Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken Tikka (Murgh Tikka)

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This quick and easy Tandoori chicken tikka recipe is a delicious appetizer dish that is slightly charred on the outside and succulent on the inside. Make this over the stovetop or air fry it using Mealthy CrispLid. All it takes about 30 minutes of cook time!

Tandoori chicken tikka served with green chutney and tamarind chutney along with lemon wedges
Tandoori Chicken Tikka

What is Tandoori chicken tikka 

Tikka refers to small pieces of meat marinated in a spicy yogurt-based mixture traditionally cooked in a tandoor. It is a clay oven with a wood charcoal fire burning at the base of the oven. Once the tandoor is hot, meat pieces threaded on metal skewers are lowered into the tandoor to cook. Once cooked, the meat pieces are charred from the outside and moist on the inside with a smoked flavor.

In this chicken tikka recipe, a Mealthy CrispLid is leveraged instead of a tandoor to achieve the same delicious result. Don’t worry if you don’t have a CrispLid, you can always make it on a pan over the stovetop. 

Read this: Mealthy CrispLid review – should you get one?

To get an exclusive $10 off on your purchase of Mealthy CrispLid use code SIMMERTOSLIMMER on the Mealthy website. You could also buy it from Amazon

How to make Tandoori chicken tikka

There are two ways you can make this Murgh (chicken) tikka dish, using a pan over the stovetop or using Mealthy CrispLid.

How to make chicken tikka marinade or tandoori marinade

  1. Chop the chicken into 2-inch pieces
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together thick yogurt, ajwain seeds, mustard oil, minced garlic, grated ginger, lime juice, Kashmiri red chili powder, garam masala, smoked paprika, and salt.
  3. Add the chicken pieces into the marinade and mix them in till they are evenly coated.
Steps to make Tandoori Chicken Tikka Marinade depicted in a collage
How to make Tandoori Chicken Marinade

Pan-grilled Tandoori Chicken Tikka

  1. Add a tablespoon of oil in a pan kept over high heat on a stovetop.
  2. When the oil heats up, carefully place the chicken in the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Note: If using mustard oil, let the oil smoke first.
  3. Cook on high heat for a minute – both sides and then reduce the heat to medium-high. 
  4. Let it cook on each side for about 7-8 minutes. Set it aside.
  5. Add more oil if needed for the next batch and repeat the process of cooking each side for 7-8 minutes.
  6. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and serve immediately with a side of lemon wedges.
Steps to make Tandoori Chicken Tikka Marinade in a pan depicted in a collage
Pan-fried Tandoori Chicken Tikka

Cooking Tandoori Chicken Tikka using Mealthy CrispLid

  1. Place the trivet in the steel insert of Mealthy MultiPot.
  2. Completely coat the air frying basket with oil before placing it over the trivet.
  3. Place the chicken pieces on the air frying basket in a single layer making sure not to overcrowd them – you’ll have to do it in two batches.
  4. Make sure the pressure cooker is unplugged. Place the CrispLid on top of the inner pot using the built-in handle.
  5. Plug the CrispLid to an electric outlet and lower the handle.
  6. Set the temperature to 400°F (200°C ) and allow the chicken pieces to cook for 8 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, lift the lid and set it on the silicone trivet provided.
  7. Flip the chicken pieces. Place the CrispLid back on and cook for another 8 minutes.
  8. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat the process with the next batch of chicken.
  9. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and serve immediately with a side of lemon wedges.
Steps to make Tandoori Chicken Tikka M using Mealthy CrispLid depicted in a collage
Tandoori Chicken Tikka Made using Mealthy CrispLid

Tips / Notes

  1. Use any oil with a high smoke point. I prefer mustard or avocado oil.
  2. I prefer boneless chicken thighs for this recipe because the end result is moist and succulent. You can always use boneless chicken breasts.
  3. You can thread them onto skewers and grill. If you are using wooden skewers soak them in water for 10-20 minutes so that they don’t burn.
  4. You can also include veggies such as onions, peppers (red/yellow/green) in the skewers. Just add them in the marinade a few minutes before you start to grill. 
  5. Make sure to chop the chicken thighs into equal-sized pieces for even cooking. 
  6. Adding smoked paprika helps give that Tandoor-cooked taste to it. Feel free to skip it if you don’t have it.
  7. If you have leftover dry chicken tikkas, you can drop them in a tikka masala sauce and simmer it for about 5-10 minutes to make chicken tikka masala
  8. If you are planning to make this tikka for entertaining, make this the day of the party for the best-tasting tikkas. They lose their moisture when refrigerated. You can always prepare the marinade in advance and keep it in the refrigerator for about a day. Any longer than that put it in the freezer and thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before grilling. 
Tandoori Chicken Tikka

Stovetop vs. Mealthy CrispLid Chicken Tikka

Either way of preparing your Indian Style Chicken Tikka gives you similar results. I prefer using Mealthy CrispLid because it uses less oil. 

What is the difference between chicken tikka and tikka masala 

Tikka masala is the sauce in which the dry chicken tikka is added to make the popular dish – chicken tikka masala

What is the difference between kebab and tikka 

Chicken kebab is made from minced meat whereas tikka is larger chunks of meat.

Other appetizer dishes that are perfect for entertaining – 

  • Tandoori Chicken – This quick and easy Tandoori chicken recipe makes the most flavorful and authentic chicken that is crisp on the outside and succulent on the inside – just like it is supposed to be!
  • Chicken kebab – Chicken kababs make a nice accompaniment with rice/naan or can be a meal in itself. Squeeze lemon juice on the kababs before serving to give them a nice tang.
  • Tandoori salmon – Spicy and tangy bite-size pieces of the salmon are grilled to perfection to make this delicious dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make.
  • Honey Garlic Salmon  This 15-minute grilled honey garlic salmon is perfect for days when you crave a fancy meal but don’t want to pay for it or spend hours making it.


Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker -  
Tandoori chicken tikka served with green chutney and tamarind chutney along with lemon wedges

Tandoori Chicken Tikka

4.80 from 5 votes
This quick and easy Tandoori chicken tikka recipe is an easy appetizer dish that is slightly charred on the outside and succulent on the inside. Make this over the stovetop or grill it using Mealthy CrispLid. All it takes about 30 minutes of cook time!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Marination time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 51 minutes
Servings: 4
Diet : Gluten-free
Course : Accompaniment
Method: Baking, CrispLid
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs, skinless

For the Marinade

For coating the mesh tray (if using CrispLid)

For frying the chicken (if using a pan)

Serving suggestions

  • Lemon wedges

Instructions
 

  • Chop the chicken into 2-inch pieces.
  • Combine all the ingredients under the marinade section in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and coat them one at a time so that each piece is evenly marinated.
  • Let the chicken sit in the marinade for about 30 minutes.

Stovetop - pan frying

  • Add a tablespoon of oil in a pan kept over high heat on a stovetop.
  • When the oil heats up, carefully place the chicken in the pan. Don't overcrowd the pan. Note: If using mustard oil, let the oil smoke first.
  • Cook for a minute on each side and then reduce the heat to medium-high.
  • Let it cook on each side for about 6-8 minutes. Set it aside.
  • Add more oil if needed for the next batch and repeat the process of cooking each side for 6-8 minutes.

Cooking using Mealthy CrispLid

  • Place the trivet in the steel insert of Mealthy MultiPot.
  • Completely coat the air frying basket with oil before placing it over the trivet.
  • Place the chicken pieces on the air frying basket in a single layer making sure not to overcrowd them - you’ll have to do it in two batches.
  • Make sure the pressure cooker is unplugged. Place the CrispLid on top of the inner pot using the built-in handle.
  • Plug the CrispLid to an electric outlet and lower the handle.
  • Set the temperature to 400°F (200°C ) and allow the chicken pieces to cook for 8 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, lift the lid and set it on the silicone trivet provided.
  • Flip the chicken pieces. Place the CrispLid back on and cook for another 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat the process with the next batch of chicken.
  • Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and serve immediately with a side of lemon wedges.

Notes

  1. Use any oil with a high smoke point. I prefer mustard or avocado oil.
  2. I prefer boneless chicken thighs for this recipe because the end result is moist and succulent. You can always use boneless chicken breasts.
  3. You can thread them onto skewers and grill. If you are using wooden skewers soak them in water for 10-20 minutes so that they don’t burn.
  4. You can also include veggies such as onions, peppers (red/yellow/green) in the skewers. Just add them in the marinade a few minutes before you start to grill. 
  5. Make sure to chop the chicken thighs into equal-sized pieces for even cooking. 
  6. Adding smoked paprika helps give that Tandoor-cooked taste to it. Feel free to skip it if you don't have it.
  7. If you have leftover dry chicken tikkas, you can drop them in a tikka masala sauce and simmer it for about 5-10 minutes to make chicken tikka masala.
  8. If you are planning to make this tikka for entertaining, make this the day of the party for the best-tasting tikkas. They lose their moisture when refrigerated. You can always prepare the marinade in advance and keep it in the refrigerator for about a day. Any longer than that put it in the freezer and thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before grilling. 

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Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 20gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 682mgPotassium: 272mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 360IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : spicy, Tangy

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