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Chicken Tikka

A Pakistani classic, my uncle's recipe for chicken tikka requires few ingredients but is rich on flavor thanks to the fire of the charcoal grill.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani Cuisine
Servings 6
Calories 453 kcal


  • 6 chicken whole legs thigh included – each leg weighed about ½ pound
  • 3 tablespoon oil canola/sunflower/vegetable
  • 24 oz full-fat yogurt
  • Juice of 1 whole lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoon red chili powder (preferably Kashmiri red chili powder)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds


  • Whip the yogurt to make it an even consistency.
  • Stir in the red chili powder, cumin seeds and add juice of one lemon.
  • Make slight diagonal splits on the chicken with a knife. Coat chicken with oil, salt and pepper.
  • Add the chicken to the yogurt marinade. Make sure it’s well-coated. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  • To begin grilling, turn up all burners (this grill had four burners) and bring heat up to 400°F.
  • Remove the chicken from marinade, and place it on one side of the grill, preferably concentrated on top of only one burner. Reserve the marinade. Cook each side for about 10 minutes (so 20 minutes total). The outside should look crispy, bordering on charred.
  • Turn off the burner directly beneath the chicken. Leave the other three on high. Shut the grill and keep it closed for 30 minutes. Open it, flip each piece, and re-baste them with the remaining marinade. Let it cook for another 30 minutes with lid closed.
  • Serve with naan, chutney, lemons and red onions.