In America it’s chicken tikka kabobs and in Europe it’s chicken tikka kebabs but whatever the spelling this is a fantastic Indian char-grilled chicken recipe that goes well in a pitta or as a simple topping for a salad.
I’ve already done a chicken tikka recipe for the kamado ceramic barbecue which is a high temperature cooking process but this recipe is different and takes more of an influence from the Indian street sellers where the cooking is long and slow.
If you’re ever in India you’ll see long charcoal grills packed with kebabs like this gently grilling away and just waiting for the likes of you and me to taste with our eyes and nose, lose our willpower and just have to buy one. Sadly, the traditional grill controlled by a banana leaf fan (punkha) is rarely seen these days but the flavours are still as powerful as ever and this char-grilled chicken recipe will give you the authentic taste of India in your back yard.
One last point, you’ll need 48 hours for the marinade to take full effect.It's a yogurt (calcium) based marinade so the length of time does matter and the longer you marinade then the more tender your meat. To learn more on this point then check out my article on the science of marinades.
Serves:- 4 people
Preparation Time:- 30 minutes
Marinade Time:- 48 hours
Cooking Time:- 15 minutes
Total Time:- 2 days
Sesame oil is derived from sesame seed.
Peel and chop one onion together with the 2 cloves of garlic and blitz in a food processor until you have a paste. Now pour in the sesame oil and whiz it again before transferring the mix to a marinade bowl.
Now add the yogurt, spices and the juice of half the lemon and stir it all in.
Dice up the chicken breast into 1 inch cubes and throw the cubes into the marinade bowl, cover and refrigerate for 48 hours.
To prepare for the cookout, if using
bamboo skewers, remember to put them on soak.
When you’re ready to cook, take the chicken out of the marinade and pat it dry on some paper towel. You want to get as much of the marinade off the meat before cooking so that you get that crisp char to the outside of the meat. If there's too much yogurt on the meat then you'll end up with a soggy curdled yogurt which isn't pleasant on the palate.
Make up the chicken tikka kabobs by threading the chicken breast onto the skewer alternately with a piece of onion. Cook over a medium grill for about 15 minutes.
Serve with a slice of lemon (remember that half you haven't used) to garnish and fresh cucumber raita.