Murgh malai kebab/Chicken malai kebab


Murgh malai kebab or Reshmi kebab is a rich, creamy and insanely delicious kebab from the royal Mughlai cuisine. What makes it so rich, is the use of cream of course, along with some cheese and yogurt. The resultant marinade spiked with ginger garlic and green chillies along with aromatics like nutmeg and the floral cardamom results in a luxuriously rich and scrumptious end product. It’s commonly featured in most restaurant menu’s as a popular appetizer. 


Since this is so high in calories, I refrain from indulging on these so often. I make it like once in a blue moon. So this time when I planned on making them, I thought I should definitely share one of my favorite kebab recipes with you guys. These are a good change from the regular chicken tikka’s. Do not be fooled by the creamy components in this recipe, there is a good amount of spice from the green chillies, so adjust the heat as per your spice tolerance or skip it completely if making for kids. Even without the heat, these kebabs are just packed with flavors, are extremely succulent and literally melt in your mouth. These are fairly simple to put together, prep everything the night before, and grill them the next day! I served these as wraps with home made mini butter naan and some fresh salad sprinkled with cilantro chutney and some chaat masala. Needless to say my DH and mom enjoyed it, and said it’s just like the restaurant ones! Guess who’s grinning from ear to ear??? :p

P.S. For a vegetarian version, you can easily substitute chicken with paneer/tofu. I make these with paneer, and it’s equally good, the texture of the paneer is just as melt in the mouth! Somehow I never end up with decent pics and hence have never gotten a chance to post it. The next time I intend making these, I’ll make them with paneer, I hope to share the veg version.



I lb chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch cubes

First marinade:

4 garlic cloves

1 inch ginger

2-3 green chillies, adjust as per spice tolerance

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder

1/2 teaspoon green cardamom powder

1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder (Use black pepper if don’t have white pepper)

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt to taste

Second marinade:

1/2 cup cream

1/4 cup greek yogurt (hung curd)

2 cheese cubes  or 1/4 cup of any shredded cheese

3-4 tablespoons roasted gram flour/ cornstarch for binding, or as required

1 tablespoon oil/butter, for basting


1. Wash the chicken well, pat dry well, (it should be really dry), so that the marinade sticks well. Cut the chicken thighs into 2 inch cubes, transfer to a mixing bowl. Make a coarse paste of ginger, garlic and green chillies ( do not add any water). Add in the prepared paste along with nutmeg, green cardamom and white pepper powder. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Mix everything well to evenly coat the chicken. Cover and set it aside for 15- 30 minutes.


2.The cream components :


3. In a mixing bowl, add the cream, crumbled cheese and yogurt, whisk it well to attain a smooth and creamy mixture. We do not need to incorporate any air. Whisk until its lump free.


4. Next, add roasted gram flour, mix well again to form a smooth marinade.


5. Add the marinade to the chicken, mix well so that all the chicken pieces are coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to overnight for best results. Next morning you will have found that the marinade is nice and thick and well coated with the chicken, which is good as all the flavor is in the marinade.


6. Pre-heat the oven to 400F, Thread the chicken pieces on skewers ( if you are using bamboo skewers do remember to soak them in water for atleast 30 minutes to avoid it from burning in the oven), brush any excess marinade on all the chicken pieces, grill for about 30-35 minutes, turning once in between and basting with butter/oil, until the chicken is slightly golden brown and cooked through. You can also cook them on a grill pan turning occasionally until cooked through. You can pour the remaining cooked marinade ( Do not use raw marinade) if any is left at the bottom of the baking tray over the grilled chicken. ( I didn’t have much as my marinade was thick and most of it stuck to the chicken).  Serve the kebabs with mint-cilantro chutney/ cucumber yogurt raita or any other dip of your choice.




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  1. Loretta says:

    Wow, they sound absolutely flavorful Freda. I don’t think I’ve tried these before, the addition of cream gives it that lovely texture. Did you bake these in the oven or grill them on the barbeque? Ahh sorry, I see that you baked them at 400 F. I wonder how it would work on the barbeque? Your presentation and plating is always top-notch!

    • Freda Dias says:

      Thanks a ton Loretta, you could also do a lighter version by just using yogurt, but the cream and cheese add so much richness and flavor. It’s good to indulge once in a blue moon:)

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