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Pakistani Chicken Tikka

This easy Pakistani chicken tikka is so good!

There are so many recipes for tandoori chicken. I’ve tried hundreds at restaurants and at home and have many more to get through.

I think that if you try this Pakistani chicken tikka recipe, you’ll understand why it is one a of my go-to recipes.

Tandoori chicken tikka

Cooked to perfection. This recipe is so easy.

About this Pakistani chicken tikka recipe…

This has to be one of the first recipes for tandoori chicken I ever learned.

Back when I first moved to the UK, a chef friend showed me this recipe. He told me how important it was to allow the chicken tikka to marinate for hours!

The recipe calls for quite a lot of yoghurt. You don’t need to use that much. In fact, if serving this Pakistani chicken tikka on its own or with naans, you should use half as much.

If using the meat in a curry, however, be sure to use it all. Then scrape off as much marinade as you can before grilling and use the remaining marinade to flavour your curry sauce.

Does this Pakistani chicken tikka have to be done on the barbecue?

Not at all, though that’s how I prefer to cook it.

You could also use a little trick called the dhungar method. This is an Indian and Pakistani method of giving tandoori meat and vegetables a smoky flavour while cooking indoors.

To do it, you just need a piece of lumpwood charcoal. Light it and place it on a two layer thick piece of foil.

Then place the charcoal and foil in the centre of your marinating meat. Drizzle a little oil over the charcoal and it will begin to smoke. Cover the bowl and allow to smoke until the smoke subsides.

There you have it, easy, Pakistani chicken tikka that can be cooked in the oven with a delicious smoky flavour. 

Photos of how to make this Pakistani chicken tikka…


Tandoori chicken tikka

Chicken marinating.

Tandoori chicken tikka

All skewered up and ready.

Chicken tikka

Cooking chicken over hot coals. there’s nothing better.

Chicken tikka

Do you want it? You can make it!

Chicken tikka

Our picnic lunch!

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If you like this Pakistani chicken tikka recipe, you might like to try some of these too…

Chicken seekh kebabs
Tandoori chicken lollipops
Sri Lankan pork curry
Tandoori vegetables
Grilled tandoori lamb tikka
Chicken Tikka Masala

Yield: 2 - 3

My Easy and Tasty Tandoori Chicken Tikka

My Easy and Tasty Tandoori Chicken Tikka
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 8 skinned boned chicken thighs
  • 250ml plain thick yogurt
  • 5 cloves garlic - smashed
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger - roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon chaat masala
  • Juice of one to two limes ( I use two)
  • 100ml melted butter


  1. Blend the yogurt, garlic, ginger, salt, chilli powder, chaat masala and lime juice in a blender until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Make two to three shallow slits in each chicken thigh and then smother them with the marinade.
  3. Leave for at least two hours, covered in the fridge. 24 hours will be even better.
  4. When ready to cook, heat your charcoal barbecue until the coals are white hot.
  5. Skewer the chicken pieces leaving about an inch between each piece. This helps ensure that they cook evenly.
  6. Place the skewered chicken over the hot coals and grill, turning often until cooked through.
  7. Just before serving, baste the chicken pieces with the melted butter. You may get a little flair up but that just adds to the character.
  8. EAT!

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



Saturday 16th of March 2019

Hi can I grill this chicken or bake it please

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 19th of March 2019

Hi Jen

You can do either. I prefer grilling but baking will work just fine.

Thanks, Dan

Kevin | KevinIsCooking

Tuesday 7th of July 2015

Looks incredible and I'm always up to check out a new one. East Pakistani caught my attention. If I can't find a Kashmiri red chilli powder, any substitution ideas or what would be close? Thanks Dan. Enjoy the Summer friend.

Dan Toombs

Friday 10th of July 2015

Thank you Kevin and sorry for the late reply. You have so many great chilli powders over there. Just choose one that you think you will like. Kashmiri red chilli powder is quite hot. I've made it with other chilli powders too and it came out great. Thanks a lot my friend.



Tuesday 7th of July 2015

Another very simple delicious recipe Dan! I find your recipes are simple to prepare and so popular with my family. I like all kinds of spicy food from the Indian Subcontinent, and I would be interested to know more about the variations in regional cuisine of the same dishes, and also Indian/Pakistani variations. Buying your book today!!

Dan Toombs

Friday 10th of July 2015

Thank you so much. Hope you enjoy the book. Have fun using other spices and experimenting.


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