Chicken Tikka
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Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka is essentially bits of skewered, boneless chicken marinated in yogurt and spice, then grilled. It’s riddled with spicy, smoky aroma and has a lightly tart taste from the acid in the yogurt and lime. It’s wonderful!
I’m always fascinated when I look into the origins of foods. I’d always associated Chicken Tikka with India, but this is only partially true. Turns out, that it’s a food stemming from the medieval Indo-Persian culture, which was formed during the Mughal Empire (forming about 500 years ago). “Tikka” is actually a Persian word, meaning “bits” or “pieces”. It remains quite popular in India, as well as Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Like many of my more ethic dishes, I find a lot of love for it for having very low carbs, while maintaining incredible flavor. Spices don’t contribute much in the way of carbs, but are packed with aroma and flavor. A teensy bit goes a long way!
Note: Serving size is set to 4 oz. portions, treating it more as an appetizer. Double the serving size (and nutritional facts) to create a full meal serving.
Photo Note: I wanted something nice to put my chicken sticks on, so I whipped up a nice little rice bed, consisting of cauli-rice steamed with a bit of turmeric and a few frozen peas. I also added some chopped, fresh cilantro and some toasted almond slivers for bulk, fat, and a nice crunchy texture!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time14 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Indian
Servings: 8
Author: DJ Foodie


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1 small red onion coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1/4 cup ghee or coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Add to a blender the yogurt, onion, garlic, lime juice, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, as well as a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Puree the mixture until smooth, then pour into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Place the chicken bits into the bowl with the marinade and mix well, evenly coating the chicken with the marinade. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour, but no more than overnight.
  • Soak your skewers in water for at least 20 minutes, prior to skewering the chicken. This will help prevent the skewers from burning or catching fire while grilling.
  • Once some time has passed, skewer the chicken placing 1to 2 oz. (28 to 56g) of chicken per skewer, or upwards of 4 oz. (112g) of chicken for larger portion sizes.  Season the surface of the skewers with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Pre-heat a grill (or just a large pan or skillet). Make sure the grill is very clean by brushing off any burnt bits or ash. Because this has a bit of extra water in the marinade, it’s more prone to sticking.
  • Pour a bit of melted ghee or coconut oil into a wadded-up paper towel and quickly brush it along the grates, giving it a thin layer of fat. Quickly place the chicken skewers on the grill, directly above the fire. You should get a nice bit of color. Once one side is cooked, flip them, and cook the other side. Baste the skewers with more ghee or coconut oil.
  • Once both sides have a bit of color, you can place them off to the side of the fire to continue cooking. Continue basting them with ghee or coconut oil. Cook until cooked through, then serve!