Chicken tikka is a melt in the mouth starter that captured the interest of curry lovers across Britain. Mostly skewered and grilled in a tandoori, chicken tikka pieces are yummy and quickly shared and eaten as soon as they are served. The red hot colour of chicken tikka pieces might appear like a spicy dish, but you can try this starter with the soothing mint chutney. Chicken tikka is a healthier option since it is made with fat free chicken breast and good spices powders like turmeric, cumin, coriander and Kashmiri red chilli.
Tikka has got two meanings – one literal meaning is ‘tiny portions’ or ‘bits to share’ and the other is ‘hot’ tasting, pronounced as ‘Thikka’.
Chicken breast pieces are marinated in Indian spices mixed in yogurt and then cooked in a traditional ‘tandoor’ to get spicy and smokey taste. Hence In India chicken tikka is also widely known as ‘tandoori’ chicken.
Most roadside eateries called ‘dhabas’ serve whole or portions of tandoori chicken cooked in a similar method.
Chicken tikka in Britain is a popular starter. Chunky chicken pieces are marinated in red hot and flavourful spices mixed with yogurt. Then cooked in a clay oven or grilled giving an inviting and irresistible taste. No wonder chicken tikka on a skewer is a favourite barbecue item for British summer.
Tandoor or traditional clay oven is perfect for authentic chicken tikka. For Brits to cook at home as close as the proper tikka, barbecue is a good option. But, our usual grille is also suitable for tasty tikkas. Just follow our chicken tikka recipe top tips to get the smoky flavour.
Do you wonder if chicken tikka is too spicy? The word ‘tikka’ means hot, but chicken tikka is not super hot like a vindaloo or a madras. The top trick is to marinate the chicken using lemon juice. Choosing Kashmiri red chilli powder (or paprika) in moderation and sparingly using black pepper results in a milder and flavoursome tikkas.
Of course it is healthy! Lean and protein rich chicken breast combined with hot and aromatic spices is a perfect nibble without any excessive fat. Chicken tikka not only tastes good, but also healthy for you.
Chicken tikka is a starter, enjoyed with suitable chutneys in curry houses. It’s a dry starter served sometimes as a sizzler. Whereas Chicken tikka masala is a main curry with scrumptious gravy eaten with naan or rice dishes.
The main dish ‘chicken tikka masala’ is prepared using chicken tikka pieces. Indeed chicken tikka masala is Britain’s national dish!