These Chicken Tikka Kebabs weren’t originally intended to be served as a main meal. My original plan was to make some chicken tikka lettuce wraps for a lighter, healthier lunch. However, as is so often the case other things got in the way and to save wasting the ingredients I turned them into a more substantial dinner. With added flatbreads, lightly Spiced Potato Cakes and some Mint Raita.
In doing so I also turned my promise of “dinner will be ready in 20 minutes” into “dinner won’t be ready for another hour”. I’m getting a bit of a reputation for getting distracted whilst cooking, so Michael now adds 30 minutes onto however long I estimate dinner will be. I can’t help it – you can’t put too many boundaries on creativity!
Anyway, back to the Chicken Tikka Kebabs… I guess these are more commonly served as a starter in most British people’s experience. Generally taken off of a larger skewer and served as tasty chunks of chicken, with a dip or two on the side. I’ve followed a similar approach here – though I’ve allowed for a whole chicken breast per person to make it into a main course sized portion.
The chicken is marinated for at least 3 hours (and ideally overnight) in a spicy yogurt mixture. The yogurt helps keep the chicken tender, whilst also providing a delivery mechanism for the various flavours. Whilst the yogurt is important for the marinating stage make sure to shake off any excess before cooking the kebabs. It has a tendency to either burn or go a bit powdery when it cooks.
That being said a few scorched patches are fine, as these add that slightly more authentic smokey flavour. You don’t want them to be pale and lifeless. After all, they would traditionally have been cooked in a roasting hot tandoor and you want to create a little bit of experience with your grill, right?
Chicken Tikka Kebabs
3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main CourseCuisine: Chicken, Indian, Poultry Servings: 2 Calories: 334kcal
3 cm Root Ginger peeled and grated
3 cloves Garlic peeled and crushed
1 tsp Green Chilli deseeded and chopped
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Ground Coriander
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
Pinch Ground Turmeric
3 tbsp Natural Yogurt
300 g Chicken Breast cut into 2cm chunks
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Put the ginger, garlic, chilli, spices and yogurt in a bowl and mix until fully combined. Add in the chicken and stir until fully coated in the mixture, then cover and allow to marinate for at least 3 hours in the fridge (preferably overnight if you have time).
When ready to cook remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for a few minutes. Shake off the excess marinade from the chicken, then thread it onto skewers. If you’re using wooden or bamboo skewers make sure to soak them in water beforehand.
Pre-heat the grill to medium-high. Place the kebabs on a wire-rack and brush the top with a little of the oil. Cook for 15-20 minutes under the grill until cooked through. Turn every few minutes and brush with a little more oil as needed.
Serve immediately with the side dishes of your choice.