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This recipe for Creamy Chicken Tikka (Malai Murgh Tikka) is published with the permission of Manju Malhi from her book 'India with Passion'.

Renowned for her simple, homely approach to Indian cooking, Manju has quickly become one of our favourite home cooks since the publication of her first book, 'Brit Spice', in 2002. Manju beat hundreds of contestants to secure a guest cookery slot on BBC2's Food and Drink, and has since presented her own televison show for Taste called Simply Indian. Manju developed her passion for Indain cooking from watching her parents cook as a child, and refined her skills while studying in Bombay for four years.

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Malai Murgh Tikka are skewered cubes of boneless chicken cooked in a tandoor or clay oven. The unusual ingredient in this recipe is the cheese which adds to the creaminess of the dish. The Nawabs of Oudh - now called Lucknow - in northern India were great gourmets and encouraged their master chefs to innovate and create new styles of cooking. Lucknow and its neighbouring towns were firmly placed on the culinary map thanks to these rich curries, tikkas, kababs, and breads.

Ingredients for Creamy Chicken Tikka

1 tsp lemon juice
1\2 tsp salt
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, approx 310g (11 oz), cut into 2cm (4/5 inch) pieces
2 tbsp Greek-style natural unsweetened yogurt
30g (1 oz) butter
1 tbsp double cream
1tbsp adrak lahsun ka masala (see below)
3 green cardamoms, seeds only
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 green finger chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
2 tbsp Cheddar cheese, finely grated

How to make Creamy Chicken Tikka

  • Sprinkle lemon juice and salt over the chicken pieces, cover and set aside.
  • Mix the yogurt, half the butter, the cream, adrak lahsun ka masala, cardamoms, cumin, nutmeg, chillies, the oil, and cheese and blend into a smooth paste. Pour over the chicken, making sure it is all well coated, and marinate the meat for 1 hour, covered, in the refrigerator.
  • Soak 4 - 6 wooden skewers in cold water for 15 minutes to prevent them burning. Skewer the chicken and barbecue, or grill under a preheated grill, for 10 minutes on each side until light brown and cooked through, or simply bake in a preheated 180C / 350F / gas mark 4 oven for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  • Halfway through cooking, baste with the remaining butter (melted).

Serves 2


Ingredients for Ginger and garlic Paste

115g (4oz) root ginger peeled and coarsley chopped
115g (4oz) garlic cloves

How to make Ginger and garlic Paste

  • In a food processor blend the ginger and garlic together to a smooth paste.
  • If necessary, add 15 ml (1 tbsp) cold water.
  • Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Makes approx 100ml (3 1/2 fl oz)

Manju Malhi
Recipe from India with Passion

©Manju Malhi 2004