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, 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...

Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time:
Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 4 Servings Serves: 4
Notes: No. of servings depends on if served for appetizer or main meal.



  • 1.5 lbs Chicken (breast or thigh, small cubed)
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Serrano pepper (or 2 small green chili peppers)
  • 4 Garlic (cloves)
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
  • 3 tbsp Lime (juice, zest of 1 lime, more lime wedges for serving)
  • 2 tbsp Yogurt (thick, greek-style yogurt)
  • 1 tsp Corn Starch
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1-2 tbsp Cilantro (more for garnish)
  • Malai Chicken Tikka

  • 1-2 tbsp Unsalted Butter (melted, for basting, optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)


  • 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.
  • 2. Before grilling, remove chicken from refrigerator, add in shredded mozzarella cheese. Mix well, then skew pieces of chicken into skewers.
  • 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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