Grilled Indian-Spiced Chicken Kebabs

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

While grilling is great for chicken, it’s risky with boneless, skinless breasts, which are easily rendered dry and tasteless by high heat. The key is a marinade and short cooking. Tikka paste is a great time-saver and can be bought in stores that carry Indian ingredients, or even sometimes in the “ethnic foods” section of large supermarkets. The chicken benefits from the long marinating time, because yogurt is not as acidic as other marinades.


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons bottled tikka paste
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • teaspoons minced garlic
  • teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces


Combine the Tikka paste, 6 tablespoons of the yogurt, the olive oil, garlic, ginger, and red pepper powder in a bowl. The mixture should be a thick paste. If not, add more yogurt. Mix well. Add the chicken pieces to the yogurt mixture, and mix thoroughly to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.

Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat a gas or stovetop grill.

Prepare 12 6- or 8-inch bamboo skewers by soaking them in warm water for at least 30 minutes. Thread the chicken on the skewers, leaving about ½ inch between the pieces. Grill the skewered chicken over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink in the center, turning once or twice. Serve on lettuce leaves and top with cucumbers, a squeeze or two of lime, and the chutney.


Lettuce leaves, cucumber slices, lime wedges, and Fresh Mint-Cilantro Chutney