The Kashmiri red chile powder used to season the chicken in these kebabs from chef Chintan Pandya gives them a mild, warm heat. The yogurt marinade ensures that the chicken thighs are juicy and tender when they emerge from the oven, and a quick baste with melted butter makes the dish especially rich. If you can't find ginger-garlic paste in the market, combine equal parts garlic cloves and chopped ginger in a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water so the mixture forms a paste.


Credit: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Dale / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary

45 mins
4 hrs 40 mins


Mint Chutney
Chicken Tikka


Prepare the Chutney:
  • Place mint, onion, 1/4 cup water, chiles, ginger, and half of the cilantro in a blender; pulse, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides and adding additional water 1 tablespoonful at a time (up to 1/3 cup) as needed to loosen mixture, until a smooth paste forms, about 2 minutes. Add remaining cilantro; process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; stir in lemon juice, salt, and sugar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the Chicken Tikka:
  • Place chicken, lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the ginger-garlic paste, 1 tablespoon of the red chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 45 minutes.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over low just until lukewarm, about 4 minutes (it should feel warm but not hot when you hold your hand above the oil). Remove from heat; stir in garam masala, turmeric, and remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste, 3 tablespoons chili powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add yogurt, and stir until fully combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Remove chicken from marinade in bowl, discarding marinade; add chicken to yogurt mixture, and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours. 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Thread chicken evenly onto 20 (8-inch) skewers (4 to 5 pieces per skewer), and arrange on baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until skewers start to turn brown and opaque and yogurt starts to form a crust, about 6 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven, and baste chicken with melted butter. Return to oven, and roast until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle skewers with chaat masala, and serve with Mint Chutney.