Side dish

Dishoom's Chicken Tikka recipe

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Easy, delicious chicken tikka with charred, crispy skin. I've categorised it as a side dish but it's definitely a main if paired with bread, yoghurt, chutneys and other Indian side dishes like bhajis or pakoras (I love the supermarket versions of these).

  • Prep15m
  • Stand6h
  • Cook15m
  • Total6h 30m

This dish requires boneless chicken thighs with the skin on but I’ve yet to find a supermarket that prepares them this way. I buy bone-in chicken thighs and hack the bones out using a small, serrated knife, doing a poor job all round, but the chicken turns out beautifully anyway. I know I should just go to a butcher.

You could absolutely use skinless, boneless thighs and the result would be lovely but I’m an upholder so I follow the rules. Really though, l just love the crispy skins and couldn’t make this dish without them.

I’ve listed the recipe as it’s written in the book but when I make it I halve the turmeric (using half a teaspoon instead of a full one) as I find it overpowering. It’s probably just me as Col’s happy with either version.

Dishoom’s recipe intro informs us, in their charming, cheerful way, that:

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

Dishoom’s marinade is made with sweetened vinegar instead of yoghurt and the subtle golden colour comes from turmeric and chilli powder rather than food colouring. It’s completely delicious. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


The grilling time is 12-15 minutes but if I don’t put the chicken right next to the grill bars it takes considerably longer to char.

Recipe credit

Dishoom: From Bombay with Love (affiliate link)


Dishoom's Chicken Tikka

  • Prep15m
  • Stand6h
  • Cook15m
  • Total6h 30m
Serves: 2-4


  • 500g boneless chicken thighs with skin
  • 30g fresh ginger
  • 10g garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • 10g green chillies (2-3)
  • 30ml rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp deggi mirch chilli powder (or ½ tsp normal chilli powder)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (or ½ tsp, see intro)
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 25g butter, melted (or ghee)
  • lime wedges


  1. Cut each boneless, skin-on chicken thigh (500g total weight) into 3 pieces. Pat dry with kitchen paper and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add 30g of fresh ginger, 10g of garlic (2-3 cloves), 10g of green chillies (2-3), 30ml of rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of deggi mirch chilli powder, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1½ teaspoons of fine sea salt, 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into a blender or small food processor and blitz until the ingredients resemble a fine paste.
  3. Pour the marinade into the bowl with the chicken and mix until the chicken is fully coated. Cover and leave in the fridge for 6-24 hours.
  4. Remove the chicken from the fridge 20 minutes before cooking. If your skewers are wooden, soak them in water now to prevent them from burning.
  5. Turn your grill up high. Skewer the chicken, making sure there’s a small gap between the pieces so that the chicken can cook evenly. Brush with 25g of melted butter and grill for 12-15 minutes, turning regularly and brushing with more butter, until the skins have charred to your liking and the chicken is cooked all the way through.
  6. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes then serve immediately with lime wedges on the side. Any leftovers (unlikely) will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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