People often joke that the love for alcohol and chicken runs in every Punjabi family’s blood. It is true that Punjabi folks are avid chicken lovers. Their chicken dishes are a much cherished gift to the world of Indian cuisine. One such dish is the Chicken Tikka. It is an authentic dish in which small chunks or pieces (tikkas) of boneless chicken are marinated in hot aromatic spices and yoghurt (dahi), followed by baking in a tandoor by mounting them on skewers. Over the years, different versions of this dish have been developed. In Punjabi cuisine, the chicken is grilled over red-hot coals, and does not always contain boneless pieces. Since this traditional version is difficult and risky to prepare at home, I have instead used a microwave to cook and grill the pieces. The key to nail this recipe lies in the marinade. The chicken should be kept in the marinade mixture for about 8 hours to obtain good results. This provides ample time for the mixture to seep into the chicken chunks and makes them tender and succulent. Cooking in the microwave should be done carefully, and by flipping sides to get perfect golden brown colour. Sometimes orange food colouring is also used to enhance the flavour, but I have decided to skip it. Chicken Tikka is the quintessential starter to get any party started. These juicy bite-sized chunks when served with onion (pyaaz) rings and green chutney, along with a dash of lemon juice (nimboo ka ras) spell out magic.
How to make Chicken Tikka
|Cubed chicken||10- 12 pieces|
|Mustard oil (sarso ka tel)||2 table spoon|
|Plain yoghurt (dahi)||¼ cup|
|Lemon juice (nimboo ka ras)||2 table spoon|
|Chopped coriander (dhaniya)||¼ table spoon|
|Garlic ginger (adark lahsun) paste||4 table spoon|
|Red Chilli (lal mirch) powder||2 tea spoon|
|Salt (namak)||to taste|
|Turmeric (haldi)||½ tea spoon|
|Hot spices (garam masala)||1 tea spoon|
|Green chillies (hari mirch)||½ tea spoon|
- 1. Mix coriander leaves, green chillies, garlic-ginger paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice, hot spices, salt in a bowl, add curd and mix it well.
- 2. Now add the mixture in chicken and leave it in refrigerator for 8 hours.
- 3. Place chicken pieces on a plate, cover it with marinade and cook it in microwave at 100% power for 6-7 minutes.
- 4. Now drizzle little mustard oil and then grill it for next 7-8 minutes.
- 5. Turn the side again grill the chicken till it becomes soft and golden in colour.