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Friday, October 12, 2012

Chicken Tikka

IMG_9098Chicken tikka is one of the most famous of the Indian kebabs. Tikka means bits, pieces or small chunks. It is made out of boneless chicken breast pieces. The grilled marinated chicken pieces has an intoxicating taste and a lovely smoky flavor.

Summer in Seattle is gorgeous and we do not waste any chance to enjoy it to the fullest. When we first moved to these Northern latitudes my daughter was plenty confused when she was asked to eat dinner with sun shinning brightly in the sky. We had a hard time convincing her, as she still hadn’t learned to read the clock and vigorously indicating that the hour hand is past eight didn’t help. Now she makes us head to the nearest park for dinner and we happily agree. Nothing like firing up charcoal in the park grills and making some awesome kebabs.

These kebabs turn out great on gas grills or electrical oven as well, however, the smoky taste is stronger when made on charcoal.

In restaurants you’d find the bright orange kebabs which is made using food coloring. I avoid such additives, if you want you can add food coloring to the marinade.

Ingredients For First Marinade

  1. 1lb.boneless chicken cubes from breast
  2. 1tsp. ginger paste
  3. 1tsp. garlic paste
  4. 1tsp. kashmiri chili powder (paprika powder)
  5. 1tsp. lime juice
  6. Salt

In a mixing bowl take all the ingredients and mix well so the chicken pieces are nicely coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for second marinade

  1. 2tbsp. besan (Bengal gram flour, available in US on amazon as well)
  2. 1tsp. carom seed (optional)
  3. 2tbsp. thick curd (Yogurt)
  4. 1tsp. ginger garlic paste
  5. 1tsp. Kashmiri chili powder (Paprika powder)
  6. 2+1tbsp. mustard oil
  7. Ghee (Clarified butter For basting)
  8. Salt

Heat 1tbsp. oil in a pan  and temper it with carom seed. Add Bengal gram flour to it. Fry on medium heat till you get a nutty aroma. Remove and keep aside.

In a separate bowl whisk yogurt with the fried Besan and other ingredients. Give a taste check and adjust salt accordingly.

Add 2tbsp. of mustard oil to the marinade and mix. Now add the chicken cubes to this yogurt mixture and marinate for at least 2 to 3 hours. Overnight marination in the refrigerator works best.

For Grilling

  1. Skewers (metal or bamboo)
  2. Onions cut into squares
  3. Ghee (clarified butter) for basting
  4. If you have access to, use oil sprays like PAM Oil Spray (optional)

If you are using bamboo skewers soak them in water for 30 minutes. It will prevent them from catching fire in the grill.

Preheat the oven at 375F, for gas grills or covered charcoal grills turn up the heat and close the lid so that temperature reaches this. For open charcoal grills use your own judgment.

Now skewer the marinated chicken pieces and onions alternately. Spread them for uniform cooking.


For Electric Oven (or combination microwave): Grease a roasting tray and place the skewers on it. Drizzle ghee, or spray oil over the kebabs and grill for 10 minutes and then turn them over. Spray or drizzle some more oil or ghee and roast for another 10 minutes.

For Gas or Charcoal Grill: Place the skewers on the grill, drizzle with ghee. Frequently turn it over and if you have, use the oil spray frequently ensuring that the kebabs do not dry up. Repeat for around 15mins

You can serve them directly on the skewers with some mint chutney and salad.


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