Ready for the best chicken malai tikka or Malai boti? These are kids friendly, soft, Reshmi tikka that has a creamy moderately spicy taste. These turn out better than restaurants and you will never order them again because they are so easy to make.
In Pakistan, Chicken Malai tikka is called Malai boti. While the bone-in version with chicken leg or chest is called malai tikka. Like many amazing Indian recipes, we can safely assume that malai tikk boti also originated in the hands of restaurant chefs.
What is Chicken Malai Tikka?
Chicken malai tikka or Murg malai tikka is boneless chicken cubes (called boti or tikka) marinated in cream (called malai) and Indian spices. Malai tikka is a creamy milder version of traditional spicy red chicken tikka.
Tips and how this recipe works?
Since this is not a traditional recipe, it has many versions and pretty versatile. There are three factor for best malai tikka boti.
Soft succulent chicken:
The chicken needs to be marinated with a tenderizer like raw papaya or meat tenderizer. If you can plan fairly ahead and marinate for 12-16 hours in the fridge, then you can consider skipping meat tenderizer. You can easily adapt this recipe for any chicken cut, boneless chicken cubes, and chicken leg or chicken chest are popular.
Creamy factor AKA Malai:
For the creamy factor, the cream is added, for the extra deliciousness factor cream cheese or milk powder, or other cheese are added. Greek Yogurt or thick yogurt also gives you a creamy and tangy taste.
Aromatic spices and flavors:
Roasted cumin powder, garlic, onion, green chili are the must for malai boti marinade. What makes this recipe taste just like a restaurant is chicken bullion or cube. Most foods that are served at restaurants have flavor enhancers like MSG. With the chicken cube, you get the same taste. You may use MSG-free chicken cube or chicken powder or skip it altogether with a little compromise on the taste.
Variation to Chicken Malai Tikka
For variation of ingredients check recipe card. Here I will share how malai tikka adapted as an ingredient in other recipes.
- Malai boti Paratha roll: Take your thin Paratha and fill it with malai boti, onion slices, garlic Mayo sauce, and spicy green chutney. Roll it and your malai boti roll is ready. Serve with a dip.
- Malai tikka Alfredo pizza: On the pizza add the thick cheesy Alfredo sauce, this smoked malai tikka, corns, jalapeño, olives, mushroom, and onions. Finish with garlic mayo and cheese. Bake!
- Malai tikka sandwich: This malai boti ca be added in your grilled cheese sandwich too.
Can I grill malai tikka?
Chicken Malai tikka tastes best when grilled on a barbecue pit. You can thread Malai tikka on metal skewers.
If you do not have a metal skewer, you can use wooden skewers too. (We find wooden skewers a lot easy than metal once as they are disposable, plenty, and hassle-free.) Just soak wooden skewer for 4-6 hours because wet skewers do not catch fire easily. Then place Malai boti skewers over a grilling basket or grilling cage. (Grilling cage can accommodate a number of skewers and you can flip them in one go.) Grill for 5-7 minutes until the chicken is tender and you see few dark spots. Keep flipping for even cooking.
Can I bake Chicken Malai Tikka?
Yes! Just spread skewered malai tikka on a lined baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 F on the middle rack for 15 minutes until cooked. Flip the tikka halfway after 8 minutes for even cooking.
Can I make gravy version of these malai tikka?
You can add extra spices, yogurt, and cream, or coconut milk to the marinated chicken and make malai tikka curry with little gravy. Similarly, you can use leftover cooked malai tikka also to make a gravy version.
What to serve with chicken Malai tikka?
Malai is best paired with fresh salad, sliced and wash onions, chutney, Raita, and mayo garlic or sour cream. The carb sideline can be naan, roti, or fried plain flour Paratha. Malai tikka is often served in large gatherings and the recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.
How to make chicken malai tikka boti?
This is a very simple and quick recipe that is delicious and great for weekday meals.
- Wash and pat dry chicken cubes. (If using chicken breast, wash and pat dry chicken breast first and then cut into 1-inch cubes.)
- Add the first set of ingredients and mix well. ( The tenderizer needs at least 45 minutes to work so the idea is to apply the tenderizer and available spice as soon as possible to save time.)
- Then I assembled the remaining ingredients that needed chopping. I mixed it with yogurt, cream cheese, and cream.
- And added this marinade also to the chicken. (Actually, you can mix all ingredients of the marinade together and apply in one go, I separate steps only to save time.)
- Mix well and marinate chicken for a total of 45 minutes at least or 2 hours preferably. You can marinate up to12 hours ahead and store it in the fridge.
- Thread the chicken on the wooden skewers. ( Instruction for barbecue and baking are above in FAQ section.)
- Fry chicken malai tikka skewers in a nonstick pan. Heat oil and place the tikka skewer in the oil. Cover the skewers with a lid and let it cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Then remove the lid and cook on high heat for 1-2 minutes until water dries and tikka are lightly golden.
- Serve immediately, or you can smoke for 2 minutes red hot charcoal and drizzle of oil and serve. (Try to prepare the serving plate with veggies and heat the charcoal ahead of frying so you can smoke and serve immediately.)
Hungry for Chicken? Check these!
Chicken Malai Tikka Boti , creamy next level
- 8 wooden skewers, see notes
- 500 gram boneless chicken
- 1 teaspoon meat tenderiser , or 1 tablespoon papaya paste
- 1½-2 tablespoon green chilli paste, as per heat prefernce
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ tablespoon cumin powder
- ½ tablespoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ chicken cube or bullion, optional
- ¾ teaspoon salt, more if not using chicken cube
- ¼ cup greek yogurt/ hung curd
- ¼ cup cream
- 3 tablespoon finely chopped onions , or paste or ½ tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro/fresh corriander
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese, or 1 cheese triangle, or 2 tablespoon milk powder, optional
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Oil, to fry
- Wash and pat dry chicken cubes. (If using chicken breast, wash and pat dry chicken and then cut into 1-inch cubes.)
- Mix all the ingredients of chicken marinade in a bowl.
- Add chicken and mix well and marinate chicken for a total of 45 minutes at least to 2 hours preferably. You can marinate up to 12 hours ahead and store in the fridge.
- Thread the chicken on the wooden skewers. Set aside.
- Heat oil in anon stick pan and place the tikka skewer. Cover the skewers with a lid and let it cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Then remove lid and cook on high heat for 1-2 minutes until water dries and tikka are lightly golden. Cook in batches.
- Serve immediately, or you can smoke for 2 minutes red hot charcoal and drizzle of oil and serve.