Roasting and grinding your own spices will make all the difference to these Indian chicken masala kebabs. While in this recipe they are cooked in the oven, they would also work well on the barbecue. You will need to soak the skewers for 30 minutes before threading to prevent them from burning during cooking.
- 400 g (1½ cups) natural yoghurt, plus extra, to serve
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (see Note)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (see Note)
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 6 chicken breasts, about 200 g each
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tsp ginger and garlic paste (see Note)
- coriander leaves, lime wedges,red onion rings and roti, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: overnight
You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.
You will need 6 x 20 cm wooden or metal skewers for this recipe.
Place yoghurt in a muslin-lined sieve over a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Discard drained liquid. Transfer yoghurt to a bowl. Set aside.
Place coriander, peppercorns, fenugreek, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and 1 tsp of the chilli powder in a small frying pan over low heat and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Using a mortar and pestle, grind spices until finely ground. Add to yoghurt with mustard oil and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, cut 3 deep slits in each chicken breast. Combine lime juice, remaining 1 tsp chilli powder and ginger and garlic paste in a large bowl. Add chicken and rub marinade well into flesh. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 250°C. Add yoghurt mixture to chicken, turning to coat. Thread 1 breast onto each skewer. Place on a greased wire rack over a lined oven tray. Cook, turning halfway, for 15 minutes or until cooked through and starting to blacken. Serve with extra yoghurt, coriander, lime wedges, onion rings and roti.
•Dried fenugreek leaves (methi) and Kashmiri chilli powder are available from Indian food shops.
•Ginger and garlic paste is from Indian and Middle Eastern food shops. Substitute 1 crushed garlic clove and ½ tsp finely grated ginger.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 11, pg86.
Photography by Jason Loucas.