Tawa Chicken Recipe. A quick, fragrant and warming chicken dish which comes together on a tawa(griddle). This is a popular street from 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), chop some vegetables and cook together on a heavy griddle. Serve as wraps or with parathas and yogurt.
Indian cuisine has a lot of “tawa” dishes 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. 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 always use dark chicken cuts in indian dishes. Indian cooking needs prolonged time and chicken breast meat would become dry. Dark chicken meat stays moist and has good flavor. Here in this recipe, I used organic, boneless, skinless chicken thighs which I cut into strips. Also, 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. 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. Add ketchup & butter. Finish with lemon juice. Done.
Can I Skip the Ketchup? 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 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to the recipe.
Consistency and Texture : Tawa chicken from this recipe is dryish. 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 sticks to the chicken and there is a bite from the onions, ginger and green chilies.
How to Serve Tawa Chicken? 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.
- Bowls, Tawa, Cooking Spoon, Cutting boards
- 6 chicken thighs (boneless & skinless)
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoon mustard oil (or cooking oil)
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 medium tomato, slices
- 2 inch ginger, julienned
- 3-4 thai bird green chilies, halved (adjust to taste)
- 1/3 cup tomato puree (simply blend 2 tomatoes)
- Tawa masala (recipe below)
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon ketchup, see notes
- 1 tablespoon butter, optional
- 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
- 1 black cardamom, seeds only
- Using sharp knife, cut the chicken 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 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to the recipe.
- To make this a bit saucy, add 3/4 cup of tomato puree. Other things remain the same.