Wednesday 14 June 2017

Chicken Malai Tikka Skewers.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

You guys have to make these for your next Iftar!

Out of all the recipes that I shot before Ramadan, these chicken skewers were my favourite.
They're perfect for a busy weeknight Iftar. I don't know about you but I find that when it comes to Iftar, you feel like you have loads of time and suddenly there's none left at all. 

Especially since for us, the fasts are actually getting longer. Our last fast before Eid ul Fitr, will open at 9:46pm! We usually decide during the day what we'll be cooking that evening and try to get as much prep done in my free time as possible because like I said before, time flies the nearer it gets to Iftar.

So, for example, with yesterday's Iftar, I baked the chicken at around 6pm so that it was ready to be brushed with its glaze and grilled at 9pm. I marinaded my salmon at 4pm ready to grill at 9:30pm. I cooked off a simple tomato masala at 7:30pm ready to toss with hot rice noodles and green beans at 9:30pm. The potato salad was mixed up at 7pm and thrown into the fridge to chill and get even better in flavour. And, the pavlova base was made the day before so that it was cool and ready to top with Greek yoghurt, berries and honey at 9pm. Alhamdulillah, with all my prep, Iftar came together in no time and no one was flustered at all.

And, if there is a recipe that is perfect to prep ahead for Iftar, it's these chicken malai tikka skewers. Everything is mixed up in a bowl which you could leave to marinade as long as you like or cook straight away without any compromise on flavour. You could even skewer the chicken a few hours before Iftar that way all you have to do nearer the time is get them into the oven to bake along with some chips - my favourite are those curly ones at the moment. While the two bake, use your time wisely and prep this salad which tastes better fresh and goes so well with the spiced, tender chicken.

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Garam Masala
2. Fresh Coriander
3. Cornflour
4. Red Chilli Powder
5. Tandoori Masala
6. Green Chillies
7. Ground Cumin
8. Salt and Black Pepper
9. Ginger Paste
10. Double Cream
11. Natural Yoghurt
12. Lemon Juice
13. Garlic Paste
14. Red and Yellow Food Colour
15. Vegetable Oil
16. Chicken Breast Chunks

Bismillah, let's begin!

Grab a large mixing bowl and get ready to throw everything into it! Starting with the chicken - I used 2 boneless and skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into equal-sized medium chunks (1 and 1/2 pounds or 750g).

Then, add in 2 Green Chillies, thinly sliced. Add more or less depending on how spicy you want your skewers.

Next, 1 teaspoon Salt.

Followed by 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper.

Time for the main spices! Starting with 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala.

1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder

3/4 teaspoon Tandoori Masala

And, 3/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin. With all the spices, you can adjust the amounts depending on your own taste.

Next, to thicken up the marinade and give our skewers a lovely coating, cornflour!

Add in 3 tablespoons Cornflour.

Next, food colour powder. These are optional but if you want that red colour for your skewers, I recommend the food colour. My Mother likes to add a mixture of both red and yellow to get a better outcome but you can use just the red.

Add in 1/8 teaspoon Red Food Colour Powder and 1/8 teaspoon Yellow Food Colour Powder.

Then, to help tenderise the chicken, 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice.

Time for the malai! The cream! You can't have malaik tikka without using cream! It adds a little richness to the chicken and makes it so soft.

Add in 4 tablespoons Double Cream. Single cream or whipping cream would work too. There is no need to whip any of them - just add them as they are.

We also like to add a little natural yoghurt to our chicken too.

Add in 2 tablespoons Natural Yoghurt. If you only have Greek yoghurt in the fridge, that will work too!

Ginger and garlic paste time! You can use fresh but as it's Ramadan and I have no energy, I would most likely go for the ready made paste. For fresh, crush up a small piece of ginger and 3 cloves of garlic.

For you paste people (me!), add in 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Paste and 1/2 teaspoon Ginger Paste.

Then, time for our favourite! Add in a handful of Fresh Coriander, finely chopped. How big or small your handful is depend on how fanatical you are about fresh coriander!

Last but not least, drizzle in 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil.

And, we're done!

Time to get stirring!

Seriously, look at that beautiful colour! As I said before, you can cover the chicken up and pop it in the fridge to marinade for a few hours or overnight. Or cook straight away!

When you're ready to cook, heat the oven to 220C. If the chicken was in the fridge, take it out around 30 minutes before baking. Line a baking tray with foil and grease the foil too. Then, it's time to get the chicken skewered!

The chicken is skewered without any of its excess marinade which I like to cook off with a little more water. Bring it to the boil and thicken with a cornflour and water mixture, if needed. Season to taste and you have a simple sauce to go with your chicken!

To skewer, I used metal skewers which don't need soaking as opposed to bamboo ones which do. Skewer the chicken pieces onto the skewers, leaving a little gap in between. Bake them at 220C for 7 minutes.

Then, take them out!

Mix together 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil with 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala.

Brush the skewers with the garam masala oil and turn them over. Bake for a further 7 minutes. Turn and brush again with the oil. Finish them off with a final 7 minutes under a hot grill.

Once they're cooked through and slightly crispy on the edges, you're done!

I served mine on a platter with chips and this salad!

Those curly fries are the best!

Enjoy with lemon wedges to squeeze, your fave cold drink and the simple sauce made from the marinade!

Chicken Malai Tikka Skewers.

Prep Time: About 15 minutes + extra time to marinade.
Bake Time: About 21 minutes.
Serves: Serves about 4 people.


2 Chicken Breasts, skinless, boneless and cut into equal-sized medium chunks (1 and 1/2 pounds or 750g)
2 Green Chillies, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
3/4 teaspoon Tandoori Masala
3/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
3 tablespoons Cornflour
1/8 teaspoon Red Food Colour Powder
1/8 teaspoon Yellow Food Colour Powder
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
4 tablespoons Double Cream
2 tablespoons Natural Yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Paste
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Paste
Handful Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

To Bake
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala

Prepare the chicken marinade:
Mix everything together in a bowl. Cover and leave to marinade for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. You can cook straight away if you're in a real rush.

Assemble the skewers:
Skewer the chicken pieces onto metal skewers without any of the extra marinade. If you're using bamboo skewers, soak them in water before using.

What I did with the extra marinade:
I scraped it into a pan and added a little more water to loosen. Bring it to the boil and then thicken with a mixture of cornflour and water. Season with salt, as needed.

Bake the skewers:
Heat the oven to 220C. Line a baking tray with foil and grease the foil. Lay on the skewers and bake for 7 minutes. Then, mix together the vegetable oil and garam masala before brushing the skewers with them. Turn and bake again for 7 minutes, and brush with the garam masala oil. Finally, heat a grill to high and grill the skewers for 7 minutes or until fully cooked.

Serve straight away with anything you like. We had them with chips, this salad and the sauce made from the marinade. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • You can skip the grilling at the end, if you want. Just let the skewers fully cook at 220C.

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your malai tikka!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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