The ever-green chicken tikka is the face of Indian cuisine for obvious reasons! These grilled chicken cubes with flavorful Indian spices never fail to tickle our senses!
Grilled food is everyone’s favorite in my family. Everyone loves it – my husband, my brother, my in-laws, my parents and me. That smoky aroma of the charred meat is bound to make everyone hungry! I mean.. tell me who doesn’t like grilled chicken, kebabs or tikkas? I haven’t found any in my surroundings!
Since the time I have tried my hands on this technique, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. After few burnt-out meats in the initial phase, I finally mastered this skill and now I don’t even think twice before going ahead with the skewers! You need to keep in mind two important things for a successful grilling – the duration of marinating the meat and the temperature.
The more time you keep the chicken marinated, the more flavor will seep into it making it more succulent. Plus the grilling temperature should be such that it cooks the chicken properly without charring it too fast. I usually keep the temperature at 180 to 190 degree C for tikkas during the first 10 minutes and then finish it off at 200 degree C for the last couple of minutes to get the ideal charring effect. But keeping a check on it for every 5 minutes is a must!
Serves: 4 Servings
- Chicken breast – 2 [around 300 gms]
- Red, yellow & green bell peppers – ½ of each
- Onions – 1
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
- Garlic paste – 1 & ½ tbsp
- Yogurt – 1 cup
- Turmeric powder – ¼th tsp
- Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 2 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Cumin powder – ½ tsp
- Salt to taste [around 1 tsp]
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
- Satay sticks as many required
- Wash and pat dry the chicken breasts. Cut them in cubes of 1 inch length.
- Tie the yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang it for half an hour to 1 hour to drain out as much water as possible so that you are left with the thick yogurt.
- Make the marinade by whisking together thick yogurt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, ginger-garlic paste, salt and oil.
- Add the chicken cubes to the marinade and mix thoroughly so that all the pieces are well coated with the mixture.
- Cover with a cling film and leave it to marinate for 4 to 8 hours in the refrigerator. [Though 4 hours would be a minimum for marinating the chicken to get the best flavor, I sometime do it for only 2 hours when I want these tikkas immediately and don’t have time to wait!]
- Cut the bell peppers in 1 inch long square shape. Cut the onions similarly. Combine the bell peppers and onions and add lemon juice and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Soak the satay sticks in water for half an hour. This will ensure that the sticks do not burn while grilling.
- When you are ready for grilling, pre-heat your oven at 200 degree C.
- Take a satay stick and insert a piece of chicken followed by a piece of red, yellow and green bell pepper and onion. Again repeat from chicken to onion but do not crowd too much or do not press them too close. There must be enough gaps for uniform cooking. I kept 3 sets in each stick.
- When you are done with all the chicken, arrange them on the grilling rack and grill them for 7 to 8 minutes on each side at 190 degree C. [Yes, you have to reduce the temperature after pre-heating.]
- Do remember to baste them with oil while swapping the side. This will prevent the chicken from drying.
- Serve them with green chutney and onion rings.