings to the chicken better. The marinating is done in two parts; first in vinegar, garlic and ginger which help tenderise the chicken pieces and then followed by adding the remaining ingredients.

This is an easy recipe and definitely one for a mid week meal. I use boneless chicken thighs as they cook really quick and stay moist. Finished with a pinch of garam masala and chaat masala it is delicious served with a green chutney and some bread.


  1. Marinate the chicken in the vinegar, garlic and ginger paste for 15-20 minutes.

    In a separate bowl mix together the greek yoghurt, double cream with the corn flour well making sure there are no lumps. Now add the grated cheese and mix well. Add the chilli paste, chopped coriander and salt.

  2. Add this mix to the chicken and marinate 20 minutes or preferably overnight.Murgh Malai Tikka

  3. Soak wooden skewers in water. Preheat the grill onto a high setting. Shake off the excess marinade and thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers. Place them on a wire rack on the top shelf. Cook under the grill for 12-15 minutes. Baste with butter every 5 minutes and cook until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through slightly charred around the edges.

  4. Take the chicken off the skewers and rest them over roti or naan. Sprinkle with a pinch of garam masala powder and chaat masala. Serve with a green chutney and onion salad.Murgh Malai Tikka (2)

  • reena

    Hi maunika. Could we use white vinegar instead of malt? .thank you.

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Yes ofcourse! Hope you enjoy it:)

      • reena

        Aw..thank you for your prompt response. will definitely let you know when I try them. I am sure they will be good 🙂

  • Aviator’s Wife

    You wrote 4 garlics. So is it 4 garlic cloves or 4 full garlics???

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Its 4 garlic cloves. Hope you the recipe!

  • Rayane

    Hi, if we wanted to make this in the oven? Can it be done? If yes.. What would the duration be for?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      15-20 mins make sure the chicken is in bite size portions at 200c should be good. Baste with butter halfway through cooking and check they are cooked all the way through before serving. Enjoy!

  • Mayra Tee

    Hiii, can I use milk instead of cream for a healthier alternative? Thank you.

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      This marinade needs to be thick enough to cling to the chicken pieces. If using milk it might make it runny. Leave the cream out if you prefer and add an extra spoonful of yoghurt to the marinade. Hope you like the recipe!

  • Vina


    I am making this recipe tomorrow I have the chicken marinating as we speak..
    What is the recipe for the green chutney please?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Chutney recipe in my book Indian Kitchen!

  • Vishakha

    Can we keep the marinaded chicken for next day as well? Also, i live in London too, can you suggest some good brands of food or places where I can get the ginger garlic paste from? Grinding solids into paste everytime is a major task!

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      The chicken can be marinated overnight too. You can buy a ready shop bought paste in most supermarkets or also try an Asian store.

  • M Nizam

    I made this today, along with fresh naan, and it tasted just like Hyderabad’s most amazing restaurant, Shadaab. This was the first recipe I tried of yours, and am looking forward to trying many more!

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      YUM! Love the food at Shadaab:)

  • Nishitha Shrivastava


    Does it have to be boneless chicken? Are there any variations if I use a chicken with bones?

    Thank you so much.

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      No it doesn’t. Works really well with drumsticks of chicken thighs too. Although vary cooking times as boneless chicken is usually quicker. Enjoy:)

      • Nishitha Shrivastava


  • Irfan P

    Maunika, can I make this in a oven and at what temperature?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Yes ofcourse! Just adjust cooking times.

      • Irfan P

        Thanks. So would roasting or baking it at 230 C for 15 minutes work?

  • Anamika Basak

    Hi Maunika,
    Can i skip the cheese part? Or if you can suggest an alternative.


    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Leave the cheese out although the key to using cheese is that it helps bind it all together.

  • Sana

    I don’t have Woden sticks..what else can I do.

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      You dont need them. Place them on a lined baking tray and they’ll cook perfectly!

  • smita ghosh

    hi im a beginner so it would b great if u help me with the grill temperature… in the microwave.

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Hello! We have not tested the recipe in the microwave although works really well when cooked over a gas hob or on a grill pan.

  • Sachpreet


    Can I use Malai instead of cream. And can it also be cooked in air fryer.


  • Irfan P

    Hi Maunika, if I want to make this with twice the chicken (say 1kg chicken) should I just double the portion of the ingredients listed above?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Yes you can double it although add chilli to taste as it might be far too mild/ spicy for personal taste. Hope you like it!:)

  • Chiragni

    Hello Maunika – Can this chicken recipe work on the BBQ? if yes – any tips on how to ensure the best cooking technique?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Oven is great although bbq is much nicer for flavour. Make sure the heat isnt too high as you want them to cook all the way through. The charred edges will be perfect with some fresh coriander chutney. Enjoy!

  • Sayed Mona

    We can fry this marinated chicken??? If yes. Deep or shalow?

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      Shallow fry is better as the marinade coats the chicken cooking it all the way through.

  • angie woolner

    Hi what can I use instead of the green chilli paste as they do not sell this in our stores

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      You can add dried chilli flakes instead, vary quantity on preference. Or just leave it out!

  • Fhirdos

    Hi, if i am using ginger and garlic paste what quantity would I use?


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