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  • Writer's pictureJames A

Cook-a-long Chicken Tikka

The first of my cook-a-longs and a family favourite, I thought I'd go with something I've cooked a lot of times before. The sauce is an adapted recipe I learned from my Dad, and whilst I don't have a tandoor oven, you can still get a tasty tikka from pan frying or grilling.


For the Tikka

100g Chicken breast or Paneer per person, chopped into 1 inch-ish cubes

2 tbsp natural yoghurt

2 tbsp Tandoori masala spice mix

Juice of half a lemon

Crushed garlic clove

1 tsp vegetable oil

For the Curry

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Thumb of ginger, grated

1 fresh chilli, chopped

1tsp ground cumin, turmeric and coriander

Tin chopped tomatoes

Tsp tamarind paste or couple squeezes lemon juice

Half a tin of coconut milk or about an inch of a block of creamed coconut

Tbps palm sugar (other sugar also works)

Chopped coriander to serve

For the chutneys

Half a finely chopped onion

Lime or lemon juice

Chilli powder

3tbps natural yoghurt

1 crushed garlic clove

1tbps mayonnaise

Basmati rice and/or chapattis to serve

Cooking implements

Chopping knife

Chopping board

Medium/large bowl to marinate chicken/paneer

Large pan for tikka and curry

Medium pan for Rice

Small bowls for chutneys

Drink with lager, Riesling or Gewurtztraminer.


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the tikka, apart from the chicken, in your medium to large bowl, ensuring the masala spice mix is thoroughly mixed into the yoghurt.

  2. Add the chicken to the bowl, cover and refrigerate. The longer you can marinate, the better, but you should try and aim for at least a couple of hours.

  3. Turn the oven on to about 180C/gas mark 4/360F. This will be to keep the chicken hot whilst you make the sauce.

  4. Add some neutral oil (vegetable/sunflower/ghee) to the large pan on a high heat.

  5. Once the oil has heated for 2-3 minutes, add the chicken, trying not to add too much of the marinade (otherwise it will spit).

  6. Cook the chicken for about 5 or 6 minutes, about 2-3 mins per side, so they get some colour on them. Then remove from the pan and put in the oven on a baking tray.

  7. Using the same pan, maybe adding a little more oil if you think it's needed, put the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in and cook for about 8 mins with a lid on, on a medium heat, until softened.

  8. Add the dry spices and stir, cooking for a minute or so.

  9. Add the chopped tomatoes, tamarind paste, coconut milk and palm sugar and stir thoroughly.

  10. Whilst the sauce is cooking, you can now make the chutneys and put on the rice, if that's what you're having with.

  11. Place the onion, chilli powder and lime juice in a bowl and mix until the onion is coated with the red chilli. That's it!

  12. For the garlic yoghurt dip, add all the ingredients in another separate bowl and stir until mixed together.

  13. To serve you can either mix the tikka in with the sauce or serve separately. I serve separately as the kids prefer it that way.

Eat with chapatis or nan breads! Pics below on the fellow cook-a-longer efforts.

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