These chicken skewers are mildly flavored, light and super approachable in terms of ingredients. Dont compare the spice levels to a tikka or kabab but they are juicy and delicious especially during hot weather. A super easy recipe which is perfect for summer evenings when you don’t want to slog in the kitchen. Marinate the chicken (or use vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms or even paneer cubes) few hours ahead and grill just before serving. You can make easy sides like yogurt raita or hummus. The tawook is traditionally served with a sharp garlic sauce called toum but I make garlic yogurt instead.
The grilled juicy chicken morsels are best served right off the grill and are also amazing tucked inside pita bread or naan for a satisfying wrap or you can serve them as a side to simple pilafs or salads. I have been making these for many years and developed this recipe over years which is a huge hit with my family.
Tawook marinade is brightly flavorful with lemon and yogurt than shawarma marinade which has more of warm spices going in. I like to add a little ginger and green chilli to my marinade for added kick though traditionally paprika is used. If you do not have thyme, use dried oregano, it gives a close flavor. Use tomato puree if you dont have tomato paste. The recipe is really approachable like I said before 🙂 Use large chunks of chicken breast since they tend to dry out in the high heat of the grill. If you do not have grill, use a hot iron skillet to cook them or broil in the oven. Chicken breast cooks fast and cooks easily but also dries out easily so avoid baking in oven or cooking on slow heat(they will become watery). And as I always always point out, since the ingredients are few- try to use good quality olive oil and organic or very good quality yogurt.
1.5tsppaprika (or kashmiri chilli powder), gives the color not the heat
Salt and pepper to taste
1.5lb(750 gms)chicken breast, cut in large chunks
Oil for brushing
In a large bowl, add all the ingredients except the chicken and using a whisk, mix very well.
Before adding chicken, taste the marinade and make sure that its sharp salty. If the salt is less the chicken wont have flavor.
Add the chicken, using your hands, massage the chicken chunks well with the marinade. Cover with a cling film and refrigerate and let marinate for about 5 hours.
If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 40 minutes. You can use metal skewers as well.
Skewer the chicken before grilling. Brush liberally with oil. Grill on high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side. Serve rightaway.
To make garlic yogurt raita simply whisk 1 cup plain yogurt with 1 tbsp grated garlic, thin out with water as desired and add roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder, chaat masala, herbs and salt to taste. Make raita atleast an hour ahead for best flavors.
Did you send your entry to Culinary Smackdown Battle-Mango Desserts?Please see details of the ongoing event here. Hurry..just a week more to go, contest ends 28th April 2011, Pacific time.
Chicken Dopiaza is a popular indian curry with origins in east india.”Do” in Hindi means two and “piyaz/piaz ” is hindi for onions.So it translates to a chicken dish cooked with twice the normal amounts of onions in a curry or a dish where onions are used two times in the preparation.Wiki tells me that in eastern india particularly in the state of West Bengal which had a lot of muslim travelers then,this dish originated and then got popular in the rest of the country.
The good thing about this curry is that it used simple indian spices and herbs and has a yogurt tomato based sauce in addition to onions.I have used red pearl onions in the curry, you can replace with shallots or even chunks of medium-sized onions.The idea is to use onions in the sauce with as well as include them in the curry on their own.Dont be overwhelmed by the long list of ingredients, these are all easy to find things available in your pantry.The recipe is adapted from here.
Ingredients: [Serves 2]
1 lb chicken ,bone in ,skinned [I used chicken thighs]
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 dry red chillies
Salt to taste
1/2 cup red pearl onions [or equivalent quantity of shallots or thick sliced onions]
3 medium onions
2 fat cloves of garlic
4 fresh mint leaves
1″fresh ginger shoot
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 cup chopped tomatoes
5 tbsp oil [mustard/olive /canola]
Chopped cilantro [for garnish]
8-10 black peppercorns
4 green cardamom pods, cracked open
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
Dry Ground spices:
1 tbsp red chilli powder[adjust to taste]
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp dry coriander powder
Garam Masala to sprinkle [optional]
Soak the dry chillies in half cup water for about 15 minutes.
Once soaked, coarsely grind them using a mortar & pestle.
Rub chicken pieces with lemon juice,above red chilli paste and 1 tsp salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
Peel the pearl onions and set aside.
Thinly chop the onions.
Coarsely grind the mint leaves, ginger shoot and garlic cloves.Mix them which beaten yogurt and juice of the onion.Set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pot with lid, add the oil and let it come to a smoking point on high heat.Once smoking, reduce the heat, wait for 1 minute and add the pearl onions.Fry the pearl onions for 2-3 minutes until they turn light brown.Drain on a paper towel.
In the remaining oil,add the sliced onions along with all the whole spices and cook till onions turn golden brown on medium heat.About 5-8 minutes.
Next, add the chopped tomatoes along with turmeric, red chilli and coriander powder.Cook on medium heat till tomatoes become tender and you see oil separating on sides of the pot.About 5 minutes.
Add the marinated chicken along with marinade,yogurt mix and stir everything to combine properly.Check the salt at this stage.Adjust if required.
Now reduce the heat to low and let the curry cook till the chicken is tender.About 20 minutes for the size of chicken pieces you see in the pictures.
When the chicken is tender, add the fried pearl onions & sugar ,mix well, cover again and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and sprinkle with garam masala if u like.
Serve warm with rice or flatbreads.
You can use lamb, mutton or beef for making this curry.Adjust cooking times accordingly.
I recommend using bone in and dark meat chicken pieces for this curry because the curry cooks for a long time on slow heat.