Chicken Malai Kabab

One of my readers Mariya from Doha,Qatar, sent an email asking me to post some grilled recipes. She asked me long time back and I promised her also. But it took sometime for the promise to materialize. Anyways, better late than never :). Mariya, hope you are reading this post.

I first had this kabab at one of our friend's place. We both, Jose & myself loved it so much that we stuffed ourselves with the kabab and finally we had no space for the main course :).  While having this kabab, I remembered Mariya's email and asked my friend for the recipe. This recipe is from Nita Mehta's book, Punjabi Khanna. She gave me the book itself, so you can see more Punjabi recipes here in the future  :). Thanks a ton, Simi for introducing us to this.

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Here is the recipe for delicious malai kababs:

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Chicken Malai Kabab

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Course: Appetiser, Starter
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 500 gms Boneless chicken (cut into 1 1/2″ pieces)
  • 1/4 cup Fresh cream (refer notes)
  • 1 tsp Garlic paste
  • 2 tsp Ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp Amchoor (dry mango powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera powder
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Green cardamom powder (seeds of 2-3 cardamom crushed)
  • 2 Green chillies (ground (optional))
  • 1.5 tsp White pepper powder (refer notes)

ForCoriander Mint Chutney

  • 2-3 tbsp Yogurt
  • 1 Green chilly
  • Small handful Coriander & Mint leaves
  • Salt


  • For Kabab
  • Mix together cream, ginger & garlic paste and all the other ingredients to form the marinade. Marinate chicken for 5-6 hours in the refrigerator, covered with a cling film. Heat oven to 180 C. Brush the wire rack or grill of the oven with oil. Place chicken pieces on it and grill them for for 15-18 minutes overturning them every few minutes till they are nice and tender (refer notes).Serve hot with coriander mint chutney.
  • For Chutney
  • Blend together all the ingredients in a blender/processor.


I used whipping cream for marinating. I used Almarai brand (common brand in Gulf countries) whipping cream. I used black pepper powder. I grilled the kababs at 180 C for 25- 30 minutes, the time may vary depending on the oven. The kababs should be tender and juicy. Check on the kababs every few minutes, to make sure that it doesn't get over cooked. I turned the kababs every 5-6 minutes. I put the marinated chicken pieces on wooden skewer. I placed an aluminium foil on top of the wire rack and placed the wooden skewers along with chicken pieces on it. Place the wire rack on the topmost shelf of the oven. Dont crowd the skewers with chicken pieces, otherwise it may be difficult to turn it over. I put 4 chciken pieces on one skewer.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu

Recipe Source: Punjabi Khanna by Nita Mehta

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52 thoughts on “Chicken Malai Kabab”

  1. Hi Maria

    I am based in the US and am a bit fanatic about cooking. I work from home for a large healthcare company and when I am done with my work, the first thought us what to cook for tonight.

    I tried your malai kebab recipe and it came out well. Then I thought I should spin the recipe a bit based on my experience. Just as a background, I always grill my meat in a charcoal clay outdoor oven (Big green egg like tandoor).

    So here is what I did and I encourage you to try this and hopefully, make your dish go the farthest and the most extreme it would go(remember the fanatic part :).

    Ingredients –
    1. All of your recipe ingredients, but with boneless thigh meat as it inherently has more fat than the leat meat in chicken breast. Translates into increased succulence when done. I used 1 Kg of meat in my recipe and doubled everything you had.

    2. More ingredients : Asafoetida powder (1/8th teaspoon), Cinnamon stick(1), Fresh Ginger(1 inch cube), fresh garlic (8 pieces), Jaifal(1 piece), Kala Jeera(also called Shah Jeera-15 counts, as it is very potent), Bay Leaves (3), Amul Ghee (2 Tablespoons), Bagharey Ghee (1 tablespoom), Butter 50 Grams, 2 tablespoons dried mint leaves, buttermilk 1/4 cup, 1 Tablespoon Saunf, 1 tablespoon Jeera, 3/4 cup thick curd/yogurt (also known as hung yogurt), pasted up using a spoon, salt to taste.

    Method – The marinade involves some cooking, so please bear with me.

    Base – Make a paste of ginger, garlic, 4 green chillies (I used 2 serano peppersa and two green chillies for extra flavor). Add in the ginger and garlic paste from the original recipe and a 1/4 cup of buttermilk, alongwith powdered green cardamom, roasted cumin powder, garam masala powder, amchur powder while pasting the above. In the end you should have a smooth paste. We will call it the marinade paste below.

    In a pan, heat the ghee. After 2 minutes, put whole cinnamon stick, Bay Leaves, Shah jeera, Jeera, Saunf. Let things sputter a little, then add the marinade paste. Let is simmer for 5 minutes, then add powdered mint leaves and the baghare ghee (comes from Bangladesh) and the hung yogurt. stir for 5 more minutes, now your marinade is ready to use.
    Wash the boneless chicken thoroughly after removing excess fat. Then pat dry all of the chicken using a paper towel. This ensures that before you add marinade to the chicken, it goes in dry as possible.

    Marinade the chicken in the mix in a ceramic bowl (metal might react a bit to the amchur). Cover it with plastic sheet and leave it at room temperature or 65-70 degrees farenheit (don’t put in the fridge) for 4-5 hours.

    Separately, get your charcoal or other oven ready and get the temperature around 450 degrees F. Put the chicken pieces on previously soaked wood skewers and cook for 10 minutes, turning only once and leaving it closed. Don’t give in to the temptation of checking frequently as the oven will lose retained heat, which is what cooks your chicken for maximum succulence.

    When you are ready to turn the chicken the first time, baste it with a mixture of 3 parts coriander paste, 1 part fresh mint paste mixed with melted butter.

    If you would like it, turn it one more time, but remove the skewers within minutes of that.

    Now you’re talking kebabs. By the way, my kabobs came out looking semi white, not reddish and I think that that is what I prefer in a dish named malai kabab. I had a great malai kebab in a New York restaurant once and I think I am on track to beat their standard.

    This recipe is daunting for some of you, but for those of you who want to touch the limits of what our tongues were made to enjoy, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. After all whats there to lose? hehee.


    • Hi Ansh,

      Thank you very much for taking time to explain your version in detail, appreciate it very much.

      Malai kabab is usually light coloured. However I prefer my kababs to be a bit reddish/brownish/burnt. For me the white colour looks like as if the chicken is not cooked and it freaks me out :)


  2. I tried this kabab yesterday and it came out well. Thanks a lot Mariya. One doubt, the chicken pieces didnt brown altho they cooked wel.. I tried the grill option first and then turned to convection mode. But it did taste yummy and my husband love d it :)

    • Hi Pooja,

      Thanks for trying this recipe. I’m really glad that you liked it. Thanks for the comment also :)

      Did you cook it in MW? If so, I’m not very familiar with MW baking/grilling :( I usually cook it in my electric oven. I keep it in the top rack and cook at 200-220 C.


  3. Hi Maria….can I make this on stove top, if yes can you please tell me how to cook this delicious kebab with a pan?! Thankyou!

    • Hi Swapna,

      I havent tried cooking it on stove top yet. However I’ve tried some other kebabs on stove top & it came out well.

      I heat a little oil in pan & add the kababs & keep turning them in between. May be you can try a small batch on stove top and see…


  4. Hi Maria,

    I’m a big fan of your recipes. I have just finished marinating the chicken for the malai kababs. Hopefully, they’ll turn out good, as all your other recipes.

    Thank you so much for these wonderful recipes. You’re God send for cooking novices like me.

    Many thanks,

  5. Hi Maria,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. You are probably right – I did grill it for more than the recommended time & that too at a higher temperature!


  6. Hi Maria,

    I ran into a problem while cooking these kababs – they were not very tender / juicy. Am not sure where I messed up – any ideas?

    Thanks a lot in advance

    • Hi Asha,

      Thanks for trying the recipe.

      I guess if kabab is overcooked, it will affect the texture. Otherwise I’m not sure why it happened :(

      Hope it comes out well next time..


  7. hi Maria,
    i tried this recipe and it came out awesome..
    thanks a lot.. and ur site is becoming wonderful day by day..Best wishes …take care,

  8. Hey Maria,

    This recipe looks good!

    I just had a question. It may sound dumb so please excuse me.

    Did you mean to place the aluminium foil on the rack that is already in the oven or did you get a totally different rack and place it on the oven’s rack?

    I am waiting to make this as soon as I hear from you.

    Thanks !!

    • Hi MD,

      Thank you :)

      Regarding your doubt, I put the foil on the rack which is already in the oven. Hope it’s clear now.

      Happy cooking and I would love to hear your feedback.


  9. Hey Maria!!

    I simply love your blog!! your recipes are really great!! congrats!!

    btw, I am minu live in bahrain with my hubby dear geo!

    will meet you somewhere here, hopefully!!

    Jesus Bless you both!!

    Take care!

    • Hi Minu

      Happy to meet you here and thanks a lot for dear for your best wishes.

      Hope to meet you in Bahrain, after all its such a small place, rght :)?

      Our best wishes to you and your husband.


  10. Maria,
    Recipe was super we had it foe dinner. We had it with Khubus, fattoush and garlic sauce. It was gooooooood. Even my 1 1/2 year old daughter ate 1 piece. Thank u .

    • Hi Sindhu

      Am really happy that you and your family liked it. Ya its a great combo with kubus, pita bread etc;

      My special hi to your daughter :)


  11. Maria,Super recipie..I made this kabab yesterday .It was very tasty even though i didnot add amchoor powder.Instead I add Thick Youghurt .My family liked it very mcuh.Thankyou so Much..And i have one request.We are living in Kuwait..During ramadan month ,we take sandwitch wraps to our office.Can you please post some more nice sandwitch recipies..

  12. Thanks Varsha, I like sheekh kebabs too, waiting to see your post :)

    Thanks Pooja, ya it was really a treat :)

    Ammu dear, thanks. I think the credit for the pics goes to Jose’s camera :)

    Thanks Asha, yes its really great. pls do try it, am sure you will also enjoy it.

    Thanks Ann & Shabs :). Shab, I watched varehvah’s video other day after seeing your comment, that’s nice. And het Shabs dear thanks a ton for the awards, hugs :)

    Rashmi dear thanks a lot for trying this. Am very happy that you also liked it, thanks again :)

    Thanks Sudeshna :)

  13. Just as I was wondering what to make, I got your update. Luckily I had all the ingredients, Nyaan ithu indaaki and both my Hus and I loved it! Thanks for this simple recipe! This sure is my fav food blog!

  14. This is a nice one maria…..very beautiful pic as well…….i saw this one in vahrehvahs video and was thinkiing of making this from long long time…..:)

  15. Nice Kebabs Maria..Even I am a bog fan of it..last time I made some Sheekh kebabs..planning to post it soon..Thats ground meat.i think I’d love this even better..looks yum..:)


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