Indian Chicken Kabab (Murg Malai)

Indian Chicken Kabab (Murg Malai)

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 2 hrs
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
419 Calories
27g Fat
22g Carbs
29g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 419
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 153mg 51%
Sodium 902mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 109mg 545%
Calcium 167mg 13%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 624mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This delicious, melt-in-your-mouth chicken kabab (also known as a kebab or kabob) recipe is known as murg malai kabab in Indian. It's so easy to make you'll wonder why you haven't cooked it before.

If you've got kids, they will love its mild flavors too. You can partly prepare it ahead of time by marinating the chicken in advance. Don't worry if you don't have a barbecue grill because you also can make murg malai kabab in the oven.

Team murg malai kabab with naan flatbread and a salad for a winning meal. It also goes really well with lentils known as kaali daal.


For the Chicken:

  • 1 pound (500 grams) chicken thighs, bones removed and cut into 2-inch cubes

For the First Marinade:

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ginger paste

For the Second Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup grated mild cheddar cheese, or mozzarella cheese

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • Salt, to taste

  • 2 green chiles

  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves

  • 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil

To Serve:

Steps to Make It

Make the First Marinade

  1. Gather the chicken and first marinade ingredients.

    chicken and marinade ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Pat the chicken cubes dry with paper towels to help the marinade adhere to it better. When this is done, lay the pieces out neatly in a flat dish.

    pat chicken dry

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Sprinkle the pepper, cardamom and the first bit of salt over the chicken. Also, add the garlic and ginger pastes.

    chicken and marinade in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Mix thoroughly to ensure that the chicken is fully coated. Cover with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.

    chicken and marinade in a plastic covered baking dish

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Make the Second Marinade

  1. Gather the remaining ingredients.

    marinade ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the remaining part of the marinade. Put the grated cheese in a deep bowl and mash it with clean hands to ensure that it forms a paste and has no lumps.

    cheese in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Add the sour cream and salt to taste to the cheese and continue to mash and mix so that there are no lumps in the mixture.

    sour cream and cheese mixture

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Grind the coriander leaves and green chiles into a coarse paste using a blender or a mortar and pestle.

    Grind the coriander leaves and green chilies into a coarse paste

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Add the coarse paste to the cheese-sour cream mixture and stir to blend well.

    sour cream, cheese and herb mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. After the chicken has marinated in the first part of the marinade for 30 minutes, add it to the second part of the marinade—the cheese-sour cream-coriander chile mix. Combine well to ensure all the chicken pieces are well coated.

    chicken in a marinade

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Add the oil and mix well again. Allow the chicken to rest for 1 hour refrigerated.

    chicken and marinade in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Assemble, Cook, and Serve the Kababs

  1. Preheat oven or barbecue grill to 450 F / 230 C / Gas 8. Soak your bamboo skewers in water so that they don't burn during the cooking process.

    wood skewers in water

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. When the chicken has marinated for 1 hour, thread 3 to 4 pieces on each skewer, ensuring that you do it in a way so as to expose most of the chicken to the heat.

    marinaded chicken pieces on wood skewers on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. When you have threaded all the chicken onto skewers, lay the skewers on a baking tray and put into your oven. Cook for 15 minutes, remove and turn the skewers so that the part of the chicken pieces that was facing down, is now facing up. Put back into the oven and cook for another 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can grill the chicken skewers.

    baked chicken on skewers

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. When done, gently remove the chicken pieces from the skewers and arrange on a serving plate. You also can leave the skewers as is and serve as individual portions. Garnish with a sprinkling of the chaat masala and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve murg malai kabab with naan and a salad to make a meal or serve it just by itself as an appetizer.

    Indian Chicken Kabab (Murg Malai) on skewers

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi