I’m guessing a very traditional Indian/Pakistani dish. I, again, ate this at a restaurant and it was so good! I slightly messed up in my version, however it still tasted amazing! Before this recipe, I had never before thought to use yogurt in a marinade, but of course this completely changed that! It’s an absolutely stunning presentation and equally as scrumptious to make.
When I did some research on this recipe, it said that the chicken is supposed to be cut into 1″ chunks since that’s what the word “tikka” means, “in pieces”. Let’s just say that when it comes to cooking absolutely perfect chicken while getting that nice char on the bottom, chunks are NOT the way to go.
I think I would have cooked the whole piece of chicken and then cut it up. That way the center wouldn’t get overcooked and still be nice, firm and juicy. When I cooked the chunk, it ended up being a little bit dry and crumbly.
Another addition I think I would have made is some sugar to give a little bit of sweetness. Since I used Greek yogurt in this recipe, it had some harsh notes that were not reminiscent of the kind I had in the restaurant.
Then there’s the color. The turmeric adds a beautiful golden color to the chicken, but the one I had eaten was more orange than yellow. A quick fix with a couple dashes of paprika should do the trick.
So the actual recipe. The most important part (in my opinion) is the char. Those burnt bits of chicken from the grill (or my cast-iron) are what really adds flavor. The best way to ensure that nice charred exterior is 1: do not pour in the chicken but instead, remove the chicken from the marinade and don’t pour in the rest of the marinade, 2: make sure the pan is screaming hot! if it’s not hot it will not get that nice crust and overcook the chicken, and 3: use the right oil, olive oil has a very low smoking point so if you can use avocado oil or even grape-seed oil, something that wont smoke and turn bitter.
To better aid with that nice char as well, I suggest using a cast-iron pan or even a stovetop grill. It heats up very evenly and will add alot of smoky flavor.
Chicken tikka kebab
- 6 chicken tenders
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. plain greek yogurt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- generous pinch hot chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 onion sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- mix together yogurt, ginger, garlic, cumin, turmeric, paprika, coriander, sugar, lemon juice, and about 1/2 a tsp. of salt together and marinade the chicken tenders (without cutting them!) for at least 3 hours.
- heat a cast-iron pan and add some oil, about 1-2 tablespoons. Make sure the pan is very hot! Then add in the chicken without the extra juices and allow to grill on each side for about 3-5 minutes. It should not be over-cooked and falling apart, we want a nice charred exterior but a moist and juicy center.
- During the last 3-5 minutes of cooking, add in the onions for a nice finish. At this point you can add in the rest of the marinading liquids if you would like.
- Serve hot and enjoy with a wedge of lime. Season with more salt of necessary and cut into bite size pieces.