an exciting twist to a classic

Chicken Tikka, a beloved Indian dish featuring bite-sized pieces of chicken marinated in spiced yogurt and grilled in a tandoor oven, is delicious enough to be enjoyed on its own with an array of condiments. Often, it’s served with the classic trio of naan, mint chutney, and onions for a complete and satisfying meal. But why stick to the usual when you can spice things up?! So I decided to give the classic dish an exciting twist—introducing the stunning and incredibly delicious, Chicken Tikka Naan Tacos!

Chicken Tikka Naan Tacos

A unique fusion

Fusion cuisine often combines elements from various culinary traditions to create a new dish, but sometimes the idea of developing a culinary fusion can be simply about giving a traditional dish a fresh new look. That’s exactly what I’ve done with Chicken Tikka Naan Tacos. By taking the beloved Mexican taco and adding an Indian twist, I’ve created a mouthwatering dish that’s both familiar and refreshingly unique.

Chicken Tikka Naan Tacos

chicken tikka naan tacos

Imagine tender, smoky chicken tikka, grilled to perfection, laid over warm, soft naan or roti, topped with crisp slices of red onion and cabbage, perhaps some peppery radish slices as well, a splash of tangy lemon juice, and drizzled with cool mint-yogurt chutney dressing. This isn’t just a taco; it’s a culinary experience for your palate that brings the flavors of India to your favorite Mexican street food!

Chicken Tikka Naan Tacos

great for weeknight dinner

Chicken Tikka Naan Tacos are the perfect choice for a quick and flavorful weeknight dinner, especially when grilled on a grill pan over the stove. The smoky, spiced chicken tikka cooks quickly and evenly on the grill pan. Plus the ease and simplicity of using a grill pan means less cleanup, making it an ideal option for busy evenings. Of course, if you have time, you can fire up your outdoor or charcoal grill. However, if you’re not feeling up for grilling, you can make it even easier for yourself by simply roasting it in the oven or in your air fryer! You can find the different techniques in my comprehensive guide to making the Chicken Tikka here.

Additionally to speed up the marinating process for weeknight cooking, I also stir in lemon juice in the marinade and the chicken is ready to hit the grill in just about 30 minutes!

satisfying meal that’s easy for entertaining

Paired with soft naan or whole wheat rotis, and topped with crisp onion, cabbage, and radish slices, my Chicken Tikka Naan Tacos come together in no time. A splash of tangy lemon juice and a drizzle of cool mint chutney add the finishing touches, creating a delicious and satisfying meal that’s sure to please anyone and everyone. Plus, they’re great for easy entertaining! Set up a taco bar with all the toppings and let guests build their own tacos, adding a fun and interactive element to any gathering.

My Chicken Tikka Naan Tacos bring together the smoky, spicy flavors of Indian chicken tikka with the beloved Mexican taco format, all wrapped up in soft, pillowy naan. The result is a mouthwatering fusion dish that captures the best of both worlds, offering a fresh and inventive way to enjoy classic flavors. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a fun and interactive option for entertaining guests, these tacos are sure to impress. Give them a try and experience the delicious blend of Indian and Mexican cuisines in every bite!

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Chicken Tikka Naan Tacos


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Description

Grilled chicken tikka served on mini naan with cabbage, red onions, and radishes, topped with a drizzle of cilantro-mint chutney.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (see FAQs & Notes + Variations)
  • neutral oil or cooking spray, for grilling

Special Equipment

  • cast iron or nonstick grill pan (see Variations)

For the Marinade

  • 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1/2-inch (1.3-cm) piece fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1/2 tbsp (6 g) Kashmiri red chili powder (see FAQs & Notes)
  • 1/4 tsp hot red chili powder (skip or use less for mild flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) mustard oil or neutral oil of choice
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • Salt, as needed

For the Cilantro-Mint Yogurt Dressing:

  • 3/4th cup yogurt
  • 1 Thai/bird-eye chili (optional)
  • a handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • a handful of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar

For the tacos:

  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 56 radishes, sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
  • tandoori roti or naan (store-bought or frozen)

Instructions

Marinating the Chicken

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the marinade.
  • Adjust salt or spice level and then toss in the chicken pieces. Make sure the chicken is coated evenly with the marinade.
  • Seal with a plastic wrap and marinate on the counter for 30-60 minutes.

Preparing the Cilantro-Mint Yogurt Dressing

  • While the chicken marinates, prepare the dressing. In a mini food processor, process all the ingredients for the dressing to a smooth texture.
  • Adjust seasonings and refrigerate until ready to use.

Grilling the Chicken (see FAQs & Notes + Variations)

Stovetop Grilling

  • Place a grill pan over medium-high heat and preheat for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Drizzle or spray the cooking oil on the pan.
  • Using a pair of tongs, transfer the chicken pieces, one by one, onto the preheated and greased grill pan. Shake the excess marinade off.
  • Brush or spray the top side with cooking oil.
  • Let the chicken grill on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes before flipping over.
  • Continue grilling for another 3-4 minutes before transferring to a platter.
  • Let it rest for 4-5 minutes, so that the juices redistribute and then serve with the rest of the ingredients for assembling the tacos.

Assembling the Tacos

  • Heat the tandoori roti or naan on the grill or in a toaster.
  • Place the roti or naan on a plate.
  • Lay 4-5 chicken tikka pieces over it.
  • Add a splash of lemon juice, if you’d like.
  • Top with onions, cabbage, radishes (if using) over the chicken.
  • Drizzle the dressing over it.
  • Serve immediately.

Keywords: BBQ/Grilling, Oven Roasting, Weeknight Cooking

Step-by-Step Details

Step: 1

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the marinade. Adjust salt or spice level and then toss in the chicken pieces. Make sure the chicken is coated evenly with the marinade. Seal with a plastic wrap and marinate on the counter for 30-60 minutes.

Step: 2

While the chicken marinates, prepare the dressing. In a mini food processor, process all the ingredients for the dressing to a smooth texture. Adjust seasonings and refrigerate until ready to use.

Step: 3

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat and preheat for about 4-5 minutes. Drizzle or spray the cooking oil on the pan. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the chicken pieces, one by one, onto the preheated and greased grill pan. Brush or spray the top side with cooking oil.

Step: 4

Let the chicken grill on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes before flipping over. Continue grilling for another 3-4 minutes before transferring to a platter.

Step: 5

Let it rest for 4-5 minutes, so that the juices redistribute and then serve with the rest of the ingredients for assembling the tacos..

Step: 6

Heat the tandoori roti or naan on the grill or in a toaster. Place the roti or naan on a plate. Lay 4-5 chicken tikka pieces over it. Add a splash of lemon juice, if you’d like. Top with onions, cabbage, radishes (if using) over the chicken. Drizzle the dressing over it. Serve immediately.

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Can I use chicken breast?

I recommend using chicken thigh meat as it stays moist, tender and juicy throughout the grilling process. You can use breast meat but note that it could get overcooked very easily and turn dry and have a thread-like texture.

What is Kashmiri red chili powder? What can I use in its place?

Kashmiri red chili powder is essentially Indian paprika, made by grinding dried Kashmiri red chilies without any veins or seeds and imparts its brilliant red color to food without any heat. Mild Hungarian paprika is a great substitute. The whole chilies are (mild, dark red or maroon chilies that are grown in Kashmir, with a sweet aroma and a bitter aftertaste that mellows when added during cooking.

How do you know if the chicken is properly cooked?

Chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature of the chicken on the thermometer reads 165°F or 75°C

Recipe Variations

Don’t eat chicken? You can substitute with same quantity of cubed Indian Paneer for vegetarian or Tofu/baby potatoes, white mushrooms for vegan versions. Also substitute Greek yogurt with dairy-free yogurt for vegan variation. 

Try other protein options like lamb, beef, pork, fish, shrimp or even boiled eggs to make the tikka!

Don’t have a grill pan? You can use a flat pan or roast the chicken in the oven. Check out the detailed guide to making Chicken Tikka using other techniques

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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