chicken shashlik

Chicken shashlik is a great way to kick your chicken tikka up a big notch. Tandoori chicken on a bed of Indian spiced onion, green and red pepper. Simple ingredients. Explosive flavours.

I love tandoori chicken. I grew up eating it. So I look for any way I can get more of it. If you are a fan too then chicken shashlik is for you.

Chicken shashlik is like Indian fajitas

Seriously delicious Indian fajitas. This is India meets Tex Mex. Sounds crazy I suppose. Never really thought about it until I started writing this post.

But that’s what it is. Grilled chicken coated with tandoori marinade on a bed of fried peppers and onions.

If you served this up on chapatis or naan you could call it Indian chicken fajitas. Really not that different.

Except for the spicing. That’s pure Indian. No mistaking that. No mistaking where chicken shashlik comes from.

Chicken shashlik - chicken tikka on a bed of spiced peppers and onions.


Make a better kebab

Chicken shashlik fixes the whole mixed kebab mess. That one has always really been a mystery to me.

Think about what you’re trying to do. Put some meat, peppers and onions on a stick. Throw it on the grill. Expect it to work out.

It is just madness. More like meat done right. Vegetables way underdone. Or worse. Bone dry meat and edible vegetables.

Makes no sense. None at all. Why would you do that? It’s mission impossible.

So why not deconstruct? Cook the meat and vegetables separately so everything is perfect?

Or go a step further. Why not grill the meat? Cook up the vegetables in a mess of spice on the stove?

That’s how they do it in restaurants. And that’s how you should do it at home.

Everything perfectly cooked

That’s exactly what this chicken shashlik is about. The chicken tikka is grilled until it’s done perfectly. The vegetables are sizzled up in Indian spices on the stove.

The two don’t see each other until they hit the plate. And everything is done just right.

Eat this like it was a kebab. A piece of chicken. A bite of pepper. Some onion.

All in one unbelievably tasty bite of chicken shashlik done right. It’s like a whole new take on fajitas came to your local Indian restaurant.

Restaurant style chicken shashlik explodes with Indian flavours.
Restaurant style chicken shashlik explodes with Indian flavours.
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4.91 from 33 votes

chicken shashlik

Chicken shashlik fix the problems with regular kebabs. Everything is done perfectly when it hits the table.
Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 442kcal
Author romain | glebekitchen


Chicken shashlik

  • 6 whole boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 batch of tandoori marinade – recipe link below
  • 1 red pepper – cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 green pepper – cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 onion – cut into 1 inch petals (one onion layer thick)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste diluted with 2 Tbsp water

Spice Mix (for the vegetables)

  • 1 tsp indian restaurant mix powder or commercial curry powder – recipe link below
  • 1 tsp kasoor methi – fenugreek leaves
  • 1/4 tsp mild kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • lemon to serve


  • Marinate the chicken for about 2-3 hours in the tandoori marinade. Add the lemon juice right before grilling.
  • Soak 4 skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare your grill for medium-high indirect heat. You will start your chicken on indirect heat and then move it over direct heat at the end.
  • Skewer 3 whole chicken thighs on two skewers set up side by side. Fold the chicken thigh in half so you have 6 layers of chicken per skewer pair.
  • Grill over indirect heat for about 25 minutes.
  • Check internal temperature after 15 minutes.
  • When you hit 160F start lightly charring the chicken over direct heat.

Peppers and onions

  • Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic ginger paste and cook, stirring constantly until the sizzles subsides (about a minute).
  • Reduce heat to low and add the spice mix. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the diluted tomato paste and turn the heat back to medium, stirring constantly.
  • Add the peppers and onions and cook, stirring every minute or so, for about 15 minutes. You want the onions soft and the peppers pretty soft. Turn off the heat when you get there and tend to your chicken.
  • Once the chicken is done, let it rest briefly while you heat up the onion/pepper mix.
  • Serve the chicken over the onions.
  • Squirt a bit of lemon juice over top. That really brightens things up and brings everything together.
  • This goes great with Indian flatbread – think Indian fajitas…


Make great tandoori marinade
The recipe for indian restaurant spice mix can be found here


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 1690mg | Potassium: 709mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2230IU | Vitamin C: 64.8mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 4mg

65 thoughts on “chicken shashlik”

  1. 5 stars
    Hi – excellent recipe as usual Romain! We have started using it to marinate whole skinless boneless chicken thighs which we then layer onto a rotisserie – like a giant donor kebab 🙂 Once they’re in a firm mass we cook over indirect charcoal using a thermometer to make sure that the centre is cooked. We then let it rest before slicing it and you can select from the crispy brown outer bits or the more succulent inner bits to make up that perfect mouthful. Gorgeous. It looks amazing when it comes off the BBQ and for not very much work it’s a show stopper and easier in that you don’t have to move it around the BBQ to get that sweet spot. Thanks again

  2. 5 stars
    We have made this recipe regularly over the last 18months, it’s fantastic! The whole family enjoy it, including the 2 and 5 year old! In the summer it’s a go to meal when entertaining, BBQ’d the skewers at our street party and the neighbours were raving about them. Served with your mint raiti dip which is also fab.

    Since regularly exploring your recipes/blog my spice cupboard has been replenished and injected with life, it now sees regular use! Thank you!

    • Absolutely delighted you are finding things here to get your spice cupboard going! And I’m super impressed a 2 and 5 year old have such well developed palates!!!

  3. This is about the 10th time I have made this recipe. Amazing worked my way round all your recipes jalfrezi my favourite Even your spice mix for my low fat curries can’t have full fat all the time. Amazing thank you

  4. 5 stars
    So my favourite food blogger hits the spot once again.
    My local Indian restaurant has a dish called Shashlik chilli masala. So I combined the Shashlik recipe plus 1/2 tsp naga and garlic pickle in the marinade, with your nearly restaurant style chicken tikka masala sauce recipe, chucked in a handful of chillis and BOOM, a sure fire winner. Used the whole tin of coconut milk as well to bulk out the sauce. Great work Romain, keep these fantastic recipes coming.

  5. 5 stars
    Hey Romain

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe and marinade. This has been made for the past 4 weeks in my house and is fantastic. Two changes, one is a teaspoon of golden syrup in the marinade which was added to ‘trick’ my wife into accepting something slightly spicier than she would normally have, the slight sweetness seems to work well. Your tip about leaving out the yogurt is a game changer.
    The other change has been the addition of quartered mushrooms at the same time as the onions and peppers, we think it’s lovely but maybe isn’t is to everyone’s taste or the intent of your recipe.
    Thanks again! People, this is wonderful, give it a go and you will be amazed.

    • Awesome to hear and nice “trick” to get your wife into trying something a bit spicier than usual. Mushrooms aren’t something I’ve tried but I do like mushrooms a lot so I will give it a try. Thanks for the tip!

  6. 5 stars
    I can’t praise you enough for your excellent recipes and love your sense of humour. I am learning and laughing in equal measure. I have made chicken shashlik several times and it is delicious every time. I’m going to do the chicken jalfrezi next. Could you please clarify if I should dry brine the chicken breast before pre-cooking it for jalfrezi? Thank you.

    • Glad you are enjoying glebekitchen. I do try to make it fun!

      For the jalfrezi there are a couple different ones on the blog. Yes for regular poached chicken. If you are making tikka jalfrezi then it is easier marinate your chicken. You’ll get the dry brine effect from the salt in the marinade.

    • 5 stars
      Thanks for introducing me to Glebe Kitchen bro. We need another cooking day some time soon. I love the food as much as my brother does!!

  7. 5 stars
    Eating this chicken shashlik transported me back to another time period…that’s the effect most of your recipes have. It was what I always ordered in my favorite Indian restaurant. That was before I moved countries. This was simply superb. As always I cooked this dish and the dal tadka, my favorite lentil dish on your website. Taste restores so many cherished memories…thank you Romain. Five big stars!

    • I’m smiling ear to ear as I read this. Thank you for the lovely comment and sharing your memories!

  8. You, sir, have changed our curry life ! Thank you ! Lock down has been a joy with your amazing recipes and tips ! Thank you so much ! Every one is a winner !!

  9. Vegetables are delicious have made a big batch of your spice powder. Even if we are having a bbq family says have you made the spicy onions and peppers. Thank you. Am making chicken next week.

    • Love those spicy onions and peppers myself:-) Great to hear you are enjoying them on their own. I think you will love it with the chicken!

  10. 5 stars
    Fantastic, I have just put this in front of my wife and 12 year old and both have said how good it is, wasn’t sure about cooking the chicken so did it in the oven at 160d for 30 minutes, turning once, it was perfect we also used 3 large breasts sliced length ways and folded before skewering, gorgeous recipe so a big thanks !!

  11. Just made this. It’s lovely. A good spice mix for use in all Indian cooking I found is
    1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    1 tablespoon cumin seeds
    Blend together
    1.5 tablespoon turmeric
    Half tablespoon unsmoked paprika
    1.5 tablespoon curry powder
    One third teaspoon Garama masala

    Mix and store.

  12. 5 stars
    Ive been looking for a recipe for this for ages. This is great! The chicken was tender and moist and the whole dish was really tasty. Thank you!!

  13. 5 stars
    Wow this is a great dish, I cooked this for the 1st time and it was so tasty, my partner loved it too. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  14. 5 stars
    I’m a little confused, I read how to make marinade and Indian restaurant mix, but I see this part below.

    1 tsp indian restaurant mix powder or commercial curry powder – recipe link below
    1 tsp kasoor methi – fenugreek leaves
    1/4 tsp mild kashmiri chili powder
    1/2 tsp kosher salt

    What do I ad the above to? The marinade ? Because methi/fenugreek leaves is not on the link, just a little confused.

    • Kelly Ann – It goes like this. Make the marinade. Marinate the chicken. Make the spice mix. Use it when you cook the vegetables. I added “(for the vegetables)” to the spice mix heading in the recipe ingredients. Hopefully that clears things up. Let me know if you have any more questions.

    • What’s do you think of this, in the UK there are a lot of good curry restaurants 95% are Bengali owned, I have some friends…some do a two step marinade, have you heard of this and what do you think the advantages and disadvantages are? Before the main marinade they do a step 1 Ginger&Garlic plaster, lemon juice and a pinch of salt, rub it in and wait for 10 minutes before the second marinade…apparently this opens up the fibres for the second marinade to absorb? What is your views?

    • Marinades do not penetrate more than about an 1/8″ of an inch. The only thing that migrates throughout protein (typically) is salt. Everything else is too big. Don’t take my word. Google it for yourself. As far as how well this works I haven’t tried it but I can’t imagine it makes much of a difference.

      Lemon juice early on I do have a problem with. Acid denatures protein. I don’t like what it does to the texture of the chicken.

  15. 5 stars

    This is ridiculously lovely. This and the tikka and spice mix recipes are now printed and live in the kitchen. Thank you for sharing. PS, as a veggie I did this with paneer. Tastes stunning.

  16. 5 stars
    This recipe, if followed strictly (including making the recommended recipe for tandoori marinade, indian spice mix and garlic and ginger paste) is SENSATIONAL!!! Shashlik is my “go to” dish in most Indian restaurants and I love it, but I’ve never had one as good as this. Everyone who I’ve served it to agrees.

    • I really want to try this dish but I’m confused with the whole direct and indirect heat? My grill is in my cooker and heats from above how the I change the heat source? Thanks.

    • That’s one I haven’t come across before. In my description indirect heat is heat from the the sides – not directly below the chicken. Direct heat is simply moving the chicken from the indirect zone to directly over the heat source.

      So for charcoal you would build a fire on each side of your indirect zone. For gas you would turn on one burner (direct) and leave the other one off (indirect).

      So if you invert that for your case hopefully there’s a way to configure things so you can get something like that.

      Your setup sounds a lot like a broiler in a conventional oven. Is there a way to set things up so the shashlik bakes first and then gets blasted by direct heat to finish? Hope this helps…

    • Hi. I think the language barrier is the problem here! In America a ‘grill’ is what we call a bbq. Our (uk) grill (ie the one in your cooker/oven) is what they would call a broiler, so in this recipe I think that it is cooked on a bbq. I suppose you could oven cook first then flash over a gas ring, cook on a griddle or under grill till charred to finish. Hope that helps!?

    • Emily – thank you. A grill is a bbq here. You could do this using your grill/broiler as well. It wouldn’t have the wonderful charcoal flavour but it would work.

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