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CHICKEN TIKKA: KEBAB KHRONICLES

There are days when I miss my Dilwalon ki Delhi, and there are days I miss Kebabs.When the two cravings come together, well, we all know what's the menu that day. Kebabs on winter nights, are one of the best treats possible. Add to that some hot rotis, some hari chutney(mint and coriander relish), and life seems pretty good.Delhi and Kebabs are like the inseparable Siamese twins.Whenever the gang decided to party at home, we ordered Kebabs. If it was the birthday party of a colleague, we knew Kebabs would be on the way, before the birthday boy/girl signed out for the day from office.Night shifts always meant a trip to Jama Masjid, and  digging into meaty goodness, as the Editors worked on our stories for the morning bulletins.It was all about digging into meaty goodness together.Kebabs and Camaraderie come hand in hand.    

Kansas City has quite a problem when it comes to ordering North Indian non vegetarian staples.With an exception of a restaurant, which goes by the name of KEBABESH, most of the Indian restaurants out here, cook North Indian food with a steady dose of Curry leaves and other South Indian spices.For hard core Kebab lovers like myself, thats almost like committing harakiri. Hence the Middle Eastern joints become a better alternative when one craves for Kebabs and Biriyanis, and is not in a mood to don the chef's hat. 
While talking to Ma, a few days back, she reminded me of the joint right near my apartment in South Delhi, which served hot kebabs till the wee hours of the morning. Aptly named 'Kebab Corner,' it was an oasis for overworked broadcast journalists, who had made Delhi their home.It was the very reference of the succulent chunks of meat on a skewer, from the lanes of Delhi, that led to the kebab party a few days back. One could not go wrong with some Chicken Kebabs, some hummus(as I had run out the ingredients of hari chutney), Margaritas,Keema Mutter and Hot Rotis. Add friends to that, and it was an evening to remember. 

CHICKEN TIKKA : 

Ingredients: 
Skinless Chicken Tenderloin(Boneless Chicken/Chicken Breast): 1 lb 
Ginger-Garlic paste: 2 tbsp
Yogurt: 1 1/2 cups
Salt: To taste
Canola Oil: 2 tbsp
Tandoori Masala: 3 tbsp
Cooking Spray ( Can also use Canola Oil) 

Bamboo Skewers: around 10- 12

Bell Pepper/ Capsicum: 2 (optional)
Onion: 1 (optional)
Button Mushrooms: I small pack(optional)
Tomatoes: 3 medium sized ones (optional)

Lemon Juice: for garnish
Chaat Masala: for garnish
Coriander Leaves: chopped: for garnish 

Procedure: 
 First cube the tenderloin into 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch pieces. Keep them aside. 
In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, ginger garlic paste, salt to taste, tandoori masala and about 3 tbsp of Canola Oil. I used Swad's Tandoori Masala, but you can use any packaged Tandoori Masala that you might have at home. Whisk it very well together. 
Dunk the cubed Chicken pieces into this yogurt mixture and mix well, so that every piece is coated well. Marinate the chicken overnight, in a refrigerator. If you are in a hurry, marinate it at least for two hours. 

Soak the bamboo skewers for around 2 hours,so that they soak up water, and do not get burnt away while the kebabs are cooking. Cube the onion, bell pepper, tomatoes into 2 inch pieces. Keep aside. Preheat the oven to around 350F. You can also use a grill. 

Put the marinated chicken onto the skewers, alternating with onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and button mushrooms. If you do not have any of these, do not worry, as you can just add the marinated chicken pieces on the skewers as well. Leave a few inches of the skewer free, both at the lower end and at the upper end. Line two baking dishes with cooking spray or canola oil and place the skewers one beside the other, making sure that they are not super crowded. Spray some oil over the skewers as well. 


Change the oven setting to BROIL. Place the two trays on the upper rack of the oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes on one side. Then turn the skewers over, spray some oil on the kebabs, and cook again for another 10 minutes or so.The oven in the Broil mode ensures that the kebabs get a char on them. When the kebabs start getting a  char, it means that kebabs are almost cooked. 
Garnish the kebabs with some lemon juice, chaat masala and chopped coriander leaves. I served the kebabs with some garlic hummus and hot rotis. 

With Chicken Tikka on the menu, any meal becomes a party. 

Bon Appetit! 





1 comment

  1. First time here..u have a wonderful space with mouthwatering recipes and pics...Happy to follow you Visit mine as time permits...
    chowringhee laxmi nagar

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