Recipes

Tandoori Mustard Chicken Tikka

Inspired by Bengali cuisine, these mustardy grilled chicken skewers take ordinary tandoori chicken to a whole new level. You will love the mustard and the typical Bengali spice mix Panchphoran that make this chicken so flavourful and special. A good way to boost flavour is to leave it marinating in the refrigerator for 24 hours. This will give the spices a chance to mellow and infuse the chicken with aroma and flavour. Basting the chicken with leftover marinade as it grills, also keeps it moist and flavourful. 

1 1/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed into 2 inch pieces

1 small onion

8 cloves garlic

1 inch piece ginger

2 tbsp each: chickpea flour (optional), thick Balkan style plain yogurt, lemon juice, oil and mustard oil (or melted butter) for basting

1 tbsp grainy Dijon style mustard

1 tsp each: ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, dried fenugreek leaves (Kasoori methi), ground fennel seeds

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp each, whole seeds: nigella (kalonji), fenugreek (methi), fennel, black mustard, cumin (or any of these that you have on hand)

A tiny pinch of tandoori or red food colouring or saffron

Salt to taste

Place chicken in large mixing bowl.

Combine all remaining ingredients (except whole seeds) in jar of a blender or food processor and process to a smooth paste. 

Fold in whole seeds, then pour marinade over chicken, tossing pieces to coat well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

When ready to grill, heat barbecue to medium. Lift chicken pieces out of marinade (reserve marinade) and thread onto skewers.

Grill skewers covered, basting occasionally with reserved marinade until cooked through and lightly charred, about 8 min per side, turning once. 

When chicken is almost done and marinade has cooked off, brush lightly all over with mustard oil or melted butter, grill for 1-2 min until done and remove.

Serve with lemon wedges, a fresh salad and warm naan.

Serves four

 

 

Saffron Chicken Tikka With Black Pepper

Chicken Kali Mirch.jpg

Saffron tinges this mild and flavourful chicken tikka with a beautiful golden colour.  The chicken is soft and succulent with the addition of cream in the marinade and baste. It is a great way to gently introduce people to spicy food. Flavoured with ground black pepper but not overly spicy, this tikka makes a wonderful appetizer or lunch when nestled in a bed of salad or wrapped in warm naan. A vegetarian option would be to switch cubes of paneer for the chicken. Read more about pepper in The Story Of Pepper.
Read more about saffron in Glory Of Saffron.

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed into 2 inch chunks

6 cloves garlic

1 inch piece ginger

1/4 cup each: crumbled feta or grated cheddar cheese, thick plain yogurt such as Labneh or Balkan style, whipping cream

2 tbsp each: oil, lemon juice, whipping cream, melted butter

Salt to taste

1 tsp freshly ground or crushed black pepper

1/2 tsp each: saffron strands, ground cardamom, toasted ground cumin

Place chicken in deep mixing bowl.

Combine garlic, ginger, cheese, yogurt, 1/4 cup whipping cream, oil, lemon juice, salt, spices and 1/4 tsp saffron strands in mini blender or food processor. Process until smooth.

Pour over chicken, tossing well to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.

Preheat barbecue to medium. Thread chicken on to skewers and place on barbecue. Grill for about 8 min per side, turning once.

Meanwhile, combine melted butter, 2 tbsp whipping cream and 1/4 tsp saffron in small bowl. Brush generously over chicken towards the last 2-3 min of cooking time.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.

Serves six