Malai Chicken Tikka

Juicy zesty grilled chicken, marinated in ginger, garlic, lemon, spices, and cream! Grilled topped with cheese for out-of-the-world grilled chicken kababs!

Malai Chicken Tikka
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

Malai Chicken Tikka, or murgh malai is a mouthwatering juicy grilled chicken recipe, with chicken pieces marinated in chilies, garlic, lemon, spices. and cream (malai in Hindi). A little different from regular grilled chicken tikka, this is a kind of chicken which can be served many ways -  as appetizer, snack, or main course with naan bread or rice.

Malai Chicken Tikka is known by many names, chicken malai kabab, murgh malai tikka or sometimes even referred as just Murgh Malai. This gave me real hard time in deciding the right title for the recipe. At the end, I thought the word 'malai' means cream, will make it self explanatory and 'tikka' is something everyone knows! So, Malai Chicken Tikka it is! :) 

You know what? Even though known by many names, in simple words,  malai chicken tikka is griled chicken kabobs with unique combination of spices and cream with cheese. I must mention, cheese was not something always used in traditional malai tikka but it does take the flavor of cream to whole other level!  pure tase of malai in every bite! yumm!

Easy Chicken Malai Tikka Recipe

This recipe is not so known outside India, I should say, Indian food lovers.

Now, that does not mean it is complex but bursting with flavor. So, I decided to present it you two ways - 

a new grilled chicken recipe to feature in Memorial Day Cookout

a new way to weekday chicken dinner.

The best part is, you don't have to switch on grill on weekdays to cook malai tikka. It can be prepared in a heavy bottom pan on stove top. Or can even be cooked in oven. My kitchen gets supper hot in summers so I prefer stove top or outdoor grill... but in winters, this recipe is easy to pull together in oven.

So, here you go, cooking method is no longer an excuse to cook delicious chicken malai tikka! :) Follow the recipe, oven instructions are including in notes.

Malai Chicken Kabab

To make chicken malai tikka, I start by cutting the chicken into kabab size pieces. At this time, I also soak wooden skewers in water so that these not burn while grilling. If you use metal skewers? Then this step is not required. 

Malai Chicken marinade with cream ginger garlic and spices

Malai Chicken marinade is mix of cilantro, green chilies, spices, cream, and garlic. A quick mix of marinade, then chicken goes into the marinade.. I like to marinate chicken for at least 30 mins for good flavor in every bite.

Chicken marinated with spices for Murgh Malai Tikka

If cooking for weekday dinner, chicken can be marinated a day in advance. Once marinated, I skew the chicken on skewers, grill or cook in cast iron skillet indoor.

That's it!! Murgh Malai Tikka is ready!!

Grab some naan, splash lime juice, serve and enjoy!

Serve a side of green chutney if you like. Devour!!

Murgh Malai Tikka with Naan and Chutney

I hope you enjoy! 


Pairing Ideas:

Quick Oven Baked Naan Bread Homemade Restaurant-Style Indian Garlic Naan Homemade No Yeast Garlic Butter Naan

Malai Chicken Tikka

5 (2 reviews)
Malai Chicken Tikka
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Indian () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 4 Servings - Serves: 4
(No. of servings depends on if served for appetizer or main meal.)


Malai Chicken Tikka
Smart Swap: Replace chicken with paneer for Vegetarian Malai Tikka!


  • Step for Recipe - Malai Chicken Tikka 1. In a food processor, add chili, peeled ginger, garlic, cilantro, yogurt, lime juice, zest (if using). Pulse to make smooth puree. Transfer to a bowl. Add heavy cream, salt, corn starch, garam masala. Mix well. Add cubed chicken, coat well and marinade for 15-20 minutes (up to overnight) in refrigerator.
  • Step for Recipe - Malai Chicken Tikka 2. Before grilling, remove chicken from refrigerator, add in shredded mozzarella cheese. Mix well, then skew pieces of chicken into skewers.
  • Step for Recipe - Malai Chicken Tikka 3. Preheat grill. Spray oil on grill, cook chicken 10 minutes each side (turn half way and bast with melted butter) or cook until chicken has fully cooked and cheese is brown and bubbling! Remove malai chicken tikka in a plate, garnish with chopped cilantro. **Serve with side of lime wedges and green chutney! Enjoy!
Savita's Notes:

To cook in oven, preheat oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Place chicken skewers on a rack placed on top of a sheet tray. Cook for 20 minutes, bast with butter after 15 minutes and return to cook. After 20 minutes cooking, switch-on the broiler and broil for 5 minutes for golden bubbly chard cheese layer.

For serving as meal, serve Garlic Naan on side! Enjoy!


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7 Responses

  1. tried this today after seeing this on twitter very quick and tasty high recommended
  2. I tried this recipe today and loved it!! I think I will make it more often. And def when we have parties!
    Thanks Shilpa. I'm glad you enjoyed. Malai tikka is perfct for parties. In-fact, I often serve it as appetizer in get-togethers.
  3. very good recipes please send me every week
    Thanks. I included you in Newsletter mailing list.
  4. drool-worthy...very nicely presented
    thanks, Amrita! I'm glad you like it. It indeed taste very good.