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I’ve spent years living in countries from the Balkans, the Middle East and South Asia…all famous for their kebabs prepared with all types of meat.
After years of eating the local fare we are used to the kind of “hot and spicy” that will bring you to tears. Tandoori and Murgh Tikka are recipes which allow you to ratchet up the heat factor to your palate’s desire.
Not only do we still enjoy ordering a good kebab at a restaurant and rate them according to a set standard but we also take pride in getting close to the original flavor when we prepare these grilled skewers of meats and vegetables in our own kitchen.
Unfortunately, none will ever be as tender or flavorful as the chunks of meat from the roadside “grill” on market street.
We were drawn to them by a fabulous smell of grilled meat. A rarity actually so even back then you did not ask what type of meat because there are only two or three kinds. None of which would pass any standards set by the U.S. Food Administration or any other organization for that matter.
The best kebabs I ever ate were prepared with mystery meat and served hot, right off the coals and scraped off the charred piece of wire into a coned shaped page of the local paper.
All bugs aside, I am still here to tell the tale…
These kebabs are made with chicken from your supermarket and you can easily prepare a tasty dish, made from a familiar cut of meat, to serve for dinner. No surprises here. Just flavor.
- 1-2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger root
- 4-5 cloves of fresh garlic or more
- 4 tablespoons of heavy cream or sour cream
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Small tub of plain yogurt (store brand will do – no need to buy the Greek variety)
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala (McCormick® spices)
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs cut into large chunks or (as my schedule would have it that day) a pack of the smallest chicken thighs you can find. Chicken thighs stay moist during the grilling process.
When it comes to the spices, the possibilities are endless…add more red pepper flakes, more garlic, more ground chillies to the marinade. I know someone who would even sprinkle more red pepper flakes on their skewer of chicken bites for added fire.
Mix all ingredients except the chicken in a large bowl.
Add chicken thighs, stir well to coat evenly, then cover and refrigerate at least a couple hours but overnight just makes the flavors more intense.
Grill on medium heat or in oven under the broiler.
To Broil: Place your chicken thighs on a sheet of non-stick foil under a 450 degree broiler for about 20 -25 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked through. You can turn them once. Just don’t allow the marinade to burn.
If need be, lower the oven rack and pan to keep the chicken from burning and adjust total cooking time as needed.
If you have a stove top grill pan, you can also cook these but be prepared for a messy pan. You can even skewer the meat and cook over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.
Serve with rice pilaf and a big salad.
Naan Tayor Est!
Essential Indian spices for kebabs and authentic tasting Murgh Tikka!
1 Cook, 2 Countries & A Taste For World Cuisines: Cooking A La Mode De Chez Nous - Cuisine d'Hier Et d'Aujourd'hui! For the love of home style cooking and great food. Memories are made of this!