Malai chicken tikka

Malai chicken tikka

Anjum's Quick & Easy Indian
Cooking time
10 mins
Lisa Linder

Malai is the cream that rises to the surface of a bottle of milk. Indian housewives would collect this, skimming it off until they had enough to do something special with it, such as this creamy grilled chicken. It is succulent with a delicate flavour that tastes like special occasion food, but so easy to make that it is almost an everyday meal. It’s lovely as a tapa with other dishes or as a starter. Serve with tangy coriander chutney, or just with a salad. You can marinate it ahead of time and simply cook it when you are ready to eat.

For the marinade


Quantity Ingredient
3 fat garlic cloves, grated
20g root ginger, grated, (peeled weight)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/3 teaspoon ground mace
1/3 teaspoon grated nutmeg
100ml double cream
40g cheddar cheese, finely grated
2 teaspoons cornflour
3 tablespoons greek yogurt

For the chicken skewers

Quantity Ingredient
4 skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks
8 bamboo skewers


  1. Mix the garlic, ginger, salt and pepper into the chicken in a shallow dish, cover and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Mix the remaining marinade ingredients together and add to the chicken. Mix well, cover, place in the fridge and allow to marinate for at least one hour. Meanwhile, soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes; this will stop them scorching when you come to cook the chicken.
  3. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 220°C and return the chicken to room temperature. Drain the skewers and thread the chicken on to them, dividing it equally.
  4. Place the skewers on a baking tray lined with foil and roast for six to eight minutes. They will brown in places and release lots of liquid. Baste with this liquid as much as possible. Check if they are cooked through by piercing a large piece of chicken to its centre: if the juices run clear, they are ready. If there is any trace of pink, cook for another minute or two, then check again. Serve immediately, with a salad on the side.
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