Monday, 6 August 2012

Kebab week: Tikkas

And finally, to round off kebab week (belatedly, I should have called it kebab fortnight) I bring you tikkas. Apparently the word tikka means simply bits or pieces, so anything will do really. Get some meat, or perhaps even some cheese, marinade it, skewer it and grill it. The essence of a kebab, Indian style.

My recipe isn't agressively spiced as I like something fairly gentle with chicken. It's fragrant rather than fiery, with the flavour of ginger and garam masala to the fore. Chicken thighs are best for this as they're moister and tastier, although they can sometimes go a bit rubbery when you grill them the marinading should take care of that. As an alternative a bit of liver would also work well.

I served these with chapattis, home made raita and a spiced carrot and fennel salad.

This is enough to serve 2 people

For the chicken

400g (about 4) chicken thighs, each one cut into 3 or 4 pieces
large thumb ginger
3-4 cloves garlic
juice large lemon
1 tsp salt
100 ml thick natural yoghurt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp hot curry powder

 For the carrot and fennel salad

1 head of fennel
2 carrots
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
sunflower oil and salt

1. Throw the chicken pieces into a bowl with the lemon juice and salt. Grate or crush the garlic and ginger and add them to the bowl. Give it a good mix then cover and put in the fridge to marinade for at least an hour, or up to 4.

2. After at least an hour throw in the other marinade ingredients with the chicken (the yoghurt, garam masala, curry powder and turmeric). Give it a good mix up then cover and put back in the fridge to marinade for at least an hour, but overnight will be just fine.

3. Remove the chicken from the fridge at least an hour before you want to cook it, and thread the pieces onto skewers.

4. Make the carrot and fennel salad by thinly slicing the fennel and grating the carrot into a bowl, then heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and throw in the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Leave them in the pan until they start to crackle and smell fragrant, then take them off the heat before they burn. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes then stir them through the carrot and fennel and a grind of salt to taste.

5. Heat up the grill and grill your kebabs until they're tender inside and a bit charred on the edges. It will probably take around 7 or 8 minutes in total.

6. Serve immediately with warmed chapattis or naan, the carrot and fennel salad and some home made of shop bought raita.

That's it for kebab week. As well as tikkas I've made koftas, falafel and satay. All delicious in their own way but my favourite has to be the kofta, you just can't beat lamb when it comes to kebabs. Over and out, I'm off for a doner...

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