Chicken Tikka Kebab is tender cooked chunks of chicken marinated in yogurt and spices that are cooked to perfection with mixed peppers and onions. Great as an appetizer or a meal, these flavorful Kebabs, served with the spicy cilantro-mint chutney will be a sure hit for your next family dinner, potluck, or entertaining.
What are Kebobs
Kebab or Kebob are small chunks of marinated meat or seafood grilled on skewers with vegetables or fruits that are cooked on an open fire or grilled. Although Kebabs originated in Middle Eastern countries, many variations such as shami kebab (made with ground meat and chickpeas), shish kebab, and malai kebab have become popular in the rest of the world.
Homemade Kebobs can also be made easily in an oven or an air fryer. I especially love making them in teh air fryer as the preheating time is much less and the chicken comes out juicy and tender. If you love easy chicken recipes do try this chicken shawarma recipe.
This kebob recipe is a healthier version of the traditional Malai Chicken Kebab without using cream. My recipe uses a few ingredients to make the same delicious, tender-cooked Chicken Tikka Kebab marinated in yogurt, garlic, and a few spices!
So what makes these chicken tikka kebabs so delicious without having to add the extra cream? The key is marinating the chicken cubes for at least 4 hours or overnight. Marinating chicken makes it flavorful and cooks chicken breast cubes tender without drying them out. If you want to use chicken thighs, you can marinate them for 2 hours. For the bone-in chicken, I would recommend marinating at least for 4 hours.
Vegetables for Chicken Tikka Kebab
Traditionally onions and peppers are threaded into metal skewers along with the marinated chicken. You can use a mix of peppers, red onions, mushrooms, zucchini, etc. along with the chicken.
I also love the 6-inch bamboo knot skewers that fit perfectly in the CrispLid basket to thread the chicken and the veggies. These bamboo skewers also make it easy to serve the chicken tikka for large parties or entertaining.
How to Make Chicken Tikka Kebab
- In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients for the marinade and mix well. Add chicken and coat well. Allow marinating for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Thread the marinated chicken, peppers, and onions in the skewers. Brush the air fryer basket with oil. Lightly brush the skewers on all sides with oil and place them in the basket. You can also place any extra veggies on the sides. I like some extra red onions with this dish.
- Brush the air fryer basket with oil and place the chicken skewers in the basket. Set the temperature to 380 degrees F and cook for 15 minutes.
Tips for making the perfect Chicken Tikka Kebab
- Use homemade garam masala. My 5-ingredient garam masala recipe using freshly ground spices really makes this dish.
- Add freshly ground whole white peppercorns to the marinade for fresh spicy flavors and to keep the marinade light in color making the kebabs look similar to malai chicken kebabs.
- Marinate chicken breasts for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight for the best flavors.
- Brush the chicken skewers lightly with oil before cooking.
- These chicken tikka kebobs are medium spicy. You can cut the spice level for children by skipping the green chilies in the recipe.
- I like the flavors of fresh peppers and onions, so I choose not to marinate them. But you can also marinate veggies along with the chicken just before threading them on the skewers.
- To make Chicken Tikka Kebob in the oven place the skewers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Broil for 5 minutes to get the char marks.
- To make Chicken Tikka Kebob on an outdoor grill, soak the wooden skewers in water for an hour. This prevents the skewers from burning. Then thread the chicken and veggies on the skewers and brush with oil. Preheat the grill at 400 degrees and grill the skewers on aluminum foil brushed with oil for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the skewers halfway through.
- To make the Chicken Tikka Kebabs in an air fryer follow the same steps as in this recipe.
- You can skip the wooden skewers and place the chicken cubes and veggies directly in the CrispLid basket, baking tray, grill, or air fryer.
More Airfryer Recipes
Airfryer Chicken Tikka Kebab
- 1½ pounds chicken breasts pat dried and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
- 2 cups mixed peppers cut into 1.5-inch pieces
- 1 medium red onion cut into 1.5-inch cubes
- In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients for the marinade and mix well. Add chicken and coat well. Allow to marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Thread the marinated chicken, peppers and onions in the skewers and lightly brush the skewers on all sides with oil. Next use one of the 3 cooking methods:
- Brush the air fryer basket with oil and place the chicken skewers in the basket. Set the temperature to 380 degree F and cook time for 15 minutes.
- To make Chicken Tikka Kebob in the oven place the skewers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes. Broil for 5 minutes to get the char marks.
3. Outdoor Grill
- To make Chicken Tikka Kebob on an outdoor grill, soak the wooden skewers in water for an hour. This prevents the skewers from burning. Then thread the chicken and veggies on the skewers and brush with oil. Preheat the grill at 400 degrees and grill the chicken skewers on aluminium foil brushed with oil for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the skewers halfway through.
- Make the chutney by blending all the ingredients in a high speed blender using water as needed. Serve the chicken tikka kebab with mint-cilantro chutney.