Chicken Tikka: The Favorite Indian Snack
Kebabs are the favorite food of India. One can easily find them everywhere in India and in many different forms. This chicken hariyali (green) version is deep and flavorful, with the herbs adding an amazing freshness to the chicken tikka
These can be served as delicious little bites with drinks before dinner, with a little tangle of seasoned red onion slices drizzled with lemon juice and some Pudina Chutney.
Typically, the little chunks would be taken off the skewers, but you can also cut the chicken into strips and serve them on small skewers; they look dramatic in little shot glasses with some chutney spooned into the bottom. These kebabs also work really well on the barbecue when a hot, sunny day beckons you outdoors, or they make delicious wraps with chutney and sour cream. Basically, they can work at almost any occasion. Serves 4
For the marinade in Chicken Tikka
- 40g (2 packed cups) coriander (cilantro) stalks and leaves, torn a little
- 20g (1 packed cup) mint leaves
- 1 small Indian green finger chilli (chile), stalk removed, deseeded (optional)
- 15g (1 tbsp) roughly chopped root ginger (peeled weight)
- 6 large garlic cloves
- 1 rounded tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garam masala (fresh if possible)
- 80g (⅓ cup) proper, thick Greek yogurt
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken in Chicken Tikka preparation
- bamboo skewers
- 500g (1lb 2oz) skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 4cm (1½in) cubes or long, thick pieces
- a little unsalted butter, melted
- chaat masala, to serve
Soak the bamboo skewers in water, to stop them catching when you cook the kebabs.
Blend together all the ingredients for the marinade until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning; it should taste slightly salty at this point. Add the chicken, cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 2–3 hours, or overnight is best.
Heat a fan-assisted grill (broiler) to a high heat, around 230°C/450°F/gas mark 8. Thread pieces of the chicken on to the skewers, keeping them close together to stop them drying out. Rest each end of the skewers across a deep roasting pan so that the meat is suspended in mid air.
Position the tray 5–7.5cm (2–3in) under the grill. Grill for about 5–7 minutes, or until the chicken is lightly charred on the top, then rotate the skewers and cook for another 2–3 minutes. As the edges of the meat start to brown, baste with melted butter and cook for another 30–40 seconds.
Remove the skewers from the heat and cool for a minute or so, before sliding the chunks off the skewers on to a plate. Toss with the chaat masala and serve with rings of red onions marinated in seasoned lemon juice, wedges of lemon and/or some Tangy Herb Chutney.