To get a hand on a perfect tasty chicken tikka recipe is one challenge and then to even master the “technique” is another. It doesn’t mean that only you, the home cook, is facing this famous challenge alone. In fact, in a place such as Goa, even though a popular tourist destination in India, you ll have a hard time hunting down a moist and flavorsome Chicken Tikka. Just ask the locals in Goa and they will confess that they have to travel far to even find a decent chicken tikka take away. Often the meat is dry, tough and the masala boring and the other tandoor items such as Tandoori chicken, kebabs and nans are served in a similar fashion, leaving you disappointed and each time craving for a far better Tikka meal. At this point you might even swear to make your own at home. Yes why don’t you just go ahead now and make it at home?
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A homemade chicken tikka might just be the solution for your punjabi food cravings. Alright I admit, cooking tandoori in a clay oven will give it more flavors with the charcoal smoke, yet who owns a tandoori oven at home? Anyway it’s easier with the common home oven and it’s not that burning hot at least, so this shouldn’t be a challange. Mixing the masalas and other ingredients to a marination is a quick process and then you just have to leave the chicken in it, so that the flavors are absorbed. The only part where you will be in action is when you take the chicken tikka into the oven to bake. You ll have to take the skewers out frequently so to nurture them with a dollop of garlic butter. You want the chicken to be moist and you want some kind of melting moment on your tongue therefore the brushing of the garlic butter is crucial! Many Tandoor cooks either forget that or are too lazy to brush the tandoor meat frequently.
As some of you know, we used to run a popular tandoor take away here in Goa. I know the procedures by heart! Not that i was the tandoor cook, no we had a very talented Punjabi cook, who unfortunately had a drinking problem, yet I was there to help out and I was the one who was taking care that all orders were going out in time. Also, I watched his “secrete” tricks and followed his wisdoms to perfection. To get the masala right with quality spices is one thing, another important part is to leave the chicken to marinate. Also as mentioned above, you need to brush your chicken frequently with melted garlic butter. That’s it!
For all the Vegetarians out there, I have also published a recipe for a vegetarian Tikka with Soya a few weeks ago. This was another hit in our Tandoor take away and it does taste a lot like real chicken.
- 280 grams Chicken breast
- 1½ Tabespoons fresh chopped Coriander leafs
- 1 small Lemon
- 1 Teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1½ Teaspoons Turmeric Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Chilli Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Kitchen King
- 1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1½ Teaspoon Chaat Masala
- 1 Tablespoon Tandoori Masala
- a small dash of White Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- pinch Salt
- pinch Pepper
- red/orange Food Coloring
- 4 Tablespoons Yogurt
- a few cloves chopped Garlic
- Wooden or metal Skewers
- Rinse and pat dry your clean chicken breasts and cut into approx 1½ inch thick cubes. Keep aside.
- In a mixing bowl combine all the above mentioned ingredients starting with the fresh Coriander leafs and ending with the yogurt. Mix it to a smooth marination.
- Place your chicken into the marination and massage it with your hands into the chicken. Keep to rest aside minimum for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours and just before cooking preheat your oven to 220 Celsius.
- In a bowl add some butter and chopped Garlic and heat up and melt the butter. The garlic flavors will infuse into the melted butter. Keep aside.
- Grab your wooden skewers and wet them before you start adding your marinated chicken cubes. Add all the chicken cubes on the skewers, about 6 cubes on each skewer.
- Place them into the preheated very hot oven and cook them first for 5 minutes, then turn the skewers and bake for another 5 minutes or until you can see that they are getting dry in the oven. Take them out and brush them with a good load of melted butter garlic on all sides.
- Place them back into the oven and cook for another 5 minutes and then turn the tikkas again and allow them to cook for another 5 minutes. If they are getting too dry at this point, take out again and repeat your butter brushing and place them again back into the oven for another last 5 minutes.
- All together it takes about 20-25 minutes to bake the tikkas and if the color turns a bit blackish at some parts that's when they are ready. Nurture your meat with garlic butter to keep them moist inside. A tandoor cook uses a tandoori oven which is way hotter, so the chicken is kept for about 15 minutes in the oven, but in a home oven you ll need at least 20 minutes to get it right since the heat and environment is different. Enjoy!