Tandoori Chicken Tikka with Lemon and Sage


Easy Indian Cooking

Published by Tuttle Publishing

Tandoori Chicken Tikka with Lemon and Sage
Tandoori Chicken Tikka with Lemon and Sage
This image courtesy of Jack Turkel

This dish—loosely inspired by chicken tikka masala, an all-time favorite Indian dish in the West—makes for a very simple, yet satisfying meal. The bright flavors of sage, lemon and garlic marry very well to give the chicken a unique flavor. Quick to make, you can either marinate whole chicken breasts or cube them, as described in the following recipe. If preparing this dish with whole chicken breasts, serve with Aromatic Butternut Squash  (page 97); its slight sweetness complements the sharp flavor of the sage-lemon marinade. When cubed, I like to place the meat in a wrap, for a quick lunch to go!


Preparation Time15 min

Cooking Time15 min


  • 5 pounds (2.25 kg) skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 1-in (2.5-cm) cubes
  • 20 (12-in/30.5-cm) wooden skewers
  • Oil, for brushing broiler pan
  • 6 lemon wedges, for garnish
  • Lemon Sage Marinade
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
  • 2 cups (492 g) plain yogurt
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Asian chili powder or ground cayenne pepper


  1. Purée the ingredients for the Lemon Sage Marinade in a blender until smooth.

  2. Place the chicken in a large bowl and pour the marinade over top. Turn the chicken pieces in the marinade to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. 

  3. Soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes. While the skewers are soaking, bring the chicken to room temperature.

  4. Preheat the broiler to high heat. 

  5. Brush a broiler pan lightly with oil. Place 5 chicken cubes on each skewer, leaving a ⅛-in (3-mm) space between the cubes, and place the skewers on the pan. Broil the chicken about 4 in (10 cm) from the heat, turning once, until browned in spots and just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with lemon wedges.


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