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Grilled Chicken Tikka & Wholegrain Rice Pilaf

This pilaf, full of toasted spices, peas, and raisins, is a healthy side dish to add to any meal. The yogurt in the chicken marinade will keep it moist and flavourful.
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 2 hours 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min


4 skinless chicken drumsticks and thigh pieces
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, peeled, minced
¼ cup cilantro, fresh, minced
2 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp coriander, ground
cloves, ground, pinch
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp turmeric, ground
1 tsp salt
1 lime
1 red onion, large
1 tomato
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 cup frozen peas
¼ cup almonds, sliced
¼ cup seedless raisins

Food Safety

Before you start, wash all surfaces and your hands with soap and warm water, and remember to wash your hands, utensils and cutting boards after they touch raw meat or eggs. Avoid cross-contamination by using a different cutting board for your meat and other ingredients. Make sure you’re cooking to safe temperatures and chilling any leftovers within two hours. For more food safety tips, visit our Food Safety at Home Section.


  1. Place chicken in a large bowl or plastic bag.

  2. In a small bowl, mix together lemon juice, plain yogurt, garlic, ginger, ½ of the cilantro, ½ teaspoon of salt and other spices. Reserve ¼ cup (60 mL) of marinade for basting. Pour remaining marinade over chicken pieces and toss to coat well. Marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator (preferably overnight).

  3. Preheat barbecue grill to medium heat. Grill the chicken 15-20 minutes until thoroughly cooked. Baste with extra marinade while on the grill. Alternatively, the chicken can be cooked in the oven at 400°F (204°C). The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

  4. Make the rice pilaf while the chicken is cooking. Heat the oil in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Toast the cumin seed in the hot oil until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add ½ tsp (2.5 mL) of salt, rice and water and cook rice until tender (see package directions). Five minutes before the rice is finished cooking, place peas, raisins and almond slices on top of rice and return lid to finish cooking. When complete, fluff rice with a fork to serve.

  5. Place grilled chicken on a platter of salad greens and decorate with lime, tomato wedges, more fresh chopped cilantro and sliced onions for garnish. Serve with the whole grain rice pilaf.

Helpful Tip

This chicken dish is an extremely popular Indian appetizer and is quick and easy to cook. Chicken Tikka here is served as a main course meal for 4 with whole grain rice pilaf. If you want to broil, rather than grill the chicken, place pieces on a rack on a broiling pan so juices drip away allowing the chicken to cook drier and crisper.

Nutrition Info

Per 400 g serving Amount
Protein34 g
Fat18 g
Saturated Fat4 g
Carbohydrate64 g
Fibre8 g
Sugar15 g
Cholesterol95 mg
Sodium770 mg
Per 400 g serving % Daily Value
Vitamin A10
Vitamin C60
Vitamin B636
Vitamin B1237