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Afghani Chicken Tikka

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The mild kebab with fantastic flavours… Try this Afghani chicken tikka recipe!

Whenever I cook for family, I always have to include at least a couple of mild dishes.

I love spicy food but for those who like it mild, this Afghani chicken kebab recipe is one to try.

This time I decided to pair these chicken kebabs with super spicy ghost pepper chilli sauce Dr Burnorium along with a deliciously cool raita. All wrapped up in homemade chapattis and garnished with salad veg. It doesn’t get much better!

Afghani Chicken Kebab

I think you’re going to love these Afghani chicken kebabs!

About this recipe…

I have been making these kebabs since I learned the recipe a few years back while on holiday in Mumbai. Although Afghani chicken kebabs are hugely popular in India, they obviously have Afghani origins.

The original recipe dates back long before chillies were introduced to the Indian subcontinent. So chillies and chilli powders are rarely used. I add a bit of Kashmiri chilli powder to my Afghani chicken kebabs but you could leave that out if you wish. 

How to cook Afghani chicken kebabs…

I included this recipe in my latest cookbook ‘The Curry Guy BBQ’. So grilling them over hot coals is a great way to cook them. 

If doing this, skewer the chicken up and place over the hot coals. Don’t turn the skewers until the chicken has a nice char on the underside. Then rotate the skewers and continue cooking until cooked and charred to your liking. 

You could also cook the chicken in an over for about 15 minutes at 200c/400f and then place under a hot grill/broiler to char.

This time around, I decided to cook the Afghani chicken kebabs in my outdoor Babaclay tandoor oven. 

How to make this recipe your own…

As with all my recipes, this recipe should be used as a guide. Feel free to adjust the flavours as you wish. Just like I added chilli powder to a recipe that normally does not have chilli powder in it, you can adjust the flavours of the marinade as you see fit. 

The chicken has an amazing flavour which teams well with many things. For those who prefer milder dishes, I served them with raita. I, on the other hand could not resist adding a good dose of Psycho Juice along with the raita. 

Step by step photos…

As you will see from the recipe below, these kebabs need two marinades. This helps get the flavours of each ingredient right into the flesh of the chicken. 

It might seem a bit strange if you are not used to cooking tandoori style food but it is a popular way of achieving barbecue perfection. 

Ingredients for Afghani chicken

It’s always a good idea to get your ingredients together before starting. Easier that way!

Marinating chicken

Marinate the meat in the first marinade. Then prepare the second marinade and mix it all together with the chicken by hand.

For best results, you should let the chicken marinate over night or up to 48 hours. The longer the better.

Don’t let that stop you though as you can cheat. Even a half hour in the marinade will get great results. 

Skewered Afghani chicken kebabs

Skewer the chicken up. If cooking on a barbecue, it is a good idea to weave the chicken tikka on to prevent it from moving on the skewer.

Cooking chicken kebabs

Cook until charred to your liking. The recipe below is for cooking on a barbecue but tandoor cooking is becoming increasingly popular.

Afghani chicken kebab

Remove from the sizzling hot skewers and serve!

Serving chicken kebabs

Dig in!

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

Tandoori Chicken Tikka
Smoked Leg of Lamb
Goan Cafreal Chicken Wings
Chicken Sajji
Tandoori Lamb Tikka

If you like your food super spicy, be sure to try these Afghani chicken kebabs with some ghost pepper sauce by Phycho Juice.

Chicken with ghost pepper sauce

Yield: 4

Afghani Chicken Kebab

Serving chicken kebabs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 900g (2lb) chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Melted ghee for basting
  • 1 tsp shop bought mint sauce (I use Coleman's)
  • 3 tbsp double (heavy) cream
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp salt, plus extra to taste
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp gram (chickpea) flour
  • 200g (generous 3/4 cup) Greek Yoghurt, whisked until creamy smooth
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 - 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
  • Handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 2 tsp mustard oil


  1. Put the chicken pieces in a bowl, add the ingredients for the first marinade and rub it into the meat. Let sit for about 20 minutes while you prepare the second marinade.
  2. Whisk together all of the second marinade ingredients until smooth. Cover the chicken pieces with this marinade, rubbing it right into the flesh, then cover and place in the fridge to marinate for an hour or overnight. The longer the better.
  3. Prepare a hot direct heat fire on your barbecue. When the coals are white hot and it is uncomfortable to hold your hand 5cm (2 inches) above cooking height for more than 2 seconds, you're ready to cook.
  4. Skewer the marinated chicken, weaving the skewer through the chicken at least twice. Don't simply stick the skewer through or the chicken will turn when your try to rotate the kebabs.
  5. Grill over the hot coals for about 5 minutes, or until lightly charred. then flip the skewers to cook the other side. Rotate from time to time so that the chicken cooks evenly.
  6. When the chicken is almost cooked through, baste with the ghee. Serve hot sprinkled with flaky salt.

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Wednesday 20th of July 2022

Hi, you wrote about a spicy sauce made of carolina‘s, but you use a ready mix. Have you some recipes of sauces with carolina reapers?

Caroline Toombs

Friday 22nd of July 2022

Here's one Thanks Dan


Monday 18th of July 2022

Do you remove the chicken from the first marinade before adding the second, or do you just mix them together? Thanks

Caroline Toombs

Friday 22nd of July 2022

Mix it all together. Thanks Dan


Thursday 5th of May 2022

Gonna have to give these ago. Look great. Didn't know you had a BBQ book out, will have to invest and add to others of yours. Is that your tandoor? Shop bought or homemade? Been looking at making one but that one looked bigger.

Dan Toombs

Sunday 8th of May 2022

Yes, this is one of my favourite recipes. My BBQ book is out in around 2 weeks but you can pre-order it now. My tandoor is supplied by Babaclay and I love it. Thanks very much. Dan

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