Friday, July 24, 2015

Tandoori chicken tikka

Tonight's Menu
Tandoori Chicken Tikka
Wine Pairing: Merlot, Riesling

Tandoori chicken tikka over couscous salad
Tandoori Chicken, a fave all over the world this succulent dish was created by Kundan lal Gujral in 1947 as a feature dish for his restaurant 'Moti Mahal' in Delhi, India. An instant hit tandoori chicken contributed significantly in putting India on the World's food map. Chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices and grilled in tandoor (a clay oven fired with wood or charcoal). Its mostly served as an appetizer or a dinner accompaniment along with mint chutney and raw onions. 
An interesting variation of this world famous dish is the tikka. Everything remains the same except you use boneless chicken and skewer these before cooking. Serve with a wholesome salad for a summer time weekend dinner.   

Ingredients: (serves 4)
8-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
salt to taste
1 tbsp lime juice 
1/4 cup plain thick yogurt or hung yogurt
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 -1 tsp deggi mirch (this is hot and spicy so amount is optional)
2 heaped tbsp Tandoori masala (recipe)
1 tbsp oil
Extra oil or butter for basting
1 large red onion cut into big chunks
Chaat masala and lime juice to serve
  1. Clean and dry the chicken thighs and cut into an inch and a half sized cubes. Make a mixture of salt and lime juice. Toss chicken cubes in this. Keep aside while you prepare the marinade. 
  2. Marinade -- In a large bowl combine yogurt with all other ingredients including oil. Mix well and marinate the chicken in this mixture. Its best to use your hands so that you can work the marinade well all around. Cover and marinate the chicken overnight or a minimum of 6 hours in the fridge. Skewer these onto metal skewers or pre soaked wooden ones. Alternate chicken and onion chunks as you thread.
  3. Grill in the barbeque -- Preheat your BBQ  to 375 F. Place the marinated chicken on the grill. Grill should be hot enough to make a sizzling sound when chicken is placed on it. Close the lid and cook for 15-18 minutes undisturbed. Open the grill and turn the chicken. You can baste it at this point with oil or butter. Cover again for 5-7 minutes. Check to ensure that chicken has cooked fully from inside. Remove from heat.
  4. Grill in the oven -- preheat your oven on grill at high setting (400-450 F) and place the rack on the top position. Prepare a grill pan with aluminum foil and grease the wire mesh on top. The pan underneath will catch all the drippings. Place the chicken on the wire mesh and grill on high undisturbed for 20 minutes. Take out he pan and turn the chicken and cook further for 7-10 minutes till the chicken is fully cooked and sizzling.
  5. Serve hot with lime juice and a pinch of chaat masala sprinkled on top.


Tandoori chicken tikka over couscous salad


Israeli couscous salad 
This salad recipe makes for an excellent accompaniment to any BBQ dish. Use any beans you like - chickpeas, black beans or kidney beans. Can be eaten cold, warm or at room temperature. You can find the recipe here