Tawa Chicken Recipe. Quick, fragrant and warming indian chicken dish that comes together on a hot tawa(griddle). This dish is immensely popular on streets of India.
Tawa Chicken is perfect for weeknight dinners or at times when you want to cook chicken in a in hurry. Quickly make the tawa masala (spice powder) or use store bought spice blend if you prefer, chop some vegetables and cook everything together on a heavy griddle.
Serve as a chicken starter, tuck it inside wraps or as a meal with parathas(flatbread) and yogurt.
What is a Tawa Dish?
Tawa = Iron Griddle. In Indian kitchens, tawa is most commonly used for making rotis (the everyday indian bread),for pan frying as well as for making stir fry like this dish. You will typically find tawa of many sizes in Indian homes each dedicated to a certain kind of cooking.
Indian cuisine has a lot of tawa dishes closely comparable to asian style high heat wok stir frying. Stir frying on a high heat on a heavy cast iron tawa gives a charred taste to the meats or vegetables or paneer and we all know how delicious anything charred is, right?
The soul of this recipe is the tawa masala based on the recipe by the famous Indian Chef Ranveer Brar. Fresh ground masala elevates the taste of any dish and the same is true here as well. For the tawa masala, use woody spices like cumin, coriander, bay leaf, peppercorns, black cardamom and cinnamon. Sometimes I add 1-2 dried chillies as well.
Which Chicken cut to be used ?
I mostly go for use dark chicken cuts in indian dishes. Dark chicken meat stays moist and has really good flavor. Cut the chicken thighs in strips for quick cooking. Cutting into strips makes them cook quickly and at the same time the chicken won't dry out from the high heat of the tawa.
How is Tawa Chicken Made?
Start by making the tawa masala. Prepare everything you will need beforehand since the cooking is stir fry style. Then,slice the onions, tomatoes ginger & green chillies.Thereafter, saute till translucent. Add the chicken. Sprinkle the masala and salt. Finally, cook the chicken until slightly charred. Finish with butter and lemon juice. Done!
Consistency and Texture Of Tawa Chicken
Tawa chicken from this recipe is a dry dish If you want it saucy, you can increase the quantity of the tomato puree a little bit. However, the sauce isn't velvety smooth like mughlai chicken dishes. The masala coats the chicken and there is a lot of texture of the onions, ginger and green chilies. Think of it as chicken chicken stir fry but with indian flavor.
You won't taste the ketchup, it adds a bit of sweetness. However, if you don't want to use it, add a tablespoon of canned tomato sauce or 1 teaspoon of tomato paste and ½ teaspoon of sugar to the recipe.
Tawa Chicken is a perfect dish to serve as a starter with drinks or it and can be easily used for wraps or eaten with paratha. I also like to serve it over salad greens.
- 6 chicken thighs (1 lb) boneless & skinless
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoon mustard oil or any cooking oil you prefer
- 1 small onion halved and sliced lengthwise
- 1 medium tomato halved and sliced lengthwise
- 2 inch ginger julienned
- 3-4 thai bird green chilies, halved (adjust to taste)
- ⅓ cup tomato puree simply blend 2 fresh tomatoes or use store bought
- Tawa masala (recipe below)
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon ketchup see notes
- 1.5 tablespoon butter
- Lemon Juice to finish
- Chopped cilantro to garnish
For the Tawa Masala
- 1.5 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 8-10 black pepeprcorn
- 1 bay leaf, broken into pieces
- 2 cloves
- 1 black cardamom, seeds only skip if not available
- Using sharp knife, cut the chicken thighs into strips. Add to a bowl and add the garlic, salt and lemon juice. Let sit while you chop the vegetables and make the tawa masala.
- Dry roast all the spices listed for 4-5 minutes on a griddle. Transfer to small bowl and let cool a bit.
- Meanwhile halve the onion and thinly slice into half moons. Halve the tomato and slice into half moons. Half the green chilies lengthwise. Julinne the ginger.
- Set the tawa on a medium high stove to heat. Add roasted spices to spice grinder and grind to a powder.
- Add oil to the tawa. Once smoky add the onions, tomatoes, ginger, green chilies and tomato puree at once. Saute for 2-3 minutes until a dark shade.
- Add the marinated chicken. Sprinkle the tawa masala and salt. Mix to combine. Once mixed, spread the chicken in a single layer on the tawa and let cook for 4 minutes.
- Flip and let the chicken cook on other side for 2 minutes. Then saute around till you see the chicken getting a bit charred.
- Switch off the stove and add lemon juice. Plate the chicken, garnish with cilantro and serve.
- Let the stove be on medium heat throughout the cooking. If you lower the heat, the chicken will be watery and won't get charred.
- This recipe can be easily made vegetarian by substituting chicken with paneer, mushroom or blanched vegetables.
- You won't taste the ketchup, it adds a hint of sweetness. However if you don't want to use it, add a tablespoon of canned tomato sauce or 1 teaspoon of tomato paste and ½ teaspoon of sugar to the recipe.
- To make this a bit saucy, add ¾ cup of tomato puree. Other things remain the same.