Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Easy Chicken Tikka for Babies and Toddlers

This is easy, easy, easy.  I worry about posting this because it's almost too easy to call a recipe.  Anyway, apologies about the inauthenticity of this but it's taking a simple storecupboard ingredient and using it in a different way; even making a child friendly version of it.

I don't mean "chicken tikka masala" either.  That's a British construct and, frankly, a bit minging.  This is a dry baked dish of chicken cooked in yoghurt and spices.  Once you've given this a go, you might be interested in making your own curry pastes; frankly, I'm happy to buy pastes as you can get some fantastic ones and it makes this dish a doddle but it might be the gateway to something more authentic for you!

Read down for variations for adults, children, toddlers and babies.

Chicken Tikka - Serves 2 adults and 1 toddler (see variations below)


Adult version

5 small chicken thighs, skinned and boned (or more if you're hungry)


3 tbsp full fat greek style yoghurt
2 dsp curry paste or more if you like it hot (you can buy tikka curry pastes but I prefer to avoid the fake looking red colour and I like something stronger, so I use pataks madras.)

Toddler / Baby version

1 small chicken thigh, skinned and boned

Toddler Marinade

1 dsp full fat greek yoghurt
1/2 tsp curry paste (use the quantity and type to your child's liking)
1 tsp garam masala

Baby Marinade

1 dsp full fat greek yoghurt
1 tsp garam masala


To make either of the marinades, simply mix the ingredients together.

Put the chicken into the appropriate marinade, cover and marinade in the fridge for as long as possible, preferably overnight if you could do so but for at least a couple of hours.

When you're ready to cook, put in the oven and cook for 30-40 mins at 200oC.  Being slightly charred at the edges is a good thing and it's difficult to overcook thighs which is cool.  I often prepare these then put them in the oven with the timer to come on as I'm doing my son's bath for us in the evening.

I often serve this with dahl, rice, or kachumbar (a simple salad made with small diced onions, cucumber and tomato dressed with lemon or lime juice, salt, sugar and chilli.)  Alternatively some mango chutney and a regular salad goes down a treat with some chappatis or naan.  Or why not serve these up with some Indian carrot salad?  Super cheap and tasty.

They're also really good cold either with some dahl and rice for my son's lunch or in a sandwich with some mango chutney for mine.  The baby version would be a hit I think for baby led weaners.  I remember giving my son thin slices of cold tikka when he was getting good with finger foods.  I didn't try him with some mild curry paste when he was younger but he's so keen on spicer foods nowadays, I would be tempted to try a little mild curry paste if your baby is the adventurous sort.

You can use lower fat yoghurt if you prefer, however, you might find the yoghurt splits a bit during cooking.  It will do that anyway to some degree but it seems to be 'better behaved' with full fat.  Even though chicken thighs are a bit higher in fat than other cuts of the bird, having the skin removed helps keep the calorie content down.  Great for this time of year when everyone is wanting to cut back.  Chicken thighs, rice, lentils, carrots etc are all great frugal food too.  Brilliant after all of the excesses of the season!


  1. Like! and so much nicer than a greasy gravy...
    Need to find a yoghurt substitute though as my youngest can't have dairy...

  2. Yum yum I am definately going to give this a go! Thanks!

  3. Ooh Karien, that's tricky. I'd suggest soy yoghurt but I have no idea what it's like to bake with? It's probably worth a go!

    Thanks the working parent! I hope you enjoy!

  4. I just had a "why didn't I think of that" moment. Thanks these look amazing! x

    1. Cool! It's a regular staple in our household! I hope you like...

  5. You are a star for getting this Food on Friday under way. Thankyou very much.

    Have a super week

  6. My wee one is allergic to Dairy too and the dips etc work ok with the alpro soya stuff!

    1. Ooh thanks for letting me know.

      My son was lactose intolerant for a short time and loves dairy. My hat goes off to people who have to avoid it all the time.


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