This is one chicken starter that is popular with adults and kids alike – primarily because it is very flavorful, has a very creamy taste, and not too spicy on the palette. It gets its spiciness from the use of green chillies, which can be adjusted as per taste. It tastes best served with some green chutney.
I have made this recipe multiple times, improvising a little each time and have finally nailed this one that I am sharing with all of you. It has been approved by the remaining three in the family, which isn’t easy I have to say..:)
I generally like marinating the chicken in bulk and then dividing it into different portions and freezing. So whenever I need to make these, all I need to do is to remember to de-freeze a portion or two in advance!
Few things to keep in mind
- Marination Time: It is best to marinate the chicken for atleast 5-6 hours in the refrigerator, but if you have time, marinate it overnight. If you do not plan to make it immediately, you can also freeze the marinated chicken and then de-freeze it as required.
- Usage of cream and cashew paste: Do not skip these two. I feel it is a combination of these two ingredients that give this malai chicken tikka its creamy and delicious flavor!
- Boneless Chicken – 500 gms, cut into cubes
- Hung Curd – 1/4 cup
- Fresh Cream – 1/4 cup
- Cashews – 8-10
- Ginger and Garlic paste – 1 tbsp each
- Cumin Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Green Chillies – 3 small, crushed (adjust the number of chillies as per taste)
- Cornflour – 1 tsp
- Cardamom Powder – from 3 cardamoms
- Coriander Leaves – a handful, chopped
- Kasoori Methi – a little, crushed
Step by Step Process
- Soak the cashews in hot water for 10-15 min and then drain and grind to a smooth paste.
- Take the chicken pieces in a bowl and add the curd and cream to this.
- To this, add all the other ingredients listed above. Adjust the salt as per taste.
- Mix everything well till all the marinade coats the chicken pieces well.
- Cover the bowl and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 5-6 hours or overnight. In case you plan to freeze the marinated chicken, then transfer it to a freezer-proof bowl with a tight lid and freeze.
- Once the chicken is marinated, heat a little oil in a pan. You do not need a lot of oil to cook this. You can also grill this in the oven or a tandoor if you have. Either skew the chicken pieces onto skewers or directly put them onto the pan. Cook on all sides till the meat is tender. I like to have my chicken pieces a little charred on the outside, so I usually cook it on high flame initially and then lower the flame till the inside is well cooked, bit juicy and soft. If you cook it for long, the chicken pieces will tend to become dry and loose their flavour.
- Serve hot with some green chutney. (Recipe: https://foodtokwithsherin.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/mint-and-coriander-chutney-green-chutney/)