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Soola Chicken Tikka Kebabs

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Mildly spiced and delicious! Try these soola chicken tikka kebabs today.

There are countless recipes for chicken tikka and this soola chicken tikka is one of the best.

I have used chicken tikka for this recipe but the soola marinade is amazing on pretty much everything. Red meat, vegetables, paneer… Go for it. You’ll love it.

soola chicken tikka kebab

These coriander (cilantro) kebabs are mild but still have a good kick from the warming spices.

About these soola chicken tikka kebabs…

Most chicken tikka recipes include fresh and/or powdered chillies. That isn’t the case with this soola kebab recipe.

I believe the recipe dates back before chillies were introduced to India by the Portuguese. the soola chicken tikka sill have a good spicy kick though.

Before chillies made their way to the Indian subcontinent, the spicy flavours were accomplished with a good dose of black peppercorns and/or long black peppers.

This recipe has a lot of black pepper in it. You will feel that spicy punch but it goes away quickly unlike most chillies.

Marinating the meat…

As with most chicken tikka recipes, these soola kebabs will benefit from 24 to 48 hours in the marinade. Red meat could be marinated up to 72 hours. Fish only needs about 20 minutes.


If you are in a rush, you could get away with marinating the chicken for about a half hour while you barbecue comes up to heat.

Soola chicken tikka on skewers over the hot coals

These chicken tikka can be cooked over direct heat on any barbecue.

How to cook soola chicken tikka…

These incredible chicken tikka kebabs can be cooked on any barbecue, large or small. Just skewer them up and cook over a flaming hot direct heat fire. 

If you have a home tandoor oven, you might like to cook them in there. I use mine to cook tandoori chicken tikka all the time. You need to get it really hot before starting though. 

It should be too hot to put your hand in it! I did a video recently on how to get that tandoor up and going here

What is direct heat cooking?

Direct heat cooking is the simplest way to cook on your barbecue. 

Just heat up a sufficient amount of charcoal and let it burn. When it is unbearably hot to hold your hand 5cm (2 inches) above cooking height for more than two seconds, you’re ready to get cooking!


Soola chicken tikka cooking in the tandoor oven

Tandoori ovens are great for cooking chicken tikka at home. Mine is a BabaClay and I highly recommend it. 


A similar recipe to this soola chicken tikka is featured on page 97 of my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Bible’.

Step by step photos…

Ingredients for soola chicken tikka

Get your ingredients together before starting. See that bowl of coriander? I used that x 4. So a lot.

Spices for soola marinade

Roast the whole spices over medium heat until fragrant and warm to the touch but not yet smoking.

Ground spices

Allow to cool some and then grind to a fine powder.

Ghee and oil in a pan

Heat the oil and ghee over medium high heat.

Frying onions and garlic

Add the onion and fry until soft and translucent. Then stir in the garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.

Chicken in first marinade

Meanwhile mix the chicken with the lemon juice, chaat masala, garlic and ginger paste and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Blending soola paste

Once the onion and garlic mixture has cooled some, blend with ground spices, lots of coriander and a drop of water.

Soola paste

Stir in the yoghurt. Your marinade should be a deep green and smooth.

Marinating chicken

Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours for best results.

skewered soola chicken tikka

Skewer up the chicken!

Soola chicken tikka

Dig in!

I have many more chicken tikka recipes for you to try!

Stovetop Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken Methi
Pakastani Tandoori Chicken Tandoori

Yield: 4 - 6

Soola Chicken Tikka Kebabs

chicken tikka soola
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 tbsp cloves
  • Seeds from 6 black cardamom pods
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 large bunches of fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 100g (1/2 cup) natural plain yogurt
  • 700g (1 1/2 lbs) chicken thighs or breasts cut into bite sized tikka
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Throw in the clove, cardamom seeds, peppercorns, and the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds and move them around in the pan so they roast evenly. When they become warm and fragrant, tip onto a plate, allow to cool, then grind them into a powder using a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
  2. Heat the ghee and mustard oil together in the frying pan. Add the onion and fry until translucent and soft but not browned. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the lime juice over the chicken and add the chaat masala, ground black pepper and salt to taste. Set aside while you finish the soola marinade.
  4. Transfer the cooled onion mixture to a food processor with the remaining ground spices, coriander (cilantro) leaves and 1 tsp salt and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, add the yoghurt and whisk together.
  5. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat, then cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 48 hours: the longer the better.
  6. When ready to cook, prepare your barbecue for direct heat cooking (see explanation above). Thread the chicken tikka onto skewers and cook, turning them until nicely charred on the exterior and cooked through.
  7. Transfer to a warm plate and squeeze the lime juice over the top. Sprinkle with the chaat masala and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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 I hope you enjoy this soola chicken tikka recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. 


Steve Latchford

Friday 5th of January 2018

Hi Dan Any tips on cooking this in a tandoor

Cheers Steve Latchford

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 9th of January 2018

Hi Steve

Cooking in a tandoor takes some practice. As most people don't have one, I haven't written much information on it. I have a tandoor and will be cooking a lot in it. You might like to check out my YouTube channel where I will be sharing tips on Tandoor cooking.

Thanks, Dan

Christine Miller

Thursday 21st of December 2017

Absolutely love this soola recipe, I’ve made it with lamb also.

Dan Toombs

Friday 29th of December 2017

Great to hear Christine. Thank you very much.


Wednesday 11th of June 2014


So what is "chaat masala" exactly? Obviously it's a spice with chickpeas of some sort. You call for it in this recipe and I can't really figure out what it is...

Thanks for your help.

P.S. Your recipes are fantastic... I taste test everything on my British Boyfriend. And he loves them all.

Dhanya Samuel

Saturday 17th of May 2014

Sounds delish...definitely going to try out this one.

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