Tuesday 3 June 2014

Smoky Chicken Tikka with Kachumber Salad

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Last Thursday, we ended up having a little indoor barbecue for dinner.

 Because of the unpredictable weather around here, we've not actually been able to drag out the real thing from the shed yet. And, when my aunt tried this smoking method a few weeks back, it was met with rave reviews from my cousin. So, I just had to try it myself. 
And, here we have a wonderful, carb-free weeknight meal: Smoky Chicken Tikka with My Kachumber Salad.

The marinade for the chicken is really simple and you can cook it anyway you like. The way I did it, cooked in a pan and then smoked with a hot coal or skewered over a hot grill or over a barbecue. 
The salad is my take on the Kachumber Salad, and it brings a whole new dimension to the usual cucumber, tomato and lettuce. 
Serve the two with Green Yoghurt Chutney, and maybe a Naan Bread or two, if you're in the mood.

Ingredients needed include chicken breast, red chilli powder, salt, lemon juice, plain yogurt, garam masala, ginger paste, garlic paste, vegetable oil, tandoori masala, red onions, mixed salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, fresh mint and black pepper.

Bismillah, let's begin!

Into a bowl, mix together 2 Chicken Breasts (cut into large chunks), 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder, 1/2 teaspoon Salt and 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice. Leave to marinade for about 30 minutes.

Then, add in 4 tablespoons Plain Yoghurt.

1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon each of Ginger Paste and Garlic Paste

4 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil

1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice

2 teaspoons of Tandoori Masala - this is the one we always use!

Stir everything together and leave to marinade for a few hours or overnight. The longer, the better!

When it's time, heat up a pan on a medium heat, and add in the chicken.

Bring to the boil, and cover on a low heat to cook for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel 2 Red Onions. This is optional, but if you love onions, I definitely recommend you make these.

Slice the onions into thick rings.

Separate the rings and then place into a hot pan with a little oil.

Leave to caramelise on a low heat, stirring now and again. 

Once the chicken is cooked through, uncover and dry it out on a high heat.

While the chicken dried out, quickly put your salad together. I had 1/2 bag of Mixed Salad Leaves in the fridge so I used that but lettuce would be good too.

Put the salad leaves into a bowl.

Throw in a handful of Cherry Tomatoes, quartered.

Along with 1/2 Cucumber, sliced.

Take a handful of Fresh Mint.

Finely chop and add to the bowl. If you prefer, add some thinly sliced red onion too.

Add Salt and Black Pepper, to taste, 1/4 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder and 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice.

Toss well and the salad is ready!

Now, heat up a piece of coal on the gas ring until it becomes white around the edges. The hotter the coal becomes, the more intense the flavour will be. 

Once the chicken has dried out, push it to one side of the pan.

Add in the cooked onion rings.

Put a piece of foil in the centre.

Using a pair of tongs, put on the piece of coal.

Drizzle on a little bit of oil.

As soon as the oil hits the hot coal, it will begin to smoke. Cover with a lid immediately.

Turn the heat off and keep the lid on until the smoke settles.

Uncover ..

.. and remove the foil and hot coal.

Serve the chicken immediately ..

.. with the salad ..

.. and the onion rings.

It doesn't look much but the flavour of the chicken is so unique and delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Full Written Recipe:

Smoky Chicken Tikka with Kachumber Salad

Adapted from Cook with Faiza 

Ingredients – serves approx 3-4

For the Smoky Chicken Tikka
2 Chicken Breasts, cut into large chunks
½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
Salt, as specified in the method
Lemon Juice, as specified in the method
4 tablespoons Plain Yoghurt
½ teaspoon Garam Masala
½ teaspoon Ginger Paste
½ teaspoon Garlic Paste
4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 teaspoons Tandoori Masala

For the Caramelised Onions
2 Red Onions, peeled and cut into thick rings
Vegetable Oil, as needed

For My Kachumber Salad
½ bag Mixed Salad Leaves
Handful Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
½ Cucumber, sliced
Handful Fresh Mint, sliced
Red Chilli Powder, to taste (I used ¼ teaspoon)
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste


Into a bowl, mix the chicken pieces, red chilli powder, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Leave to marinade for about 30 minutes.

Then, add in the yoghurt, garam masala, ½ teaspoon salt, ginger paste, garlic paste, oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and tandoori masala. Mix well and leave again to marinade for a few hours or overnight.

When it’s time to cook, place the chicken in a pan on a medium heat. Bring to the boil, and then simmer, covered on a low heat for about 20 minutes or until fully cooked.

In a separate pan, heat a little oil and add in the onion rings. Leave to slowly caramelise, stirring now and then.

Once the chicken is cooked, add in the onions. Heat up a piece of coal on the gas ring until it’s white around the edges. The hotter the coal becomes, the more intense the flavour will be.

Put a small piece of foil in the middle of the pan. Place on the hot coal piece with some tongs, and then drizzle on a little oil. Cover immediately and turn the heat off. Uncover when the smoke has settled.

To make the Kachumber Salad, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

Serve the smoky chicken with the onion rings and the salad. Enjoy!

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