Achari Chicken Tikka is one of those phenomenal Indian Chicken Kebabs Whose taste is simply unbeatable. Soft tender pieces of chicken bathed in pickling spices (Achari masala) & yogurt marinade & pan seared to perfection, this Achari Chicken Kebab will blow your mind! Ready in just 30 mins, it’s an appetizer cum a complete meal by itself. Follow my step by step method to prepare the best Achari Murgh Tikka every single time.
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Achari Chicken Tikka
Achari Chicken Tikka is that one single Indian Chicken Kebab recipe that’ll fly from your plate very fast! It’s a dynamite with outrageous flavors & lip smacking goodness. So, even if you are just testing the recipe make more, I am just trying to save you from pangs of regrets 😀 😛
Hey guys, can you tell me what makes a best Kebab recipe? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I would love to read them.
In the meantime let me share 2 things that I learnt during my cooking journey. Two things that are so simple yet very important and makes the best Indian Kebab every single time- Juicy tender meat & the marinade.
Now, how to get there? How to make the meat the juiciest & the marinade the best. Hold on I’ll walk you through.
A chewy, rubbery kebab = A doomed Kebab.
A stiff, hard Kebab = A Bad Kebab.
Don’t worry, I had them all – doomed, stiff, chewy, rubbery, extra stiff – you name them. I had so many episodes of freaking kebab failures in my kitchen!
I know that’s not what I wanted to happen, but it happened anyway!
But the best thing about those disastrous episodes is that they gave me the best leanings! After-all we all learn the best lessons from failures, don’t you think so?
Perhaps, you too had a few not so good episodes of kebab that turned out exact opposite of your best Kebab joint! Oops that’s sad!
But, not anymore, because today I am going to share a few simple tricks that will lead you to ultra juicy, tender, melt in the mouth secret to Kebabs. So, keep reading 🙂
FAQs – Achari Murgh Tikka
What does Achari mean, anyway?
Achari means pickling spices that’s used to make Indian Pickles.
The Achari masala is made by dry roasting and coarsely grinding the following whole spices :
- Black mustard seeds.(Rai or Sarson)
- Fennel seeds.(Saunf)
- Fenugreek seeds.(Methi)
- Nigella or Onion seeds ( Kalonji)
These spices are readily available in every Indian grocery stores. So, if you are looking for economical options do grab them from the Indian stores.
What is Achari Chicken Tikka?
Achari Chicken Tikka is an Indian Chicken Kebab recipe that’s made by marinating the boneless chicken pieces in yogurt and a special pickling spice blend known as the Achari masala.
Than, the marinated chicken bites are pan seared or air fried or grilled or baked in the oven to form ultra delicious kebabs that are just so big on flavors.
To make things simple for you let me break down the jargon’s!
Achari = Pickling spice blend, that’s so easy to make at home.
Murgh = Chicken
Tikka = Kebab or Kabab or Kebob. It remains the same, whatever way you choose to spell it 😀
Why make Achari Murgh Tikka?
The only answer is – it’s freaking so GOOD!
India has her own share of various Kebab recipes that are jazzed up with Indian masalas or spices & taste as good as the Middle Eastern & Turkish Kebabs!
And Achari Chicken Tikka is one such Indian Chicken kebab recipe that shines through the elaborate list of Tikkas or Kababs.
Achari Chicken Tikka is quick, it’s easy & it’s undeniably tasty with minimal effort.
Perhaps it’s the best quick recipe to make your guests happy when they give you a surprise visit or to satiate your mid week Murgh Tikka pangs!
Whenever, I have those cruel mid week chicken tikka pangs, those kinda pangs where I feel I am going to pass out if I don’t have some chicken kebabs right now 😀 I quickly make this Achari Chicken Tikka recipe because it’s just so easy & tastes ultimate.
What goes in the Achari Chicken Kabab recipe?
- Mains: Boneless Chicken cut into 2″ cubes (thighs, breasts, leg meat all work well), Gram flour, thick yogurt.
- Secret Spice – Achari Masala ( mustard, fenugreek, fennel, nigella)
- Other spices – Parika powder or Kashmiri red chili powder, red chili powder (optional).
- Others : Butter or Ghee, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice.
How to make the Achari Masala?
Take equal amounts of black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds & fennel seeds. Dry roast them in a skillet until aromatic.
Allow them to cook completely. Grind them coarsely in a mortar or pestle or in your mixer grinder.
The Achari Masala stores well for 1 month when kept in air tight container. After 1 month it begins to become mild & tastes flat.
How can you store Achari Chicken Tikka?
Achari Murgh Kabab stores well in the fridge for 7 days. Store them in an air tight container or in aluminum foil pockets.
How can you serving Achari Murgh Tikka?
- As an Appetizer or Snack: If you are planning for an appetizer or snack serve the Achari Chicken Tikkas with some raw crisp onion slices, thin cucumber slices, a squeeze of lemon or a light salad made with grated carrots & beet root.
Don’t forget your favorite chutney or dip. We love the evergreen favorite the green coriander chutney.
- Make it a Complete Meal: If you decide to skewer the Chicken tikkas than by all means make them a little colorful by skewering bellpeppers, onions & cherry tomatoes too & grill away! Serve the oven baked or grilled skewer on a bed of Basmati rice pilaf. Enjoy a complete meal.
A mild pilaf, a light hummus dip is perhaps the best way to eat Middle Eastern Kebabs and you can serve this Indian Chicken kebab the Middle Eastern way too!
- Easy Light Brunch: Wrap it all up in whole wheat tortillas with a few crisp lettuces, a few crunchy sliced onions, drizzle of mayo, mustard or your favorite sauces. A simple wrap that tastes so sooooo good! And perfect for lunch boxes too.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy this delicious achari chicken tikka do let us know in the comments below.
4 Secrets to make the Juiciest Achari Chicken Tikka
No, you don’t have to buy the meat from the finest butcher in town or choose the organic route (I understand we all run in different budgets) for the juiciest Achari Chicken Tikka.
All you need is to get the Marinade, the cooking time & the cooking temperature right in order to nail any Kebab recipe & not just this one.
If you upset any one of these parameters, you’ll end up with not the best results!
- Marinade : 2 secret tricks is – dry roasting the Achari or pickling spices before grinding. And roasting the besan or garbanzo bean flour with the ghee or butter. For ultimate flavors do not skip these 2 steps.
- Right Consistency Marinade – The right consistency marinade always sticks to the meat, doesn’t fall off or is not super dry. This makes the kabab soft, tender & juicy. Provides the right amount of moisture to the meat. Hence, using enough yogurt to coat is quiet important.
- Get the Cooking time right (SUPER IMPORTANT) – This is the most important step to juicy Achari murgh tikka or any Kebab recipe. Cook the meat only until just done. If you over-cook, the meat will become stiff & rubbery. For today’s Chicken tikka recipe cooking each side for 5 mins should be enough.
- Get the Cooking Temperature right : As important as the above step. For today’s recipe we will be pan searing the meat for 5 mins each side on medium flame & than up the temperature to high and char for about 1 min each side. If the temp. is not right you may end up with uncooked meat inside & that’s not very pleasing! Or you may end up with stiff over-cooked meat & that’s not ideal either.
Extra Pro Tip :
If you plan to serve the Achari Chicken kebabs hours after cooking them. Always cover them or wrap them in aluminum foil and store at room temperature. Covering the kebabs when hot or warm locks the moisture & keeps them nice juicy & tender.
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How to make Achari Chicken Tikka – Step by Step
- Dice the Chicken Breasts into Thick chunks about 2″ long. Refer the picture below.
- Add Yogurt, ginger garlic paste, cayenne pepper or red chili powder and Paprika or Kashmiri red chili powder to the Chicken.
- Add lemon juice & Mustard oil to the above marinade and Mix everything well. Until the chicken pieces are very well coated.
- In the meantime Gather the ingredients for the Achari Masala or Pickling spice blend.
- Prepare the Achari masala by dry roasting the above whole spices over medium flame until nicely roasted & aromatic. Dry grind them coarsely in a mortar or pestle or in your regular mixer grinder.
- The coarsely ground Achari masala looks like the below pic.
- In the meantime prep the Besan or garbanzo bean flour. Roast it very well with either ghee (clarified butter) or regular butter. Stir it vigorously & frequently & cook over medium low flame. It might get burnt when not stirred often. It should start to bubble up in the pan when well roasted, cooked & aromatic. Turn the flame off when you get a lovely aroma. It should look like this (pic below), pour-able consistency.
- Once, the besan is prepped allow it to cool completely before adding to the chicken marinade. When at room temperature add it to the chicken marinade along with the dry achari masala powder & some fresh mango pickle or chili pickle oil + masala. This will give a wonderful taste & aroma to your achari chicken tikka. Mix everything well.
- Over medium flame add 1.5 tbsp mustard oil ( or any oil) or ghee or butter. I pan seared them in ghee. And cook both side for 5 mins each. Than up the temp to high and char both sides for 1 min or more.
How to Air Fry Achari Chicken Tikka
- Follow the exact same recipe. Instead of pan searing the Achari Chicken Tikka air fry them.
- Lay the marinated chicken kebabs in the air fryer basket. Do not over crowd them. I love to air fry the chicken tikkas in batches & always lay them in single layers. Spray oil & air fry at 360 F for 10 mins flipping them after 5 mins. Than Char them at 375 F for 2-3 mins.
Achari Chicken Tikka
- 1.1 pounds Boneless Chicken Breast (500 gms (Cut into 2″ chunks))
- 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt (or hung curd)
- 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper or red chili powder
- 1 tsp Paprika or Kashmiri red chili powder
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Mustard Oil (available in Indian stores)
- 2 tbsp Indian Pickle extract ( oil + masala) (Mango or Chili works best)
- Salt (to taste)
For the Achari Masala or Pickling Spice Blend
For the Besan or Garbanzo Bean Slurry
- 1.5-2 tbsp Besan (or Garbanzo bean flour)
- 1/2 cup Ghee (or Regular Butter)
- 1/3 cup Ghee or Butter or Mustard Oil (May use Canola oil.)
- Begin by dicing the chicken breast into 2″ thick big chunks as seen in the picture.
- Add yogurt, cayenne pepper or red chili powder, paprika or Kashmiri red chili powder, salt, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice & mustard oil and mix everything well. Until all the chicken pieces are well coated. Set aside.
Prepare the Achari Masala or Pickling Spice Blend
- Next, prepare the Achari masala or pickling spice blend. Over medium heat dry roast the mustard, nigella, fennel & fenugreek seeds until aromatic. Allow them to cool completely.
- When they reach room temperature dry grind them coarsely either in a mortar pestle or your regular mixer grinder. Set aside.
Prepare the Besan or Garbanzo Bean Slurry
- Add ghee or butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the ghee becomes hot add the besan or garbanzo bean flour. Roast it very well stirring vigorously & frequently. When it begins to form a slurry & starts to bubble its almost cooked. You will get a lovely aroma. Switch off the flame & allow the slurry to come down to room temperature.
The Final Marinade
- When the slurry becomes cold add it to the marinated chicken and also add the coarsely ground Achari masala. Mix everything very well until the chicken pieces are well coated. If you feel that the marinade is a bit dry add some more mustard oil or ghee to the marinade & mix well.
Making the Achari Chicken Tikka in Pan or Tawa
- Set up your favorite skillet over medium heat. Add ghee/butter/mustard oil. When it becomes hot lay the marinated Achari Murgh tikkas and fry each side for 5 mins each. They should be just cooked.
- Than, finally increase the flame all the way to high and char both sides of the Achari chicken tikka kebab for 1 min each or until browned. Refer the pic.
- Serve hot & Enjoy!
Making the Achari Chicken Tikka in An Air Fryer
- Lay the marinated chicken kebabs in the air fryer basket in single layer and without over crowding.
- Air fry at 360 F for 10 mins, flipping sides after 5 mins. Than Char them at 375 F for 2-3 mins.
- For best results cook the meat only until done. This will result in soft, juicy & tender Achari chicken kebabs. Over cooked meat results in chewy stiff kebabs always.
- For the charred look cook the meat for just 1 min each side at highest setting. If you plan to oven bake the kebabs broil them for 2 mins each side.
- If you plan to serve the kebabs hours after cooking them. Always cover them or wrap them in aluminum foil and store at room temperature. Covering the kebabs hot locks the moisture & keeps them nice juicy & tender.