Chicken Tikka Kebab

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Chicken tikka is the quintessential appetizer in of all Indian restaurants all over the globe. Whether it’s a restaurant in Bangalore or in Belgium, chicken tikka will always be there in the menu. I have had my fair share of chicken tikka kebabs in restaurants all over the place. Most of them I found were either too dry or too bland. So, I tried experimenting on the best way to cook this oh-so-important appetizer.

After a lot of tries with various store bought dry tikka masala, and failing almost every time, I took the matter pretty seriously. So, this time I made the masala paste from scratch. And, just to give it that oomph I added some Sriracha and carom seeds to it. Yes, you heard it right, I added the very Chinese sauce to this very Indian recipe, but the result was just fabulous. The heat of the Sriracha mixed with the carom seeds gave it a much better taste.

Kebab is a very Middle Eastern dish, but like all other Middle Eastern recipes, kebabs also got included in the Indian menu as a part of Mughlai cuisine. Kebabs are generally cooked in open fires, in a charcoal grill. The charcoal gives it a smoky taste, and probably enhances the flavor (I have tried chicken tikka kebabs in stovetop, oven and charcoal grill; but the last one turned out to be the best).

And, here’s another recipe to add to the what to cook for Rakhi series

Chicken Tikka Kebab from scratch

Ingredients:
2 lbs chicken thighs

2 tablespoon grated green papaya

2 tablespoon tomato paste

¼ cup onion paste

2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste

½ cup greek yogurt

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoon mustard oil

1 tablespoon sriracha

1 tablespoon carom seeds

Salt to taste

 

Directions:

Clean the chicken thighs, and trim off the extra fat. Cut into 2 inch size pieces, and keep aside

In a nonstick frying pan, heat the oil, add the onion paste and fry till the onion starts changing color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green papaya, ginger garlic paste, and tomato paste. Fry till the oil starts to come out of the paste, about 3 minutes.

Add all the dry powder and season with salt. This paste you can make ahead, and store in the fridge for upto 3 days.

In a large glass bowl add the cooked masala paste, yogurt sriracha and carom seeds and mix everything together evenly. Now add the chicken pieces to this paste and gently toss so that the chicken pieces gets covered fully in the masala. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for marinating for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight

When you are ready to cook, take out the chicken and bring to normal temperature about an hour before.

You can cook the kebab in stovetop, oven or charcoal grill –

For stovetop cooking –

Heat a shallow pan and lightly grease with oil or cooking spray, lay down the chicken pieces on the pan, make sure all the pieces touch the bottom of the pan, if you have more chicken, then fry in batches. Cook each side for about 2 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through.

For roasting in the oven-

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C), line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Thread the chicken pieces in skewers, 6 pieces if you are using the long skewers and 2 pieces each if using the smaller ones. Place the skewers on the cookie sheet and baste with melted butter or oil. Grill for 20 minutes, turning and basting once in between

Turn on the broiler and broil for about 3 minutes or till the edges start to char

For grilling on charcoal grill-

Thread the chicken pieces in skewers, and grill on an open grill basting with oil on each side. Grill each side for about 5-7 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through

Serve immediately with freshly cut onion rings and raita

Chef’s Tips – If you are using skewers for grilling the kebabs, then soak in water the skewers for at least 2 hours before using, else the skewers will catch fire and burn before the chicken is cooked through

Chicken Tikka Kebab

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Balti Chicken

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The word “balti” always remind me of the Bengali word for bucket, why a chicken recipe will be associated with such a word was quite appealing to me. My first guess was that the dish was served in little copper coated buckets in the restaurant, but that reasoning seemed a little too far fetched. So, I did a little search and of course Wikipedia came in handy.

Apparently, the phrase “Balti Chicken” came from the origin of this recipe. Here again there is much argument about where the origin of this recipe was. Some say that this recipe originated from Baltistan, Northern region of Pakistan  and hence the name. The other theory says that the chicken dish was first prepared by the Balti restaurants in Birmingham in UK.

Anyways as Shakespeare had said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”, there is no point in fighting over a name of a chicken recipe. But, it’s definitely worth trying. The recipe calls for a lot of tomatoes, and the chicken is cooked in the tomato juice making this chicken dish a sweet and sour preparation. This chicken side dish is the new item for the rakhi series. 

Balti Chicken with naan

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb chicken, skinned and cut into medium size pieces

1 onion, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

3 cups chopped tomato

4-6 garlic cloves, sliced

2 green chilies, chopped

6 tablespoon canola oil

3-4 sprigs of cilatro, chopped

Salt to taste

 

Directions:

In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil, add the onion and cook until translucent. In the meantime in a small bowl add all the ground spices and make a paste with about 2 tablespoons of water. Stir in the spice mix with the fried onions, and cook until oil starts separating, about 3 to 4 minutes

Add the chicken pieces and mix with the fried spices and onions. Put in the tomatoes and season with salt. Cook covered for about 15 minutes. Give it a stir once or twice in between so that the chicken doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan

Add the garlic and green chili and cook covered till the chicken is fully cooked. Pour little water if it gets too dry.

Garnish with the chopped cilantro. Serve hot with naan or rice

Balti chicken

 

Chef’s Tips: I used about two cornish hen in this recipe. If you want to make it a boneless preparation, you can use chicken thigh; breast pieces tend to get very chewy.

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Doi Begun – Eggplants in Spiced Yogurt

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Almost every state in India has their own style of making doi begun or dahi baingan. So, this is one recipe where you can do loads and loads of combination, and I assure use you’ll not get wrong.

Eggplants

I like to use the baby eggplants, as the whole eggplants or brinjal, as I used to call while growing up (read before entering USA) gives a good texture to the curry. You can also use the larger eggplants, and cut them into two to three inch size pieces. Using asafoetida is an optional step in this recipe, I like the flavor of it and it goes with the whole yogurt and eggplant mix, so I use it. Also, if you want to enhance the flavor of this dish you can temper with curry leaves and sprinkle dry roasted and then powdered fennel seeds. So the possibilities are unending. But, one thing’s for sure, this recipe is a must have for a hot and dry summer lunch. You can also serve this as a side dish with biryani.

Doi begun

 

Doi Begun - Eggplants in Spiced Yogurt
Serves 4
A must have for summer lunch
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb baby eggplants
  2. 2 cup Greek yogurt
  3. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  4. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  5. 1 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  6. ½ teaspoon sugar
  7. ¼ teaspoon asafoetida (optional)
  8. 2 teaspoons mustard oil (optional)
  9. 3-4 green chili
  10. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut the baby eggplants into fours, keeping the stalk intact. Take a pan which has a lid, pour the canola oil and place the eggplants, so that all of them touch the base of the pan, cover with the lid and fry on low heat for about 5 minutes, turning the eggplants once or twice in between
  2. While the eggplants are getting fried, in a mixing bowl beat the yogurt with 2 tablespoon of water. Add the chili powder, dry ginger powder and sugar. And beat again.
  3. Once the eggplants are fried, the skin will turn a darker shade of purple; don’t wait till they turn black; take the eggplants out and place on a kitchen towel to absorb the extra oil.
  4. In the same oil add the asafoetida if using, if not then go straight to the next step. As the asafoetida starts to splatter, about 10 seconds, transfer the eggplants back to the pan.
  5. Pour the spiced yogurt, and add in the green chilies. Stir and cook covered for about 2 to 3 minutes, or till the eggplants are cooked. You can add a little water if the gravy starts sticking to the pan.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl and pour the mustard oil, if using. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately with rice or chapati
Notes
  1. If you add the eggplants while the oil is still not hot, the eggplants will absorb less oil.
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

Dahi Baingan nnn

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Chicken Korma

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Korma or Qorma is a very old method of cooking meat. It was first used by the Turkish and was brought in to India by the Mughals. The Turkish word kuvurma means braising, the meat is at first cooked in high heat and then simmered in tight pot for a long time to get cooked in its own juices and marinade.

 

Chicken Korma spices

The chicken korma was cooked by Kalyan the other day, and it turned out superbly awesome, and so I had to put it up on the blog. After his stint on mastering the art of making rajbhog, Kalyan has become keen on entering the kitchen more often, much to my relief :). This recipe was inspired by a book “Complete Indian”, which we bought from Salvation Army though he made some changes while he was cooking.
Though the recipe is straight forward, korma takes a long time to cook, and so you have to have that patience to cook. But, trust me the end result is definitely worth all the time you spend in the kitchen. As Rakhi is just a few weeks away, here’s the first dish of many more dishes to celebrate this special with your sibling. Stay tuned to learn many more awesome recipes to make for Rakhi.
Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma
Serves 4
Print
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
9 hr
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
9 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3lb chicken
  2. 1 large onion, sliced
  3. 4-5 tablespoon of ghee or canola oil
  4. 3 cloves of garlic
  5. ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  6. 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  7. 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
  10. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  11. 5 cloves
  12. 5 black cardamom pods
  13. 1 2” cinnamon stick
  14. 1 ½ tablespoon desiccated fresh coconut
  15. 10-12 almonds
  16. 2-3 twigs of cilantro
  17. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken into 3-4” size pieces. Crush one clove of garlic, beat the yogurt and turmeric together with the garlic. Mix the yogurt with the chicken and put it in a ziploc bag. Marinade for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, better overnight
  2. Before you are ready to cook, take out the chicken from the fridge and bring it down to normal temperature.
  3. Toast the almonds in a cast iron pan and then chop the nuts. Keep aside
  4. In a heavy bottom pan heat the ghee, add in the onion and fry till they are translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add all the whole and ground spices, and salt and fry for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly
  5. Add in the marinated chicken to the pan, put in the desiccated coconut and mix well with the fried spices. Cover the pan with a tight lid and simmer for about 45 minutes or till the chicken is soft and cooked. Keep watch, if the chicken gets too dry or starts sticking to the pan, then add a little water
  6. Transfer the chicken to a serving bowl and garnish with the toasted nuts and cilantro. Serve immediately with naan or rice.
Notes
  1. If you are using oil to cook, then before taking out of the pan, you can pour a teaspoon of ghee to the chicken to give it the additional flavor and smell.
  2. Kalyan used 3 1lb cornish hen to make this dish. The hens were skinned and cut into 3 to 4 inch size pieces. You can also use chicken thighs to make it boneless recipe or use a whole chicken.
Cook like a Bong http://bengalicuisine.net/

Murgh Korma

 

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