Kandhari Chicken Tikka: Flavourful, Delicious Starter
Image Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POAGqtG7oTY

Kandhari Chicken Tikka is a juicy, delicious evening snack or a starter, which has an exquisite sweet and tangy balance of flavours due to pomegranate that marinates the meat well, providing a nice colour and flavour to the tikka. The combination of this special Northern Indian ingredient, pomegranate, brings a different special twist to the tikka. The marination is in two stages, one with pomegranate and beetroot followed by the marination of curd and spices. 


Kandhari Chicken is a spicy dish using red chilli, a speciality of Afghani cuisine; Afghanistan, as it is, is a country known for its delicious flavoured food. A chicken tikka is a dish introduced by the Mughals, where typically chicken pieces are marinated with yoghurt and spices and then baked on skewers. Since its introduction, various versions have been created. This Kandhari Chicken Tikka is also one of the variants, much liked and sold in restaurants.

Method of Preparation for Kandhari Chicken Tikka

Like a typical chicken tikka, Kandhari chicken tikka also needs two-stage marination, followed by resting and grilling or baking. The masalas are added in small amounts as compared to the classic tikka as this is a fruit-based recipe; this way the flavour of pomegranate juice is not overpowered. Serving with onion rings brings out the best taste to this recipe.


First Marination

  • 400 gms Chicken Breast (cubes)
  • 60 ml Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 tbsp Beetroot (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Green Chilli Paste
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
  • Salt (as required)

Second Marination

  • 2 tbsp Hung Curd
  • 1/2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 1 tbsp Processed Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder


  • Pomegranate Juice (for garnish)
  • Chaat Masala Powder (for garnish)
  • Coriander Leaves (for garnish)

Method to Prepare Kandhari Chicken Tikka

  • To start with, do the first marination
  • Take the chicken pieces and add pomegranate juice
  • To this add finely chopped beetroot
  • Add green chilli paste, black pepper and salt
  • Mix chicken thoroughly with these ingredients
  • Keep this for resting for 15 minutes

Second marination

  • Take two tablespoons hung curd, half tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • To this add, processed cheese, tsp red chilli powder, tsp turmeric, half tsp cardamom powder, small tsp garam masala
  • Add some butter to maintain consistency
  • Mix the chicken in this marinate
  • Allow this to rest for at least 20 minutes

Grilling of Tikka

  • Keep a pan for heating to which add some oil
  • Put the chicken pieces in the skewer
  • Keep the skewer on the heated pan
  • Let this cook for about eight to ten minutes. Keep turning the sides of the tikka so that the cooking is uniform


  • Pour some pomegranate juice on the tikkas
  • Sprinkle chaat masala and/ or lemon juice
  • Serve hot with onion rings

If you are a chicken lover, this Kandhari Chicken Tikka is a surprisingly delightful version of other chicken tikka recipes. The flavourful dish will give your meal the perfect start, or maybe a small yet scrumptious snack meal.