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Malai Chicken Tikka – Air Fryer Malai Chicken Tikka

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Malai Chicken Tikka – Air Fryer Malai Chicken Tikka cooks up amazingly tender and juicy.

I grew up in Mumbai and I have consumed my fair share of Malai Chicken Tikka. We ate them regularly in restaurants.

Without a doubt, this malai chicken tikka will probably be the simplest and most amazing chicken you’ll ever make!


What ingredients do I need to make this ?

Oil, ginger garlic paste, Ground Black Pepper heavy whipping cream, plain Greek yogurt, corn flour, shredded cheddar cheese, Serrano pepper, lemon juice, salt, and freshly chopped cilantro.

Ginger garlic paste: I used packaged ginger garlic paste from the Indian store. You can also mince equal quantities of fresh ginger and garlic to make your own paste.

Lemon juice:  I used the store-bought bottled lemon juice for the convenience factor. You can use either freshly squeezed lemon juice or store bought…..whichever works better for you.

Cheese: Shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Serrano pepper: Chop the Serrano pepper and use the mortar and pestle to grind it.

Chicken: I used bone-in chicken thighs for this recipe. You can use boneless thighs or breast as well whatever works. Make sure it is skinless.

Corn flour: The corn flour binds the ingredients together in the marinade and seals them to the chicken. 

What do I serve this with?

  • Serve it as an appetizer with cilantro chutney. 
  • With naan (Indian flat bread) as a part of a meal.
  • Additionally, serve it as a side dish.
  • Served in lettuce as a low carb wrap.

Steps to make Malai Chicken Tikka – Air Fryer Malai Chicken Tikka:

Firstly, rinse and chop the Serrano pepper. Use the mortar and pestle to grind it.

Secondly, mix all the marinade ingredients (except chicken) with one tbsp oil. It should be noted, the remaining oil will be used to grease the air fryer grate.

Then add the chicken and mix well in the marinade.

Marinate the chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes. Ideally 6 hours is perfect. But if you are in a time crunch 30 minutes is good.

Finally, when you are ready to cook, grease your air fryer basket with 1 tbsp oil. Usually, I grease mine by rubbing, brushing, or spraying, a little bit of oil on the bottom grate. Furthermore, follow your air fryer directions for preheating to 350°F for 5 minutes. When it’s preheated, working in batches, place the chicken in a single layer. Air fry for 15 minutes, at 360°F. Also, shake the basket throughout the cooking process to help the chicken brown more evenly.

Tried this recipe yet? Give us a rating, comment below in the reply section and let us know what you think.

Also, try some of our other recipes:

Air Fryer Fish Tikka

Air Fryer Tandoori Mushrooms

Air Fryer Paneer Tikka

Malai Chicken Tikka – Air Fryer Malai Chicken Tikka

This is creamy delicious and quick to make.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinade time included in prep time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine North Indian
Servings 4


  • 3/4 tbsp ginger garlic paste (either freshly minced in equal quantities or store bought)
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 small serrano peppers crushed in a motor and pestle (green chili pepper small, translates to 1.5 tsp chopped)
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves (fresh and finely chopped)
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 ground black pepper (kali mirch)
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed or bottled)
  • 2 tbsp oil of choice
  • 1.8 pounds chicken thighs chopped into 2 to 3 inch pieces (bone-in or 1.5 pounds boneless)



  • Chop the chicken pieces into 2 to 3 inch pieces.
  • Rinse and chop the cilantro finely.
  • Chop the serrano pepper and grind it in a motor and pestle.
  • Mix 1 tbsp oil with all the other ingredients except chicken. Stir well.
  • Add chicken in the marinade and coat it well. Let it sit in the marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Ideally 6 hours marinade time is perfect but in a time bind 30 minutes is good too.


  • When you are ready to cook, rub inside of air fryer basket with oil. 
  • Preheat the air fryer at 350°F for 5 minutes.
  • Once it is preheated, add chicken and place it in the air fryer basket in a single layer. 
  • Air fry at 360°F for 15 minutes. Toss and flip the chicken at the 7 minute mark.
  • Serve with cilantro chutney, Indian flatbread or with lettuce wraps.
Keyword Air Fryer Malai Chicken Tikka, Air Fryer Tikka, Air Fyer Chicken Tikka, Air Fyer Kabab, Easy Chicken Tikka, Malai Chicken Tikka, Malai Tikka, Spicy Tikka
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