Chicken Tikka Fried Rice
Tender and beautifully spiced chicken tikka pieces get tossed with veggies, spices and aromatic basmati rice in this easy to make Chicken Tikka Fried Rice. It’s a healthy one pan meal that’s ready in 35 minutes, full of big and bold flavors and guaranteed to please your tastebuds!
I’m back today with another Indian fusion recipe and this one is super tasty and special! This Chicken Tikka fried Rice is a delicious and satisfying dish that’s easy to make and so flavorful.
- Tender and beautifully spiced savory chicken tikka pieces.
- Fragrant aromatics. Garlic, ginger and fresh chilies.
- Veggies. Red onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and peas.
- Aromatic fluffy grains of basmati rice. The rice gets coated with a fantastic combination of spices and is hit with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice at the end for some tang!
All you need to do is marinate the chicken while you prep the rest of the ingredients, cook the chicken, then stir-fry it with everything else to combine. Finish off this Indian-inspired masterpiece with a sprinkling of coriander and serve with hard-boiled eggs for some biryani-like vibes. Enjoy it with fresh cucumber slices, yogurt and maybe some mint sauce for a cooling effect!
While the ingredients list may seem long, a lot of it is spices and seasonings that you likely already have on hand or can easily purchase in any mainstream supermarket. Don’t let the long list stop you from making this simple and humble Indian fried rice with amazing flavors.
Why This Recipe Works
- Quick and easy to make. All you need is one wok or pan and 35 minutes if you have leftover cooked rice on hand!
- DELICIOUS flavors. This fried rice boasts beautifully spiced bold and savory chicken tikka chunks and aromatic, spicy and flavorful rice.
- Great for meal prep. Double the ingredients to enjoy it for an easy lunch or dinner throughout the week.
- High in protein. Tender chicken tikka pieces and serving the fried rice with a hard-boiled egg makes this an enjoyable and filling high protein meal.
- Customizable. You can make it dairy-free, vegetarian and as spicy or mild as you like.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutes
- Chicken Breast: I used diced boneless and skinless chicken breasts for a leaner option, but chicken thighs can be used instead if you prefer.
- Fat Free Greek Style Yogurt: Or you can use Greek yogurt or any type of plain thick yogurt. The yogurt tenderizes the meat so the longer you marinate the chicken, the more juicy it will be.
- Ginger Garlic Paste: This is a jarred blend of ginger and garlic paste which is commonly used in Indian home cooking for convenience. It’s available at Indian grocery stores and online. Feel free to use any garlic paste and ginger paste from a mainstream supermarket. Or use finely minced fresh garlic and ginger instead.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed is always best for flavor. Along with the yogurt, it acts as a tenderizer for the meat.
- Spices & Seasonings: We have kosher salt, garam masala, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Store-bought garam masala is fine but homemade tastes so much better. Check out my easy homemade garam masala recipe which you can store in your pantry for several months and use in many Indian recipes. Use paprika or Kashmiri chili powder for a milder flavor instead of cayenne.
- Olive Oil: Or use any neutral cooking oil.
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- Cooked Basmati Brown Rice: Or you can use cooked basmati white rice or any other long grain rice you prefer. Day old chilled rice works best as it doesn’t have as much moisture as freshly cooked rice, which can make your fried rice mushy. (See ‘Cook’s Tips’ and the ‘Prep’ section of the recipe car for how to make rice for fried rice quickly if you don’t have any cooked chilled rice on hand.)
- Aromatics: Garlic, ginger, fresh Bird’s Eye red chilies (or you can use any type of hot red or green chilies). Feel free to leave out the chilies if you are sensitive to heat. Adjust the quantity based on your heat level tolerance.
- Veggies: Red onion (white or yellow onion works too), red bell pepper, tomato (deseeded so that the extra juices don’t make the fried rice mushy) and frozen green garden peas.
- Spices and Seasonings: To season our chicken tikka fried rice, we’ll be using the same spices we used to marinate the chicken but also add a pinch of ground black pepper and cinnamon. As mentioned, you can use paprika or Kashmiri chili powder instead of cayenne for a milder flavor.
- Lemon juice: Just a splash to add some fresh tangy and bright flavors at the end.
- Coriander (Cilantro): Leave it out if you’re not a fan.
- To Serve: I like to sprinkle more chopped coriander on top and serve it with a hard-boiled egg for some biryani vibes. Sliced cucumber, yogurt, raita or a drizzle of cooling cucumber and mint yogurt sauce or creamy cilantro and mint sauce also pairs well with this spiced Indian-style fried rice as they have a lovely cooling effect.
Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.
How to Make Chicken Tikka Fried Rice
1. Marinate the chicken. Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to a medium bowl, along with all the marinade ingredients. Mix well to coat and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Cook the chicken. In a little oil until just cooked and starting to brown in spots. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
3. Sauté the onion, bell pepper and aromatics. Heat the remaining oil in the wok and sauté the red onion and bell pepper until just starting to soften. Add the ginger, garlic, red chilies and stir-fry until fragrant.
4. Add the tomatoes and peas. Stir-fry to combine.
5. Mix through all of the spices and seasonings until evenly combined.
6. Add the rice and chicken. First add the rice and mix until every grain is evenly coated with the spices. Then add the chicken and stir-fry for a minute to combine.
7. Stir through the coriander and lemon juice. Switch off the heat.
Serve! Divide evenly onto plates and sprinkle with more chopped coriander for garnish. Serve with hard boiled eggs, sliced cucumber and plain yogurt or raita if desired.
Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Marinate the chicken the day before. Although not absolutely necessary since the chicken is incredibly flavorful thanks to all the bold spices in the marinade, marinating the day before makes it even tastier and more tender. It also saves you time the next day and you can have this chicken tikka fried rice ready in just a matter of minutes!
- Use day old chilled rice. Cooked day old or even two-day old rice works great in fried rice recipes because it will have had enough time in the fridge for it lose some of its moisture. Freshly cooked rice will turn into mush in a hot wok.
- Adjust spice level to taste. Use less red chilies and paprika or Kashmiri chili powder instead of ground cayenne.
- How to prepare rice quickly for fried rice. Cook the rice as you normally would on the stovetop or in a rice cooker. Once cooked, spread it out on a baking tray and place in the freezer for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This will help dry up some of the moisture before you make the fried rice.
- Meal Prep option. Double the ingredients by clicking ‘2x’ in the recipe card below to make four servings. Cook as directed for the fried rice but if serving with a hard-boiled egg, hold off on boiling them or boil and store with the shell on in a separate sealed airtight container in the fridge. Use a large enough wok or deep heavy bottomed sauté pan that can handle double the ingredients. If your wok/pan isn’t large enough, I recommend stir-frying in two batches.
Fresh cooked rice is not ideal for making chicken fried rice. The presence of moisture in the freshly cooked warm rice grains make it difficult to stir-fry. Your fried rice will come out soggy and mushy as it will steam instead of fry in the wok. Cooked day-old chilled rice is best for making fried rice as it will be dry enough to stir-fry after a night in the fridge.
Any long grain rice is great for making chicken fried rice including white or brown rice basmati and Thai jasmine rice. For this chicken tikka fried rice, I like to use Lundberg brown basmati rice which I cook the day before.
Biryani is different from fried rice as it is cooked in layers and at a lower heat. Par-cooked rice is used in biryani along with par-cooked meat and vegetables. They are cooked separately then layered with sauce over ‘dum’ (slow fire or low heat) until the rice grains absorb the sauce and finish cooking. Fried rice is made with cooked chilled rice and cooked over high heat. The process for making fried rice is much quicker and less tedious than making biryani.
The color comes from using red or orange food coloring in either powdered or liquid form. Adding the coloring has no effect on the flavor so I chose to leave it out in this recipe. If you would like the chicken tikka to have a red or light orange color, feel free to add ¼ teaspoon of an orange-red food coloring powder such as the one from Busch’s brand or 1-2 drops of red or orange liquid food coloring.
- Scramble in the egg. Instead of serving with hard boiled eggs, you can scramble 1-2 eggs in the wok after sautéing the onion, bell pepper and aromatics. Push everything to the side and pour in a lightly beaten egg(s). Allow to set for 15 seconds, then scramble and toss to combine with everything else. Proceed with the following steps as indicated.
- Make it gluten-free. No changes are needed as this chicken tikka fried rice is naturally gluten free.
- Make it dairy-free. Use a dairy-free yogurt for the chicken marinade.
- Use store-bought or leftover chicken tikka. For a shortcut, you can purchase some pre-cooked chicken tikka from a grocery store or use leftover chicken tikka from a meal out at an Indian restaurant. It will save you time and you can skip marinating and cooking the chicken.
- Make it vegetarian. Use a plant-based chicken meat substitute by brands such as Lightlife and Quorn. You can also swap the chicken for paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubes and make a paneer tikka fried rice instead.
MADE THIS RECIPE? If you make this recipe, leave a comment and review it below with a STAR rating! I always appreciate your feedback. Take a photo and be sure to tag it with @thatspicychick on Instagram and hashtag it #thatspicychick and I’ll be sure to share.
More Fried Rice Recipes You May Also Like
Chicken Tikka Fried Rice
Tender beautifully spiced chicken tikka pieces get tossed with veggies, spices and aromatic basmati rice in this easy to make Chicken Tikka Fried Rice. It’s ready in 35 minutes, full of big and bold flavors and guaranteed to please your tastebuds!
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stir-fry
- Cuisine: Indian-inspired
For the Chicken Tikka Marinade:
- 250 grams / 9 ounces Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless – cut into bite-sized pieces
- 50 grams / ≈ 2.5 TBSP Fat Free Greek Style Yogurt (or use Greek yogurt or any plain thick yogurt)
- 10 grams / ½ TBSP Ginger Garlic Paste (see note 1 for substitutes)
- 7.5ml / ½ TBSP freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- ½ TSP Kosher Salt
- ½ TSP Garam Masala (store-bought or homemade garam masala)
- ½ TSP Coriander Powder
- ½ TSP ground Cumin
- ⅛ – ¼ TSP ground Cayenne (optional – to taste – or use paprika or Kashmiri chili powder for a milder flavor)
- ½ TSP Turmeric Powder
- 1 TSP Olive Oil (or any other neutral cooking oil)
For the Chicken Tikka Fried Rice:
- 100 grams / 3.5 ounces uncooked Brown Basmati Rice (I used Lundberg brand, you’ll need 1.5 cups leftover cooked long grain white or brown rice) – cooked the day before preferably and chilled (note 2)
- 100 grams / ½ medium Red Onion – finely chopped
- 100 grams / ½ medium Red Bell Pepper (or use any color) – diced
- 15 grams / 3 Garlic cloves – minced
- 8 grams / 1 TBSP minced Ginger
- 10 – 35 grams / 2 – 9 pieces Fresh Red Chilies, to taste (note 3*) – finely chopped
- 140 grams / 1 medium Garden Tomato – deseeded, finely chopped
- 4 grams / 2 sprigs fresh Coriander (Cilantro) – chopped
- 100 grams / ≈ ¾ cup frozen Green Garden Peas – thawed
- ½ TBSP Olive Oil
- ½ TSP Kosher Salt, to taste
- ½ TSP Garam Masala
- ½ TSP Coriander Powder
- ½ TSP ground Cumin
- ⅛ TSP ground Black Pepper
- ⅛ – ¼ TSP ground Cayenne (optional – to taste – or use paprika or Kashmiri chili powder)
- ¼ TSP ground Cinnamon
- ½ TSP Turmeric Powder
- 7.5ml / ½ TBSP freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- To Serve (optional): More chopped fresh coriander, hard boiled eggs, sliced cucumber, plain yogurt, raita, creamy cilantro mint sauce, cooling cucumber and mint yogurt sauce, etc.
- Marinate the chicken: Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to a medium bowl. Add the ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, kosher salt, garam masala, coriander powder, ground cumin, ground cayenne and turmeric powder. Mix well to coat and aside to marinate while you prepare the fresh ingredients. (Pro-tip: For more flavor, marinate the day before and cover and refrigerate.)
- Cook the rice: Preferably the day before, cook the brown basmati rice according to package instructions. Place in an airtight sealed container and in the fridge once cooled. Note: If you are preparing the rice on the day of making the fried rice, spread the cooked rice on a baking tray and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will help dry up some of the moisture before you make the fried rice.
- Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop the red onion, red bell pepper, garlic, ginger, red chilies, tomato and coriander as indicated in the ‘ingredients’ section. Measure out the green peas and thaw by heating in the microwave on high for 30-40 seconds.
For the Chicken Tikka Fried Rice:
- Cook the chicken: Heat 1 TSP olive oil in a large nonstick wok or deep heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the marinated chicken and spread the pieces out in the wok. Cook for 4-6 minutes, turning the pieces and sautéing occasionally until just cooked. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
- Sauté the onion, bell pepper and aromatics: Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Add the red onion and bell pepper. Sauté for a minute until starting to soften. Then add the ginger, garlic, red chilies and stir-fry to combine until fragrant – about 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes and peas: Add the tomatoes and green peas. Stir-fry for 30 seconds to combine.
- Add the spices and seasonings: Add the kosher salt, garam masala, coriander powder, ground cumin, ground black pepper, ground cayenne, ground cinnamon and turmeric powder. Mix well to combine until evenly combined.
- Add the rice and chicken: Add the rice and mix well to combine until every grain is evenly coated with the spices. Then add the chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Stir through the coriander and lemon juice: Stir through the chopped coriander and lemon juice. Switch off the heat.
- To Serve: Divide evenly onto plates and garnish with more chopped coriander. Serve with hard boiled eggs, sliced cucumber and plain yogurt if desired.
- Ginger Garlic Paste. This is a jarred blend of ginger and garlic paste which is commonly used in Indian home cooking for convenience. It’s available at Indian grocery stores and online. Feel free to use any garlic paste and ginger paste from a mainstream supermarket. Substitute with finely minced fresh ginger and garlic if unavailable.
- Rice. You’ll need about 1.5 cups of cooked long grain rice and can use either white or brown rice. I used basmati brown rice here, but white basmati or Thai jasmine brown or white rice will all work. Uncooked rice weight for basmati brown rice is provided (100 grams / 3.5 ounces)
- Fresh Red Chilies. Adjust the quantity based on your heat level preference and how hot the type of red chilies you’re using are. You can also use hot green chilies instead which are more commonly used in Indian cooking.
- Storing and reheating leftovers. This fried rice will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days if stored properly in a sealed airtight container. Reheat on high in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring once in between, until hot throughout.
- Meal prep option. Double the ingredients by clicking ‘2x’ at the top of the recipe card to make four servings. Cook as directed for the fried rice but if serving with a hard-boiled egg, hold off on boiling them or boil and store with the shell on in a separate sealed airtight container in the fridge. Use a large enough wok or deep heavy bottomed sauté pan that can handle double the ingredients. If your wok/pan isn’t large enough, I recommend stir-frying in two batches.
- Nutritional information. Nutritional information provided does not account for the garnishes, sides or hard-boiled egg.
- See ‘Variations’ section in the post above if you’d like to customize this recipe.
- Serving Size: ½ of recipe
- Calories: 523
- Sugar: 11.2g
- Sodium: 807.8mg
- Fat: 11.9g
- Saturated Fat: 1.6g
- Unsaturated Fat: 6.7g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 60.9g
- Fiber: 10.2g
- Protein: 41g
- Cholesterol: 91.3mg
Keywords: chicken tikka fried rice, Indian chicken fried rice, tikka masala fried rice, quick tikka biryani
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