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Chicken Banjara Tikka - Air Fryer Chicken Tikka

Juicy, unbelievably flavorful and grilled to perfection this Air Fryer Chicken Tikka – Chicken Banjara Tikka is easier than you might think; especially when it starts with a marinade loaded with flavor from spices, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, and cashew nuts.
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2


  • Air Fryer


  • 1.5 pounds boneless chicken (breasts or thighs)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp cashew nuts (raw and unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 tbsp  ginger garlic paste  (either freshly minced in equal quantities or store bought)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 2 tsp serrano peppers (small, 3 to 4) (hari mirch minced)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3/4 tbsp ground cumin     (jeera powder)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander   (dhaniya powder)
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp  red chili powder  (cayenne pepper)
  • 3.5 tbsp oil of choice (divided)
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 piece fast light charcoal



  • Firstly, dice the chicken to 2-inch cubes.
  • Next grind the sesame seeds and cashew nuts into a fine in a coffee grinder or spice grinder.
  • Grind the serrano peppers finely to make a paste. You can add a teaspoon of water to grind.
  • Create the marinade in a large bowl by mixing all the ingredients (ground sesame seeds and cashew nuts, Greek yogurt, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, ground serrano peppers, garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander, red chili powder, 2 tbsp oil and salt). Add in the chicken and mix well.
  • Additionally, place the stainless-steel bowl with coal in the center of the marinated chicken bowl. Light the coal and slowly add oil. It should catch fire.
  • Once the fire is minimized it will start releasing smoke. Cover the whole marinated chicken bowl with a lid. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes to an hour.


  • When you are ready to cook, grease your air fryer basket with oil. I grease mine by rubbing, brushing, or spraying, a little bit of oil on the bottom grate.
  • Then, 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 18 minutes, at 360°F. When 8 minutes are remaining, flip the chicken gently with tongs and drizzle some oil. Close the basket and complete the cooking process.
  • Enjoy hot with cilantro chutney.
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