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Dishoom's chicken tikka

06 September 2019

The popular Bombay restaurant chain's recipe for spicy chicken tikka makes an excellent starter or lunch.

Chicken tikka from Dishoom
Chicken tikka from Dishoom

Cooking time

20 minutes

Marinating time

6-24 hours




  • 500g boneless chicken thighs, with skin

For the marinade

  • 30g fresh root ginger
  • 10g garlic (2–3 cloves)
  • 10g green chillies (2–3)
  • 30ml rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp deggi mirch chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

To grill and serve

  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  • Lime wedges


Chicken tikka masala is supposedly Britain’s favourite dish. If it’s yours, then you may be disappointed: this dish is not it.

Tikka simply means piece, or chunk – so this is chicken pieces, marinated then grilled. The marinade is based on sweet vinegar, not yoghurt – and there’s not a drop of food colouring in sight.

It makes a nice starter, or delicious lunch in a chapati.

1. Cut each chicken thigh into 3 pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place in a large bowl.

2. For the marinade, blitz the ingredients together in a blender or mini food processor to a smooth paste.

3. Spoon the marinade over the chicken pieces and turn them to coat. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 6–24 hours.

4. Take the marinated chicken out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking. (If you are using wooden skewers, soak them now.)

5. Heat the grill to high. Thread the marinated chicken onto skewers, leaving enough space between the pieces for the heat to penetrate. Grill for 12–15 minutes, turning and basting regularly with the melted butter, until deep golden brown with some charring. Check that the chicken pieces are cooked through.

6. Let the cooked chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving, with lime wedges for squeezing.

Dishoom by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar & Naved Nasir (Bloomsbury, £26) is out now. Photography © Haarala Hamilton


Visit our Indian recipe section for more delicious curries, breads and sides


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.