Tikka chicken

If there’s one thing I wasn’t short on for The Big Lunch, it was yoghurt. Rachel’s Organic filled my fridge, my neighbours fridge and the makeshift fridge in my hallway, consisting of ice and gel packs on a complicated freezer rotation system. It was all very rock and roll.

I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone to learn that I jerked some chicken, but the other half looked like an opportunity to rip through a couple of pots of the white stuff; meat cooked in yoghurt is always so succulent and forms a coating which varies between a silken lip-licking paste and patches of spiced crust.

The ingredients can be twiddled but I think the essential players are turmeric, chilli powder and garam masala. A hefty blob of minced garlic and ginger is non-negotiable. I also added some nigella (onion) seeds and chopped mint, in the absence of coriander. They went down an absolute storm.

Tikka chicken

10 chicken drumsticks

1 x 500g tub of Greek yoghurt
1 x 2 inch piece of ginger
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon onion seeds (optional)
1 small handful coriander or mint leaves

Chop the garlic and ginger then put it in a pestle and mortar with 1 teaspoon salt and grind to a paste. Mix this paste with the yoghurt and all the other marinade ingredients.

Make two slashes across the thickest part of each drumstick then coat them with the marinade, mixing really well and rubbing it into the meat. Leave in the fridge overnight or for as long as possible, at least a few hours.

When ready to cook, remove them from the fridge half an hour before you want to cook them and preheat the oven to 180C. They will take about 25 minutes. The skin should be golden and slightly charred in places and the juices should run clear when you skewer the meat at its thickest point.

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13 thoughts on “Tikka chicken

  1. I would like to mention here, that Garam Masala has it’s own ingredients and always these ingredients vary dish to dish. Ready Garam Masala’s ingredients vary Brand to Brand. Garam Masala itself is nothing until you add more herbs to get the right aroma. These ingredients cannot make a dish hot but the aroma only until you don’t put chillies.

    Chicken always leaves it smell even so you fry it at 400F until before marinating, you put some vinegar in the chicken and leave the chicken for 20-30 minutes. This action will make the chicken tender and finish the chicken smell.

    To make a traditional chicken tikka you need to add Paprika, Dried Methi leaves, Dried Curry leaves, Ground Cumin, Ground coriander, Garam Masala, Salt, Red Chillies, Black Pepper, Cardamom powder
    and Turmeric Powder.

  2. That recipe is a winner Helen – that’s the kind of food that wins you friends :-) Be nice to cook it up and then take it to a big picnic… yum!

  3. Love it Helen! They look amazing bet they tasted as good. Forgot to mention try making a chicken or lamb tikka just w ginger minus the garlic. Pungent but ever so delish!

  4. Looks delicious. Love the photo of the spice mixture. This reminds me of Cassius who, this time last year, was responsible for some of the finest chicken tikka Somerset has ever seen. Nice work with the yoghurt.


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