Air Fryer Chicken Tikka without Skewers

air fryer chicken tikka without skewers made by family fun tech
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Looking for a hassle free recipe or a quick meal for a busy weekday? Look no further as this Air Fryer Chicken Tikka without Skewers could be your saviour.

It’s been a while since we purchased our first Philips Air Fryer and since then we have been trying quite a few air fryer recipes. One such non vegetarian recipe is this chicken tikka which is basically boneless chicken breasts cut into medium pieces and marinated with different spices or traditionally known as tikka masala.

What I prefer doing is cutting the boneless chicken breasts horizontally from the middle into medium slices and then cutting them into tikka pieces as that ensures the chicken is cooked evenly and the chicken is more flavorful because the marination gets quoted well onto it. If it’s too fat in the middle then the chicken tends to be bland in the centre and I usually make this without the skewers if I am in a hurry (which I mostly am)

chicken tikka made in air fryer without skewers served on a plate with lettuce and lemon

However the traditional way of making chicken tikka is skewing medium size marinated chicken pieces onto the skewers and then grilling it on charcoal. However this particular recipe is more of a quick fix that gives similar results especially when you are short on time.

When I am not looking for quick ways of preparing a dish then I do go in for stove top grill method for the chicken tikka using little oil that method will give you these wonderful grill lines over the meat. However ever since we purchased the air fryer I have started cooking the tikka in it, as it saves time and there is less cleaning to do as compared to the grill pan version.

How to get a smoky flavor in this Air Fryer Chicken Tikka without skewers recipe

If you want to achieve the smoky flavour in the chicken tikka like you would have got it if you had grilled it over charcoal, then you can do so by following the steps given in my Butter Chicken recipe on how to achieve the smoky flavour using a stove top method (refer to the link given in the FAQ below).

Which are the different ways you can use chicken tikka pieces?

The list can be never ending. Chicken tikka is such a versatile dish that you can literally turn it into so many ways. Below are just a few to name;

  • As an accompaniment: My family loves eating this chicken tikka pieces as an accompaniment with dal and rice.
  • Starter: Serve it with a chutney at a party or a get together.
  • Sandwiches/ Tortillas/ Quesadillas: shred it or use it as pieces in sandwiches/ tortillas/ quesadillas.
  • Chicken Tikka Masala: You can even use these tikka pieces and prepare a chicken tikka gravy (sauce) with it.

FAQ on this Air Fryer Chicken Tikka without Skewers

What is Chicken Tikka?

Chicken tikka is chunks of meat mainly taken from a boneless and skinless chicken breast.

What is the difference between Chicken Tikka and Chicken Tandoori?

Chicken tikka is basically made out of skinless and boneless chicken breasts whereas chicken tandoori is not boneless and can be made with full or half chicken.

Can I use Shan chicken tikka masala instead of Shan chicken tandoori masala for marination?

Yes. You can use either one of them.

Is Chicken Tikka spicy?

May be as it depends on your taste preference. You can always use less of the masala in the marination in order to reduce the pungency of the dish.

Is Chicken Tikka healthy?

Yes it can be made into a healthy version by eliminating the use of oil. Hence making it in an air fryer could be a good solution.

How do I get the smoky flavour in the Chicken Tikka?

You can easily get the smoky flavour in the Chicken tikka using the stove top method. Refer to my Smoked Butter Chicken recipe for the instructions.

When should I give the chicken tikka a smoky flavour?

Once you have marinated the chicken pieces, you can then give it a smoky flavour.

How long should the Chicken Tikka be marinated?

Atleast 1 hour and if you have time then you can even leave it to marinate over night in the refrigerator. This will make the chicken tikka even more flavorful.

Can I use Greek yoghurt instead of hung curd?

Yes. As long as the yoghurt is thick and there is no liquid left in it.

What is hung curd?

Hung curd is nothing but yoghurt drained of all the liquid or whey.

How do you drain of the liquid from the curd?

I usually place the curd in a fine sieve and keep it over a deep bowl so that the liquid from the curd collects in the bowl.

Why do you put roasted gram flour or roasted chickpea flour in the Chicken Tikka marination?

We put roasted gram flour or roasted chickpea flour in the chicken tikka marination because it helps the marination to stick to the chicken tikka pieces and also gives it a nutty aroma.

Can I use skewers for Chicken Tikka?

Yes you definitely can. For the air fryer version you can use the wooden skewers.

If you have tried out this recipe or anything else from our blog then we would love to hear your feedback. Please give it a rating and leave a comment in the section below or tag a photo and #familyfuntech on Instagram. Thank you!

chicken tikka made in air fryer without skewers served on a plate with lettuce and lemon

Air Fryer Chicken Tikka without Skewers

This is a quick fix chicken tikka recipe made in an air fryer especially when you are in a hurry.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marination Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Air Fryer
  • 1 Sieve (Fine mesh)


  • 3 Boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp Shan tandoori chicken masala
  • ¼ Cup Hung curd Add curd to a fine sieve and then place it over a deep bowl. Keep it in the fridge for 30 mins
  • 2 Tsp Red chili powder
  • ½ Tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ Tsp Kasuri methi
  • ¼ Tsp Red food colour optional
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Roasted gram flour Dry roast the gram flour in a pan over low heat until there is a slight change in colour and a nutty aroma has been released


Chicken Tikka Marination

  • Slice the boneless chicken breasts horizontally from the middle and then cut them into medium size pieces
  • Add in all the ingredients mentioned above besides the roasted gram flour. You need to mix that in just before you air fry the chicken pieces.
  • Let it marinade in the refrigerator for minimum of 60 mins or overnight.

Air Fry Chicken Tikka pieces

  • After the chicken has been marinated mix in the roasted gram flour.
  • Set the Air fryer temperature to 180 and the time to 5 minutes
  • After the first 5 mins is over flip over the pieces and cook it again at 180 for another 5 mins.
  • I repeat the above step for 2 more times until there is a nice colour on the chicken pieces and the pieces have been cooked.
  • In total you will be cooking it for 20 mins at 180 temperature.
  • Finally serve it as an appetizer, or shred it to use in a sandwich. The choice is yours.
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