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Hariyali Chicken Tikka Kebabs

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Hariyali chicken… the deliciously spiced green kebab 

Hariyali chicken tikka kebabs have to be right up there in my top five favourites for years. I love the deep green colour and the flavour is out of this world gorgeous.

A north Indian classic, Hariyali chicken tikka is served both as a starter and main. It is also amazing stirred into a curry house style curry

hariyali chicken tikka

The spicy and healthy chicken tikka! I think you’re going to love this one.


About this hariyali chicken tikka recipe…

I learned this recipe at a London curry house which unfortunately is no longer around after 35 years in business. The recipe first appeared in my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Easy’ and was so popular I decided to include it in ‘The Curry Guy Bible’ too.

In the books, however I didn’t call it hariyali chicken tikka. Instead I called in Mean and Green Chicken Tikka Kebabs which is exactly what it is. Mean and green!


Packed with delicious greens such as spinach, coriander (cilantro) and mint along with green chillies, this recipe packs a punch and it’s quite good for you too. 

Marinating the chicken tikka…

Like all good chicken tikka recipes, this hariyali chicken will benefit from a good, long soak in the delicious marinade. I usually marinate the chicken for 24 to 48 hours.

You could, however get away with 30 minutes if you’re in a rush so don’t let the long marinating time put you off!

There is a lot of marinade. When you place the meat on the skewers, be sure to retain any additional marinade. This can be used to baste the chicken tikka as it cooks. 

Weaving the chicken tikka onto the skewers…

One of the biggest mistakes people make when skewering chicken tikka is that they simply stick the skewer straight through the tikka.

What happens is that when they go to rotate the skewers, the chicken pieces don’t rotate. What you want to do is weave the chicken tikka onto the skewer.

By weaving instead of sticking straight through, the chicken will stay in place. When you rotate the skewer, the chicken rotates with it.

Step by step photographs

Ingredients for hariyali chicken tikka

Gather all of your ingredients before starting. It’s easier in the long run.

Frying onions and chillies in the pan.

Fry the onions and chillies in the oil until the onion is soft and translucent.

Adding garlic and ginger paste and spices to pan

Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and the ground spices. Stir it all up to combine.

Adding spinach leaves to the pan

Add the spinach and stir it into the hot onion mixture.

Spinach cooking in the pan

As it cooks, the spinach will wilt down. Allow to cool.

blending the marinade ingredients

Once cooled, blend with the coriander and mint until smooth. 

Adding green marinade to yoghurt

Now whisk the marinade into the yoghurt until you have a smooth marinade.

Seasoning the marinade with salt, pepper and garam masala

Season the marinade with salt, pepper and garam masala.

Adding chicken to marinade

Add the chicken and ensure it is completely coated with the green marinade. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 48 hours.

grilling the chicken tikka

Grill over direct heat, turning regularly.

Basting the hariyali chicken tikka

Baste often with ghee or leftover marinade.

Harihali chicken tikka

Serve hot with raita and veggies.

Yield: 4

How To Make Hariyali Chicken Tikka Kebabs

hariyali chicken tikka
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 4 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 onion - finely chopped
  • 8 green bird's eye chillies, finely chopped (more or less to taste
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 3 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1 handful of coriander (roughly one Aldi bag of coriander)
  • 15 mint leaves
  • 10 roasted cashews
  • 100g (7 tbsp) butter
  • 3 tablespoons thick plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoons garam masala (more or less to taste)
  • 800g (1 lb 12oz) chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite sized pieces (tikka)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pan or wok, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. When visibly hot, tip in your chopped onions and green chillies
  3. Fry until the onion is translucent and soft.
  4. Now add the ground cumin and turmeric and stir it all up.
  5. Add the spinach and garlic and ginger paste and stir it all into the onions. As you cook, the spinach will wilt.
  6. Remove this from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  7. In a blender, blend the spinach and onion mixture with the lemon juice, cashews, butter, mint and fresh coriander (cilantro). You may need to add a little water to do this.
  8. Once blended, stir it and the yoghurt together until you have a smooth marinade. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper and garam masala to taste.
  9. Take about a cup full of the marinade out and set aside for later.
  10. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken pieces and allow to marinate for 30 minutes to 24 hours. The longer the better.
  11. When ready to cook, light your charcoal until white hot.
  12. Skewer the chicken pieces and place over the hot coals. Be sure to rotate the skewers regularly so that the meat chars on the exterior and cooks evenly through. You could baste it as it cooks with melted ghee and/or leftover marinade
  13. Just before serving, baste with the marinade you set aside earlier.


This recipe is slightly different to the recipe in my cookbooks. It is equally as delicious though.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 423mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 8gSugar: 12gProtein: 10g

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I hope you enjoy this  hariyali chicken kebab recipe.  If you do get a chance to try it, please let me know what you think by leaving a comment. 


Wednesday 27th of July 2022

So so good! Will be on my regular summer bbq rotation now! Love it

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 27th of July 2022

That's great! Thanks very much. Dan


Thursday 15th of July 2021

Wow..what a so good .thanks for sharing this delicious recipe ..

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

Great to hear! Thanks very much. Dan

Noor Afsha

Tuesday 28th of April 2020

Hey Dan, I tried this recipe for Iftar today. It turned out really good! Everyone loved it. Instead of grilling on hot coals I grilled the kebabs in wooden skewers in grilling pan. For smoky effect I drizzled a bit of oil on charcoal.

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 29th of April 2020

Hi Wow, that sounds great. thanks for letting me know. Dan


Sunday 30th of December 2018

This was a super hit! Thank you for the recipe.

Dan Toombs

Monday 14th of January 2019

Great to hear Ash. Thank you.



Saturday 3rd of March 2018

Absolutely lip smacking. Made for a bbq and everyone's talking about it and now want the recipe😁. Should I or shouldn't I 😉

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 6th of March 2018

Great to hear everyone liked it! Why not? :-)


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