Since I bought a packet of garam masala ages ago just to make a tofu scramble, it has been sitting in my pantry cupboard for the longest time ever so while I was searching for recipes to make good use of the aromatic spice, I came across this recipe for chicken tikka which according to the English husband is also a very popular dish in Britain. I gave the recipe a little twist by using the marinate as a dipping sauce so nothing goes to waste.
Chicken tikka is traditionally bite size pieces of boneless chicken on skewers marinated with spices and yogurt and then grilled in a tandoor oven just like a boneless version of tandoori chicken which most of us would be familiar with. However for my adaptation of the same dish, I chose to skip the skewers. If you’d like to include them, you can use bamboo skewers (soak in water overnight to prevent burning in the oven) just like satay sticks.
Chicken Tikka Recipe
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
600g boneless chicken leg or thigh, remove skin & cut into bite size cubes
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 thumb-size ginger, peeled & grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
juice from 1 lime
pinch of salt
1. Blend all ingredients except chicken in a blender or food processor till well combined. Marinate the chicken in the mixture and chill in the fridge overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 180 deg C at GRILL with fan. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and lightly spray a cooking spray over it. Arrange the chicken on the baking tray in a single layer. Reserve the remaining marinate to make a dipping sauce later. Insert tray into the oven at the highest shelf and bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping over mid-way, till there is slight charring on the surface.
3. Pour the balance marinade into a pan and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper if need be. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and serve with the chicken pieces.
Recipe source: The Perfect Pantry
If you like your chicken tikka to resemble more of tandoori chicken with the red colour exterior, adding a few drops of red colouring to the marinate will help achieve that.
These chicken tikka were simply redolent of spices and because I used dark meat instead of breast meat, the meat wasn’t dry at all. When the grilling is done, allow the chicken to rest in the oven (power off) for another 10-15 minutes before serving so the chicken would turn out juicy and succulent. Enjoy this recipe!