Chicken Tikka Recipe – Airfryer/Oven/Crisplid

January 24, 2020 By Aneesha |

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosures.

Chicken Tikka is an extremely flavorful appetizer from the north Indian cuisine! In this easy Airfryer or oven recipe, chicken chunks are marinated in yogurt and aromatic Indian spices, then grilled to a crisp brown texture!

Chicken tikka skewered and grilled with peppers

What is Chicken Tikka

The word ‘Tikka’ comes from the Turkish word ‘Tike’, which means ‘Bits’ or ‘Pieces’. Chicken Tikka is one of the most popular appetizers in norther Indian cuisine, and was brought to the Indian subcontinent by the Mughals.

Traditionally, boneless chicken chunks are marinated in yogurt, ginger, garlic and aromatic spices like coriander, cumin, garam masala, red chili, turmeric and dried fenugreek leaves.

Chicken pieces are then skewered and grilled in a clay oven called Tandoor. Since most homes don’t have a tandoor, we achieve a similar grilled texture using the oven or an outdoor grill.

In this recipe, I’ve grilled the chicken using an Airfryer, or an Instant Pot with a Crisplid, in addition to an easy oven recipe.

Grilled Chicken Tikka served in a plate decorated with cilantro leaves on the side

Delicious Low Carb Appetizer

Chicken Tikka is an extremely flavorful low-carb appetizer. I serve it with fresh vibrant cilantro chutney mixed with plain yogurt, and that just takes this easy appetizer to another level.

A pound of chicken tikka along with peppers and onions serves around 6 people. Each serving of chicken tikka has roughly 6 grams of carbs with 2 grams of fiber, which means only 4 grams of net carbs per serving.

You Might Like this: Easy Appetizer Recipes

Two skewers of chicken tikka served on a gray slate

Difference Between Chicken Tikka and Chicken Tikka Masala 

Chicken tikka refers to grilled chunks of marinated boneless chicken. It is mostly served as an appetizer. Chicken tikka pieces can be transformed into Chicken Tikka Masala, where the grilled chicken pieces are added to a tomato-onion based gravy.

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka

  • Tikka Marinade:
    • Plain Greek Yogurt
    • Avocado or light olive oil
    • Crushed ginger and garlic
    • Fresh lime juice
    • Spices- salt, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cumin, kashmiri red chili, and dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch pieces (or chicken breast)
  • Onion and Bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces . Add any colored bell peppers or other vegetables like mushroom, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes.
  • Fresh Lime juice and chaat masala for garnish

How to Make Tandoori Chicken Tikka in an Airfryer or Oven

Here are the step by step instructions for making Chicken Tikka using an Airfryer, Oven or an airfryer lid like Mealthy Crisplid that can be used in combination with an Instant pot or Multipot.

How to Make Chicken Tikka Marinate

  • In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, oil, lemon juice, crushed ginger, crushed garlic and all the spices. (pic 1 & 2)
  • Add chicken pieces, capsicum and onion in the marinade, and toss well till everything gets coated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. If marinating for longer, marinate only chicken and add the veggies just before cooking. (pic 3)
  • Now, cook Chicken Tikka using one of the following ways: Air Fryer, or Crisplid with an Instant Pot, or Oven.
  • I you prefer to make Chicken Tikka skewers, soak bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes. Then, thread the chicken and veggies. I follow this order- onion, pepper, chicken, pepper, onion, then repeat.
Steps showing how to make the marinade for chicken tikka

Airfryer Chicken Tikka- Step by Step Instructions

  • Line the drip pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. This is optional though. Place the fry basket in the drip pan.
  • Arrange the chicken, onions and peppers in the basket in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd them otherwise they won’t crisp up while cooking. If using skewers, place 2-3 skewers.
  • Insert the basket back. Using the temperature button set 360°F. Set the timer for 8 mins.
  • After 8 minutes, remove the veggies and keep aside. Flip the chicken pieces and lightly brush or spray the tikka pieces with oil. This makes the exterior texture extra-crisp.
  • Insert the basket back and cook at 360F for another 6 minutes. If using chicken breast, you might have to cook for 7-8 mins instead, depending on thickness of pieces.
  • Follow the same process for the 2nd batch. It takes me two batches for a 1-1.5 pounds of chicken.
Grilling chicken tikka pieces in an airfryer

Chicken Tikka in Instant Pot using Crisplid with an Instant Pot

  • Place the trivet in the cooking pot in your Instant Pot or Mealthy Multipot. Place the mesh basket on top of the trivet.
  • Layer the chicken, onion and bell pepper evenly.  If using skewers, place 2-3 skewers. Avoid overcrowding them to get that golden crisp exterior. Place the crisplid on the cooker and cook for 8 minutes at 400°F.
  • After 8 minutes, remove the veggies and keep aside. Flip the chicken pieces and lightly brush or spray the tikka pieces with oil. This makes the exterior texture extra-crisp.
  • Place the crisplid on the cooker and cook for 8 minutes at 400°F. If using chicken breast, you might have to cook for 1-2 minutes longer depending on thickness of pieces.
  • Follow the same process for the 2nd batch. It takes me two batches for 1-1.5 pound of chicken.
Steps showing crisping chicken tikka using a crisplid

Oven Method for Grilled Chicken Tikka

  • Turn on the oven broiler. Place the marinated chicken, onions and peppers on an aluminum lined baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet on the top rack and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken cooks through.

Grilling on an Outdoor Grill

Tandoori chicken pieces can be made on an outdoor grill too. Place the marinated chicken pieces or skewers on the medium-high heat area of a pre-heated grill for 10-12 minutes, or till chicken cooks through.

Serving Suggestions for Tandoori Chicken Tikka

  • Chicken Tikka is typically served as an appetizer, with a popular Indian dip called Cilantro Chutney.
  • Sprinkle chicken tikka with fresh lime juice and chaat masala before serving, this extra step really elevates the tikka flavors.
  • My husband and I enjoy this Chicken Tikka for dinner with a side of a simple garden salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette for a Low-Carb meal. To complete the meal for my girls, I make a side of Saffron Rice or Butter Naan.
A bowl of Saffron rice with grilled chicken skewers on top

Tips for the BEST Chicken Tikka Recipe

  • Before marinating, always pat dry the chicken. This absorbs the extra moisture which leads to a crisper texture.
  • Tikka recipes traditionally call for onions and peppers, but you can switch these for squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms etc, or skip them completely.
  • Brushing the tikka halfway through helps in achieving a crispier exterior. Don’t skip this step. 
  • I you prefer to make Chicken Tikka skewers, soak bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes. Then, thread the chicken and veggies. I follow this order- onion, pepper, chicken, pepper, onion, then repeat.
  • Sprinkle chicken tikka with fresh lime juice and chaat masala (Indian Spice Blend) before serving, this extra step really elevates the tikka flavors.
  • If using chicken breast instead of thighs in this recipe, the cooking time may have to be increased by 1-2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pieces. 
  • To make this on an outdoor grill place the marinated chicken pieces or skewers on the medium-high heat area of a pre-heated grill for 10-12 minutes, or till chicken cooks through.
  • To make a meal, pair it with a side of Saffron rice, or with a garden salad for a low-carb meal.

More Grilled Recipes from my Kitchen

Popular Indian Chicken Dishes

Grilled Chicken Tikka served in a blue bowl

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below! For more quick & easy recipes, FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram,  Pinterest and Youtube.

Chicken tikka skewered and grilled with peppers

Chicken Tikka Recipe – Airfryer/Oven/Crisplid

Chicken Tikka, is an extremely flavorful appetizer in north Indian cuisine! In this easy Airfryer or oven recipe, chicken chunks are marinated in yogurt and aromatic Indian spices, then grilled to a crisp brown texture!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Marinate: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories: 322kcal
Author: Aneesha

Ingredients

Tikka Ingredients

  • lb Chicken thighs cut in 2-inch pieces, or 1.5 inch chicken breast cubes.
  • 1 cup bell pepper or 1 cup rainbow peppers, de-seeded
    and cut in 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 cup onion cut in 1 inch chunks, separate the onion layers

Tandoori Marinade

Garnish After Cooking

  • Few drops of lime juice
  • 1 tsp Chaat masala (1 tsp sprinkled all over)

Instructions

Marinate Chicken

  • In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, oil, lemon juice, crushed ginger, crushed garlic and all the spices.
  • Add chicken pieces, capsicum and onion in the marinade, and toss well till everything gets coated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. If marinating for longer, marinate only chicken and add the veggies just before cooking.

Cook Tikka using an Airfryer, Oven or Mealthy Crisplid (with an Instant Pot)

    Airfryer:

    • Line the drip pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. This is optional though. Place the fry basket in the drip pan.
    • Arrange the chicken, onions and peppers in the basket in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd them otherwise they won’t crisp up while cooking. If using skewers, place 2-3 skewers.
    • Insert the basket back. Using the temperature button set 360°F. Set the timer for 8 mins.
    • After 8 minutes, remove the veggies and keep aside. Flip the chicken pieces and lightly brush or spray the tikka pieces with oil. This makes the exterior texture extra-crisp.
    • Insert the basket back and cook at 360F for another 6 minutes. If using chicken breast, you might have to cook for 7-8 mins instead, depending on thickness of pieces.
    • Follow the same process for the 2nd batch. It takes me two batches for a 1-1.5 pounds of chicken.

    Mealthy Crisplid:

    • Place the trivet in the cooking pot in your Mealthy Multipot. Place the mesh basket on top of the trivet.
    • Layer the chicken, onion and bell pepper evenly.  If using skewers, place 2-3 skewers. Avoid overcrowding them to get that golden crisp exterior. Place the crisplid on the cooker and cook for 8 minutes at 400°F.
    • After 8 minutes, remove the veggies and keep aside. Flip the chicken pieces and lightly brush or spray the tikka pieces with oil. This makes the exterior texture extra-crisp.
    • Place the crisplid on the cooker and cook for 8 minutes at 400°F. If using chicken breast, you might have to cook for 1-2 minutes longer depending on thickness of pieces.
    • Follow the same process for the 2nd batch. It takes me two batches for 1-1.5 pound of chicken.

    Oven Method:

    • Turn on the oven broiler. Place the marinated chicken, onions and peppers on an aluminum lined baking sheet. If using skewers, place them 1 inch apart.
    • Place the baking sheet on the top rack and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken cooks through.

    Outdoor Grill

    • Place the marinated chicken pieces or skewers on the medium-high heat area of a pre-heated grill for 10-12 minutes, or till chicken cooks through.

    Serving Suggestion

    • Chicken Tikka is most commonly served as an appetizer with a popular Indian dip called, Cilantro Chutney.
    • Sprinkle chicken tikka with fresh lime juice and chaat masala before serving, this extra step really elevates the tikka flavors.
    • My husband and I enjoy this Chicken Tikka for dinner with a side of a simple garden salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette for a Low-Carb meal. To complete the meal for my girls, I make a side of Saffron Rice or serve it with Butter Naan.

    Video

    Notes

    Tips for the BEST Chicken Tikka

    • Before marinating, always pat dry the chicken. This absorbs the extra moisture which leads to a crisper texture.
    • Tikka recipes traditionally call for onions and peppers, but you can switch these for squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms etc, or skip them completely.
    • Brushing the tikka halfway through helps in achieving a crispier exterior. Don’t skip this step. 
    • I you prefer to make Chicken Tikka skewers, soak bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes. Then, thread the chicken and veggies. I follow this order- onion, pepper, chicken, pepper, onion, then repeat.
    • Sprinkle chicken tikka with fresh lime juice and chaat masala (Indian Spice Blend) before serving, this extra step really elevates the tikka flavors.
    • If using chicken breast instead of thighs in this recipe, the cooking time may have to be increased by 1-2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pieces. 
    • To make this on an outdoor grill place the marinated chicken pieces or skewers on the medium-high heat area of a pre-heated grill for 10-12 minutes, or till chicken cooks through.
    • To make a meal, pair it with a side of Saffron rice, or with a garden salad for a low-carb meal.
    Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 384mg | Potassium: 349mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1030IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: Indian
    Keyword: Air Fryer Chicken Tikka, Chicken Tikka Recipe, Tandoori Chicken Tikka
    Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

    HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

    Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

    Never miss a recipe

    You Might Also Like

    No Comments

    Leave a Reply